Sunday, June 7, 2015

Deckers Creek Half Marathon Recap

I have been looking forward to running Deckers Creek since I completed the Lehigh Valley Half last September. I had heard awesome things about the race, and was hoping to have my last real test before I jumped into goal race training.

Deckers Creek is in Morgantown, West Virginia. Since it was only an hour and a half drive, we decided to leave early in the morning. Our convoy included Mike, Ruth, Chelsea and myself. Each of us with different goals. Mine was for another sub-2 half. 

When we got to the park, we were all super excited to see real bathrooms! There was a small packet pickup area. We got our shirts, bibs and some clif bars before we boarded the bus. This is a point to point race through the woods. It took us about 20 minutes by WVU Charter bus to get to the start area. 

Me and Chelsea getting our bibs.

There were two start waves. We were all in the 8:30 wave. We saw Kristy while we were waiting, this was a goal race for her. She was the one who sealed the deal for me to sign up for the race. All she had to do was send me the elevation chart. 

The race started at 8:30 on the dot. I was towards the front but nothing crazy. There were about 350 people in each wave but it didn't feel crowded. Each mile felt exactly the same: darker skies, little bit of rain, no spectators. I felt very alone, but I was not complaining. My watch was very off by mile two (.20 off), so here are my first seven mile splits:

This is what the first 9ish miles looked like. 

Mile 1: 8:21
Mile 2: 7:49 (this is when I knew I was off)
Mile 3: 8:05
Mile 4: 8:38
Mile 5: 8:43
Mile 6: 8:33
Mile 7: 8:31

When I hit the mile seven marker, I noticed it was at one hour on the dot. Perfect, it would be easy to figure out some pacing with my watch being so off. 

As we made our way down the hill, there started to be spectators. It didn't really make a difference to me. I hadn't had anyone pass me in a few miles and there was no one around me. Thank goodness I couldn't have taken a wrong turn. I also got my second wind around mile eight. 

At mile nine there was a man playing a banjo. Not lying. I was laughing so hard on the inside. You know what they say, when you hear the banjos RUN FASTER!

Mile 8: 8:17
Mile 9: 8:18
Mile 10: 8:25
10 mile split: 1:25:36

A little after the 10 mile marker, you are no longer on the trail. You are on pavement. This normally doesn't bother me since the North Shore trail is the same way. I was doing some math in my head and realized I would be incredibly close to my PR. If I could shave off some seconds, I could ensure it. It was time to move. 

I was feeling really great, that is until the mile 12 marker. My legs started to get really heavy. I decided to take another energy chew and hoped it would help. It didn't and I started to crash. There was a woman next to me who would sprint a little bit then walk. It was really annoying to me. I looked at my watch and saw my PR slipping away. 

Mile 11: 8:19
Mile 12: 8:45
Mile 13: 9:15 (see, crashed)

On the final .1 of the race I saw Kristy and her husband on the side of the course. She is telling me to move, and I wish I could have. I really had nothing left. When I crossed the finish line I looked at my watch. It ended up .31 off. No idea how it happened, but I was glad I stopped looking at it early on. 

After I got my medal I saw my final time, 1:53:32. 

That is the exact time that I finished Tink in. To the second. It's so amazing to me that I had pretty much the same race on two completely different courses. I also ended up with a crazy blister on the side of one of my toes, and a bleeding toe on the other foot. 

This was a really good race. The race organizers are fantastic. The volunteers were so wonderful and it was a fun course. The downgrade seems slightly intimidating from the elevation chart, but I never noticed I was going down. It felt flat. If you are looking for a West Virginia race, I highly recommend it! 


  1. Congrats on hitting your goal! That elevation chart looks fantastic! I can't wait to get out and run again soon!

  2. I would love to run a downhill race! Great job! So amazing that your finish time was exactly the same.

  3. Congrats on a great race, I need to do that race with that elevation level. I never get to do the downhill races