My FIRST 1st! Race Recap :: Winthrop Half Marathon

This Sunday, I ran a race!  As you may remember, I kind of forgot about this one.  It just snuck up on me after graduation, traveling, and settling in back home, and I didn’t really get in the amount of training that I would have liked.  Irregardless, I still ran the shizz out of the damn thing.

The morning started with a leisurely 5:00 am wake up call.  I downed my 2 cups of coffee, and packed 2 Vita Cocoa coconut waters, 2 bananas, 2 gluten-free homemade-jam sandwiches, and 1 peanut butter cookie Lara Bar.   I like to come prepared.  Dad and I hit the road to Winthrop at around 6:00 am.

The drive was quite enjoyable, and the scenery was beautiful.

During the ride up, I ate one banana and had one coconut water.

The view of the farmlands, orchards, and winding rivers was so relaxing to me – no pre-race jitters.

Coming in to Winthrop {and Twisp, the town before}, is like stepping back in time to the Old West.

No neon signs.  No blatant advertisements.

A small quiet town.

Perfect for a relaxing get-a-way.

Just adorable.

By 8:00 am, Dad and I had arrived at “The Barn” where I picked up my bib number.  No t-shirt or swag bag at this race, but I’m okay with that.  Most of the stuff that comes in goodie bags I never use, and I have about 10 zillion race t’s that I wear maybe once.

As you may remember, this was a downhill race, so a bus had to take us up the mountain a ways.  It wasn’t scheduled to leave until 9:00am, so Dad and I scoped out the race course, and where he could spot me as I raced by.

At 9:00 am, I was on the bus with the other 73 half marathoners {small race}.

It’s always interesting listening to other racers comments and conversations. –uh, yes, I was eavesdropping, but it was kind of hard not to, as these people were basically shouting their “interesting” running facts, PRs, training techniques, etc.  I overheard one girl say that she was shooting for a sub-1:30 race – ding! ding! ding! – I had someone to keep pace with.  I usually just keep to myself before races – it’s not till afterwards when I get real chatty.

When the bus made it to the top, we saw the first two marathoners zoom by. 6:01 and 6:07 average pace for the first two. Dang, dude.  We cheered on the 89 other marathoners as we waited for our 10:00 start.

Finally, after what seemed like a morning of hurry-up-and-wait, we lined up at the start line.

On your marks…

Get set…


We were off at a leisurely pace.

I quickly made my way to the front of the pack following closely behind ‘sub-1:30 girl’ and another guy.  I felt like we were going a little slow at the beginning considering we needed to keep a 6:48 average mile pace to ensure a sub-1:30 overall time, but since we were running mostly downhill at the beginning, it was difficult to say [I also don’t have a Garmin]. Plus, I was concerned about blowing out my quads in the first few miles of the race due to lack of training, so I just stayed with the little group.

Around mile 3, I saw Dad!

Our ‘sub-1:30’ girl is the one in the light blue and hat.

As you can see, this is just about the point when I decided to pass her.

Woo-hoo! I get excited when I see people while racing.

Yep. Still waving. Dorkus.

From that point on, I was on my own.  No more spectators on the race course for me.

The rest of my run was, for the most part, really enjoyable.  There were a few tough hills, and the temperatures were higher and drier than what I was used to running in.  I got water at every station, which is completely unlike me.  [At the Flower City Half, I didn’t stop at a single aid station.]

I kept fairly close to the lead guy, but then around mile 6 or 7, another dude came zooming by me out of what seemed like no where.  The two boys stayed neck and neck for the rest of the race, with me trailing behind.

I passed a good amount of marathoners on the race course, which in a twisted way helped boost my confidence – even though they had run over twice what I had already done.

The worst part of the race was the 3.5 mile out-and-back at the very end right before heading in to town.  On the way out there was an incredibly steep hill, which I knew would be waiting for me to trudge up right around mile 13.  Of course.  Also, the wind coming back was awful.  It was like running while pushing against a wall.

Obviously, I survived.

Yes, that would be my name :: Stephanie Wilson, 3rd Overall.

But what’s even better…

Stephanie Wilson, 1 Top Female!

Overall Time: 1:33:21

Average Pace: 7:08 per mile

My First 1st Place!


Yeahhhh boyyyy!

Proud Dadio.

I let him hold my medal, just so he could bask in all it’s glory.  Then I snatched it back, grabbed some awesome watermelon and ordered my free Mexican meal!

Heck yes, muchachos!

Gluten-free, vegetarian goodness!

Dad enjoying my free beer along with his chimichangas.  I am so generous. 😉

Next up! Free ice cream!

I gobbled down my homemade huckleberry ice cream so fast that no on had a shot in hell in getting a picture of it.  You will just have to trust me that it was amazing.

Then I took a nap.

No, just kidding.  I am just really awesome at taking pictures.  No snoozing.  I was too excited!

What a fun, enjoyable race.  No PR, not sub-1:30, BUT no GI issues, which is a HUGE win for Team Gluten Free.

A huge shout-out to James Varner [race director] and Rainshadow Running for a great day in Winthrop!

Number 1, baby! Woohoo!


12 thoughts on “My FIRST 1st! Race Recap :: Winthrop Half Marathon

  1. Two things:

    1.) HUGE props on your first overall win! That’s an amazing achievement, one you’ll have for life.

    2.) I’m not as prolific at blogging as I am reading other runners’ blogs. I try to read a few posts a day and I’ve found that the vast majority are women, many of whom tend to run half marathons in the 2:00 – 3:00 hour range. Since I read these blogs largely to learn about fun new races, it’s good because it usually means they take a bunch of pictures and I can get a good sense of the course. Because of this trend, I tend to start reading recaps with 9:00 ~ 12:00 minute paces in mind.

    And then suddenly someone says something to the tune of “Oh, she’s running sub-1:30, I guess she’ll pace me” and I think, surely she’s being sarcastic. Nope – she’s just crazy fast!


    • Thank you so much Dan! I’ll have another half marathon recap for you in about a week – I’m running the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half on the 23rd! Best of luck to you on your quest! 🙂


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