On Saturday, I ran my 9th half marathon.
Chick-fil-A Half Marathon, due to a somewhat already loaded race schedule.
However, one day on Twitter, the Chick-fil-A Connect race series (@cfaraceseries) reached out and suggested that I sign up for their half marathon in Athens, GA. I told them that I would love to but I had already blown my race budget for the year (I have the world's most understanding husband). They kindly offered me registration in return for writing a race report. How could I say no?
I ran a CFA race last year and was impressed by how smoothly it was run, how accessible and easy the website was to use, and the kindness and excitement of its volunteers. This race was no different.
Registration took minutes and there is no additional service fee that you often have to pay with other races. There was both expo packet pick up and same day pick up - which is awesome and so helpful for a Mom of 3. Parking was right near the start with lots of bathrooms and the race actually STARTED ON TIME. The course, although ridiculously hilly, was clearly marked and loaded up with upbeat and encouraging volunteers. It takes you through both residential sections of Athens and through the UGA campus, By the stadium, volunteers were throwing parachuting stuffed cows down upon the runners. I caught one and didn't even break my stride.
The only negative thing I can say about this race is about the finish. The finish line was located inside the Classic Center, and I continue to be confused by this phenomena. I'm not sure why races do this. It's usually so loud you can't hear yourself think, let alone figure out where the post race food is or why your running partner wants to take another sweaty picture of you. Plus, it smells. Runners smell. Especially after running 13.1 miles in very humid and sticky weather. It was downright nasty in there by the time I crossed the line. Anyone have any insight into this new trend?
Overall, though, it was a great race. How could it not be with cow mascots, bits of chicken on a stick, iced coffee, gels, and oranges on the course? Basically, it was a party.
And here's the best part...
Funds raised by participants, sponsors, and partners went directly to Athens' own Habitat for Humanity to help build their 82nd house in the Athens area. So not only did I get a stuffed cow, an awesome medal, but I helped make our community a little better. #winning.
Disclaimer: although I received free registration in return for this blog post, all opinions and views expressed are my own.
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