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2018 Frederick Running Festival: Half Marathon Race Recap

For some insane reason, I decided to do three half marathons in a row this spring: the Star Wars Half Marathon on April 22nd, the Ocean City Half on the 28th, and Frederick Half Marathon on May 6th. So now, I’m qualify for the Half Fanatics Uranus Level, since that’s three halves within a 16 day timeframe!

But oh my goodness, I was wiped out for a week afterward! I had a ton of fun, though, and rocked some negative split finish times:

  • Star Wars – 04:09:15 due to stopping for LOTS of pictures!
  • Ocean City – 02:07:28
  • Frederick – 02:03:27

And I absolutely love the Frederick Running Festival. In fact, the Twilight 5k was my very first 5k back in 2008! I went back and read my 2008 recap for poops and giggles. It cracks me up how I considered a field of 637 runners to be crowded race back then! Can you imagine the old me at a runDisney race with a field of 20k+? Oh how I’ve changed since then.

Frederick Running Festival: 2018 Half Marathon Race Recap

But I still haven’t mastered the ability to dress correctly for the weather and my bibs still must be perfectly straight. Jackey and I just had the best giggle over my old post and how we’ve both changed over the years. We’re now inspired to do a podcast episode on this topic so be on the lookout for that. Or better yet, head on over to our Joyful Miles Running Club on Facebook where Jackey is starting a conversation about this soon!

One thing that has changed since 2008 is how the Frederick Half is now part of the King Crab Challenge, along with the Baltimore 10-Miler and Baltimore Half/Full Marathon. Completing both the Frederick and Baltimore Half or Full also earns you the Maryland Double for a total of five medals, six if you also do the Frederick Nut Job Challenge. (Twilight 5k and Half.)

I completed these challenges back in 2015 but had to miss a few years so I’m ready to take this on again! I mean, check out the medal! That sucker is heavy, y’all. I need to incorporate more weight training into my schedule just to wear it!

But anyway. Back to the half. Bling comes later.

As always, the expo was very well-run and organized, making packet pickup a total breeze!

It was also fantastic running into Domingo, who listens to our podcast. He has such a fantastic vibrant spirit that is truly contagious!

As for my race goals, because this was my third race in a row, I wanted to take it easy and just enjoy the race. My finish time at Ocean City of 02:07:38 will be a great proof of time for the runDisney marathon, plus we went to my great-niece’s wedding after the expo, where I enjoyed a few beers and quite a bit of dancing … in heels.

Just call me the queen of bad choices. Cheers!

Unlike the weekend prior, I woke early and left before traffic hit, arriving at the Great Frederick Fairgrounds at around 5:40am. (The race started at 7:00am.) It was rather chilly, so I relaxed in the Jeep for a few minutes and ate a Nature Valley Granola Bar, my breakfast of champions. Afterward, I headed for the stadium to meet up with some other Joyful Milers and take care of bag check.

Have I mentioned it was chilly yet? Well, yeah. I was chilly, so I started to worry that my tank top would be too cold. There was no way I could wear my WDW Marathon jacket, though, and tossing that expensive puppy was not an option!

This worry lingered in the back of my mind as I made a quick bathroom stop and then met up with Stephanie, Kevin, and Meredith!

We might have gotten a little carried away with the chatting since it was soon race time and I’ve yet to check my bag! I felt a poo brewing so I hit the bathrooms. Wow, first I managed to blissfully go before the Ocean City Half and now this? How was that possible? That good news came with a price, though, since the bathroom line was crazy long with me shivering every step of the way. (Yes, I could have used the port-o-pots, but this gal had no intention of pooping in a port-o.)

Afterward, there was a spring in my step as I hustled to bag check which brought on DECISION TIME: Do I freeze in a tank top or start the race comfortably in my jacket and then swelter?

I wisely chose freeze which ended up being the perfect choice after the first half mile. Maybe I can master dressing for the weather after all!

But first, it was freeze time. I must admit that I gazed quite longingly at Bob’s jacket when I ran into him! It looked so warm…

And because of the long line, I was far behind my desired pace group and I nearly missed the beginning of the race. Stuff like this makes me feel out of whack, but I forced myself to concentrate and take my second Gu gel. Soon it was time to go!

Now, I’m not going to get into much detail about the course because honestly, it’s all a bit of a blur. But after the first mile, I was feeling pretty good. So good, in fact, that I ditched my take-it-easy plans and pulled on my PR pants instead. And when I got my PR pants on, I don’t take many pictures or video to use for a recap. I just focus and run!

I can say that the course is pleasant and awesome, going through Historic Downtown Frederick, gorgeous developments, and rolling countryside. Plus it had been changed since the last time I ran this race back in 2015 with much improvement! I give it a big thumbs up!

018 Frederick Half Marathon Race Recap

That hill at Mile 11.5, though.

Good God, it kicked me in the rear and hard! I mean, wow, it was one of those long, long hills that seemed to never end. I saw a gal pass out which was pretty scary and on the left, a wheelchair athlete was working so hard that I was completely motivated by her. Upward and onward!

I’m not quite sure, but I think this was taken after the hill. You can tell by the grimacing smile on my face!

018 Frederick Half Marathon Race Recap

After that bugger of a hill, I had a tough time recovering and backed off a bit. So much for negative splits! I was so beyond grateful to finally see the stadium and make that last run on the track to the finish line. Whew!!

2018 Frederick Half Marathon Race Recap

2018 Frederick Half Marathon Race Recap

By the way, those race photos? They were uploaded for free directly to my Facebook Page courtesy of CareFirst, a very nice touch! I cringed at another finish line photo, though, where my arm fat was pulled down by the impact of landing. Delete! Delete!  Midair makes for much better arms. 😉

After finishing, I got emotional and started to cry, which is really hard when you’re out of breath. So it was more like gasping and crying. Grying? Let’s go with that. I kind of stumbled through the chute, exhausted and dazed, collecting water and my gorgeous spinner medal that had a place for a race photo on the back. I had to painfully decline the Nut Job Challenge medal, however, since I missed the Twilight 5k. I did help myself to the many snacks they had out, including potato chips, granola bars, fruit and more!

They had some finisher banners up where you could get a photo, but I regretfully skipped that since the lines were long. Darn! It would have been great getting one to use in a collage after completing the King Crab Challenge. But I was pretty worn down and headed to the back of the stage instead where there was shade and room to stretch out. Once I felt somewhat back to normal, I wandered to the family celebration area. The place was PACKED so it took a while to find John and Bob, whose daughters also ran. So glad we were able to spend some time chatting!

2018 Frederick Half Marathon Race Recap And of course, we had to get a photo with the King Crab Queen!

After our lovely chat, I was feeling pooped and ready to go home for a nice, long shower and nap. I lingered by the finish line for some mandatory selfies and to watch the last finishers come in.

2018 Frederick Half Marathon Race Recap

One of which was the incredible Sid Busch, who we’ve seen many times at runDisney races! Such a remarkable man whose dedication to honoring veterans is beyond inspiring. I just love him! You can see his finish at the end of my recap video:

You can also see how exhausted I was while giving some final thoughts about the race. Oh, and if you’re curious about that small black eye … I had given it to myself the week prior after the Ocean City Half while pulling on arm sleeves.

Yeah. I hit myself in the face. Rob had found this to be very amusing and regrets not hitting the record button before we started taping for a podcast episode, lol! Which, by the way, you can listen to here or here:

Once I got back home, I was very happy to discover my official time: 02:03:27! No, I didn’t break my sub two goal, but hey, considering it was my third half marathon in a row, I really can’t complain. All in all, I truly enjoyed this race and am looking forward to next years! With the 5k as well so I can get my Nut Job bling. 😉 Now what about you?

QOTD: Did you run the 2018 Frederick Twilight 5k and/or Half Marathon? If so, please share your thoughts about the race weekend in the comments!

And as always, take care and have a joyful day!

About the author: Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.

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