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<i><b>Watch time:</b> 1:51:53 (8:33 avg.). Official results not yet available or I just can't find them!</i><br><br>
Colonial Williamsburg, about 80 miles northwest of where I’m currently living, draws thousands of tourists and history buffs each year with its live-action resurrection of pre-Revolutionary War life in the soon-to-be United States. Today, more than 1,000 runners flocked to one of the oldest areas in America to experience the revolution of their feet over 13.1 miles of challenging, rolling hills.<br><br>
I left North Carolina at 9:30 a.m., plenty of time for the out of the ordinary 1 p.m. race start time. Runners sign in and wait in William and Mary Hall, the athletic fieldhouse for the College of William & Mary. W & M is a strong running school, so the race is a fitting fund-raiser for the school’s athletic programs.<br><br>
Going to races alone can be lonely, so it was nice to see familiar faces when I arrived. A local running friend and occasional partner, Bill, was ready for the Half. Cathie, a runner who trains with the same coach as I do, came west from her home near the coast for the Half. She and I, who paired up for many coached track workouts last fall, decided to start together and see how long we wanted to run in tandem today.<br><br>
How do you eat for an early afternoon race? My solution was my normal long run breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by a Clif Bar and Gatorade at 11. I didn’t feel any hunger or stomach discomfort before the start, and pinned a Gu to my shorts for a mid-race boost.<br><br>
The course starts on campus and travels through a small section of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hilly</span>Williamsburg before heading out on a <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hilly</span> private paved drive through the woods for four <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hilly</span> miles. Then there’s a short loop bordering a <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hilly</span> golf course and cutting through Busch corporate grounds (sans free samples!) before retracing the <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hilly</span> woods and, by then, mercilessly climbing back up through <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hilly</span> Williamsburg to finish inside William & Mary Hall. It is as fun and full of sights as it is difficult!<br><br>
This being one-third of Virginia’s Historic Triangle, a fife and drum corps marched from the field house to lead the runners to the start. We jogged down and around to warm up, then got in the Port-a-John line with what I hoped was enough time until the start. But as soon as my turn came, I heard the gun go off. Oops! I finished up and ran out as quickly as I could and kept going to catch up with the field. Somehow I remembered to start my watch at the line, and the race was on!<br><br>
My first mile was a combination of surging to catch up to Cathie, wasting energy maneuvering around others, and trying to adjust hastily pulled up shorts with built-in briefs. I caught Cathie and got comfortable, so it was time to settle in to pace. At Mile 1 my watch showed 8:27. Each mile varied from 8:15 - 8:39 except Mile 11 where my right hamstring threatened to cramp if I asked it to power up one more hill, so I eased off to a 9:18 mile. It felt great to get 12 good miles of marathon pace practice on hills.<br><br>
Williamsburg’s hills aren’t steep, but constantly rolling. The race includes scant flat segments, so it’s great practice for Boston. I laughed as one male runner in front of me opted to skip down the hills and run the other segments. Another pair, ultrarunners perhaps, walked the uphills and easily caught me past the summits. In the last mile I enviously told them, “You two have the right idea!”<br><br>
The race has one of those torturing, teasing ends where you arrive at the Finish area but have to circumnavigate it, Mecca like, before entering. I was ready to be done and charged into the fieldhouse feeling strong. Cathie was done less than a minute later. Waiting at the finish was my VRAA #6 teammate <b>rosecoloredglasses,</b> who was volunteering at the Finish area. It was a treat to come in and see her smiling face, then get acquainted in person for a little while.<br><br>
I transitioned back into the 21st century for a few hours with stops to eat at Quizno’s and shop at Trader Joe’s, Borders Books, and Target in Newport News, Va., before driving back across the state line into the also historic, but definitely not hilly, Dismal Swamp.<br><br>
(A little longer version & pictures are posted on my blog, link below.)
 

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SGH - congratulations. Nice RR. Nice solid run on a difficult course. This was the first HM that I have ever run. Enjoyed reading it!
 

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SGH: nice race report and congrats on the time... sounds like a respectable course to run on..let alone to view the sights.
 

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Great job <b>SGH</b>! If you run this next year let me know. I'll come down and race it with you. My BIL lives in Williamsburg.
 

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Nice runnin' SGH<br>
That is kinda of a wierd start time for the belly.<br>
But you seemed to handle everything including hills quiet well.<br>
Thanks for the pictures. (I'm jealous you got meet Rosie <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">)<br>
Congrats on Boston.<br>
jjj
 

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Great Report! Good job on the hills. At least I think you mentioned that there were a few hills on the course! Great time as well. And it is always memorable to have something happen like the starter's gun going off while your busy doing important things!
 

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Huzzah!<br>
You ran a fabulous race. We have some hills here in Billysburg... and we put them all in one 13.1 miles race...Congratulations on running them very well.<br><br>
It was great seeing you finish. With the perfect weather and well trained runners, my job was easy and the med tent was not busy.<br><br>
I enjoyed meeting you and talking for a bit. Let me know when you want to run hills again, since you are faster than I am, I will bike while you run.<br><br>
I like the report you wrote.
 

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WT Conquer those hills SGH!! Great report, you are ready for Boston!<br>
Glad you got to meet Rosie, she's a doll <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
For some reason I thought you were up north, we definitely have to hook up in Boston as I will be there doing support.
 
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