Things you don't want to encounter during a race:
- Smelly perfume. Seriously, I was on my way to the start when I got knocked upside the head by a really bad smelling perfume. Can't imagine what that would smell like after a few sweaty miles. Yuck!
- Walkers at mile .08. Come on people...if you are walking from the get-go, get in the BACK OF YOUR CORRAL! At the very least, stay to the side of the road and do not stop suddenly! Shame on me for not getting to the start earlier and towards the front of the wave.
- The smell of donuts. Don't get me wrong, I normally love the smell of donuts. I love eating them even more. But for some reason, smelling donuts at the 7 mile marker made me want to vomit.
- Speaking of vomit...having a sign with the word vomit on it is not motivational. I saw a man in the Heights with a sign that said "blah, blah, blah VOMIT blah blah". Okay, so if really didn't say "blah blah", in fact I couldn't really read the writing...but even if I could read it, the word VOMIT stood out at me and would have kept me from reading more. Maybe it's an inside joke?
The things I LOVE about the Houston Marathon & 1/2 Marathon
- The spectators! A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to watch and cheer! There were intersections on Montrose where the crowds were several people thick. Amazing
- The music! I ran the inaugural San Antonio Rock & Rock 1/2 marathon in 2008 and was excited because I thought there would be soooo much music on the course. I was disappointed. I can only speak for the 1st 1/2 of the race...but holy cow, Houston had so many bands and people DJing and singing along those miles, it was awesome!
- The GRB. I've run marathons and 1/2 in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Chicago, NYC, and even Bastrop...none have the awesomeness before and after the race like the GRB and everything it contains. At most races you get fruit, a bagel, some yogurt and in Austin, soup. Yes, soup. But in Houston, you have warm/dry accomodations before and after the race and you get a nice, hot full breakfast - eggs, biscuits, sausage, potatoes, various pastries, chocolate milk and even Girl Scout Cookies! Not that I ever feel like eating all that, but it's there if you want it. :-)
- Flatness. Sure there are some overpasses and "hills", but Houston really is a flat course.
- Friendliness. For some reason I really noticed how friendly the volunteers were this year. From packet pickup to pre-race to the water stations to the people who give you the medals...I've never seen such a smiling, cheerful group of people! Thank you volunteers!
- Awesome shirts and medals. I have to admit that I did like last years shirt better...all that screen printing on the back might get a bit warm during a run. However, to have a men's and women's shirt...one that actually fits well...that's awesome!
I'm sure I'll think of more later, but that's it for now.