Howdy! On Saturday, I completed by sixth state of my half-marathon, 50 in 50 bucket list challenge. I ran the Veterun 5K and Half-Marathon in West Virginia. It was at Summit Point Motorsports Park. As many of you know there was a storm and while West Virginia did not have any snow, they had all the wind. The wind wasn’t dying down at any point on Saturday.
The wind at one point pushed the start of the race back, which I’m still not sure why they did that. But regardless. My finishing time was 1 hour 31 minutes 55 seconds.
I went out way too fast in the first half of the race. There weren’t very many runners, maybe 250 total runners, and so I was pacing off two people and a bunch of bikers who were taking us through the course because the course was very confusing (more on that below). So I tried to pace off the bikers which worked well and I think would work well but I need to remember I’m not that fast yet and my run-form still not up to par.
Expo Review: Small race, small expo. There wasn’t much of an expo. There were three tables to pick up your bib, timing chip, and race shirt. There was a Physical Therapy representative who was doing pre and post-racing stretching and manual work.
Sneaker Review: I finally broke a Nike’s fastest running shoe. The Nike Vaporfly 4%. They are awesome. While I wish I could say I ran a personal best, I really liked the running shoe a lot. I felt light on my feet, I had a sense of stability that was improved upon in the Nike Zoom Fly (that I usually run). But the comfort and cushioning of the shoe was just as impressive even with a carbon plate in the shoe itself.
Course Review: Confusing. Confusing. Confusing. I’m happy there were bikers who led the course. The cones and minimal signage was not helpful. Most of it fell over or blew away because of the heavy winds. Since it is at a motor speedway it’s nothing but turns and some hills. One of the more inconvenient parts of the race was when you would be going up a hill, the wind would smack you right in the face to the point I considered just walking, but I didn’t.
I wouldn’t say the overall elevation was bad, it just happened to be at the worst points throughout the race because where the hills were it was be a common area so people were going up hills they should not have been doing so course direction was lacking a bit. I remember hearing people talking about how they ran parts of the course more than twice because they got lost until the bikers found them to steer them back on course.
Closing Thoughts: Well, it was kind of cool being the overall male winner? But I got passed right at the finished and should have just sprinted because I could have and did not want too. But this race was chosen strictly because of when the date was and convenience for my schedule to complete this part of the bucket list.
Happy to have checked West Virginia off the list. And that is about it. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first half-marathon but I would recommend it as it race for a litmus test. It has rolling hills, it has straightaways, and it’s mental challenge since there aren’t large crowds of people cheering you on. It’s a mental challenge and sometimes you need that.
Final Results 13.1: 1:31:55 (not a new personal best)
Final Results 1st Leg: 44:10
Final Results 2nd Leg: 47:46
Best Mile: 6:42
Worst Mile: 7:36