The Asheville Half Marathon wasn’t originally on my 2019 race list, but was an easy yes when someone from my group suggested it. It was a week after the Heart Mini half, which was on my 2019 race list. I’d heard mediocre reviews of the Heart Mini so swapping the two weeks on my Flying Pig Half Marathon Training Schedule sounded like a good plan.

The Expo

Blink and you’d miss the expo. But they did have this cool backdrop to take a photo in front of.

The Weather

Can you tell how freezing we all are at the start line? It was 35 degree with a 10-15mph wind with big gusts. The first half was through the Biltmore grounds and we were largely protected from the wind, but once we got out into the open, I wanted to punch the wind in the face.

The Course

The course included a few hills in the first half and looked to be relatively flat for the rest of the course. The first hill was very steep and short, the second hill was long and very curvy so you couldn’t really tell where the top was.

There were several spots that were rocks, gravel, and sand. The rocks and sand were very difficult to run on. I normally don’t like out-and-backs but this time was great seeing several of my group’s faces. Just long enough to shout their name and a word of encouragement.

The best part (other than the finish) was running by the Biltmore Estate. It was one part of the race that was flat and on a smooth surface so part of me wanted to try to make up time, the other part of me wanted to slow down and soak it all in.

My time was 2:19:54, not a PR, but I’m happy with it. It was a cold, windy, and tough course and the first time I had to take a bathroom break. What’s funny is that Melanie (see her leg above?) was chasing me to the finish line. I didn’t know it was her chasing me down and I was trying to chase down others in front of me! We finished milliseconds apart from each other, which was over an hour after Eric finished in 2nd place! Between him placing and all 16 of us running, I think we did a fine job representing Tri-State Running. πŸ™‚

The Airbnb Cabin

I also need to mention the Airbnb cabin that our group stayed in. It was on Black Mountain, just 30 minutes away from Asheville. It had several bedrooms with full bathrooms. The driveway was very steep, but the views of the mountains were great!

The only downside is that they didn’t have enough towels! Nolan and I shared one and others had to use hand towels and wash clothes to dry off.

All it all, it was a wonderful trip! The people in this group are so supportive, friendly, and just all around good people. Many laughs and memories to take home.

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