Hershey Half Marathon - October 20, 2013 Time: 2:16:49
JJ and I headed up to Pennsylvania for the weekend for a sweet sweet race. It was one of the better half marathons I've run. We got up early Saturday morning to make the drive since it was only 2 hoursish away. We took a small detour on the way and drove through Gettysburg (for a bathroom break), saw some battlefields and some folks in costume!
Back in the road we rolled into Hershey mid morning heading straight to grab our race packets and wander the expo. A few free items later then it was time to visit Hershey's Chocolate World. We took the free factory tour which gets you free chocolate at the end and drops you off in their massive gift shop. A little while later, and lots of chocolate in our grasp we were happy to deposit our purchases and head into the park for some rides.
With a little coercion I got JJ on the four main steel coasters in the park, although I do recall her cursing me on a few of them as we headed up. :) We grabbed lunch in the park and then wandered and rode more of the low-key rides including the "kissing tower" and reese's attack. Of course before leaving we had to try out some friend Reese's peanut butter cups. They were delightful!
We checked into our tiny but cheap hotel and then decided to head to Olive Garden in nearby Harrisburg for dinner to get some carbs and protein. The wait was a little crazy but we managed to get a seat at the bar for our 'fancy dinner.' Afterwards we headed back to the hotel to prep for the race in the morning and try and get a good night's sleep.
6am was our wake-up call to head down to the race. Luckily our hotel was closet enough to walk. We went back into the packet pickup building to use real restrooms, get more safety pins, and stay warm before the race began. As it got closer to 7:30 we headed outside and stretched for the run. It was much hillier than either of us thought, but my knee survived. KT tape is the best and I highly recommend it to anyone with IT band pain. I was slower than I wanted to be, but still holding strong without major pain through the race. JJ caught up to me around mile 8 and really helped me to push through the end. We crossed the finish line together. :)
We got an awesome race food bag afterwards- one of the best I've received- before we headed back to the hotel to shower before getting on the road back to DC. Fun weekend! Hershey is a neat place, full of delicious chocolate and the run was well organized and definitely worth the money!