Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rock 'N' Roll St. Louis Half Marathon

You can't spell the word hustle without STL! The Hustle City was a very good race! For starters, I spent the majority of my trip in the The Lou with a very near and dear Fraternity brother of mine who showed me all that St. Louis has to offer. Great sights, great food, and such rich history. And don't even get me started on the beer! Needless to say I had fun in a new city. Now, here's more tea on race day!
First, another dear friend/fraternal sibling of mine Benny raced with me. Came all the way into town and dominated his race (way to go Benny). So... race morning was C.O.L.D.! COLD! But this is St. Louis after all so can I really complain? The race started on Market Street, facing the Old Courthouse and the Famous Gateway Arch. Watching the sun come over Illinois, the Mississippi River, and reflect on the stainless steal Arch was a VERY special moment.

The race kicked off and we ran toward the arch, made our way past Busch Stadium which is home to the St. Louis Cardinals (BIRDS!). We continued through Downtown St. Louis looking at all of the wonderful architecture and culture that the city has to offer. We continued making our way down Del Mar Blvd. for quite some time until we got to Art Center which is home to the Fox Theatre. This is literally the cultural heart beat of the city. I then magically sprouted wings and FLEW up this ridiculous hill around mile 5 next to Saint Louis University . I told you I wanted redemption after Long Beach. I came for ALL of these hills and paid them nothing but dust. We made our way over the SLU bridge and headed into The Grove. Gar bars on those side and the home of Sweety Pie's (as seen on the OWN Network). I kept flying right on over to Reservoir Park and the Botanical Gardens. I must share this with you...seeing the leaves change colors in fall and watching them fall as you run past is really quite the sight. The smells of Autumn in the air, the squirrels watching from the overhead power lines wondering what the hell we are all running for is really something to appreciate. Nature was a beautiful inspiration for this race. More hills here...but I paid them NO mind.

We then came to Lafayette Park which was another beautiful area of the race course. This was close to the home stretch. Mile 11. I had made it to mile 10 in under 2 hours so in an effort to save my knee I dialed back the pace a bit. So I made my way back toward downtown passing Union Station and returning to the Arch Mall where I crossed the finish at 2 hours and 21 minutes. I am proud of this run and certainly look forward to running it again some day! Not to bad for a Rock Encore! Next up, RNR Los Angeles! Can anyone say Triple Crown?

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