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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Race Recap: Bozeman Half Marathon

(From a previous year, but it gives you an idea of the scenery.)
The Bozeman Half Marathon took place on Sunday, September 10 at 8:00am in Bozeman, Montana.

Before + Goals
As I mentioned two weeks ago, I hurt my ankle on a downhill run. At the same time, the wildfire smoke was thick in Bozeman, making even short runs difficult. My motivation to train for a PR went out the window. I wasn't completely honest with myself about how much I did not want to run this race until the Oiselle VolĂ©e meetup on Saturday. Someone asked about my ankle and even though I was wearing a wrap and it was still swollen, I knew it wouldn't be the reason I wouldn't PR on Sunday. I wasn't feeling it.

After Missoula, my goal was 1:55, but as I slogged through short runs and struggled to finish (or even plan!) my long runs, I did a bit of soul searching. Did I care about setting a new PR? Not really. Definitely not more than exploring new trails and running with new people. I tried to convince myself I could pull off a sub-2 run – which probably would have been doable if I was 100% and the air was clear – but my shakeout runs were pretty bad, so I set a new goal: just finish. It's been a long time since I set that goal! And if I'm honest, the only reason I went was to see my Oiselle teammates!

Near the start
Pre Race
We had to ride a shuttle to the start and it took about 10 or 15 minutes. Then we stood around at the start for almost an hour. If I'd been alone it would have been torture! I talked to teammates Wendie and Morgan about not being in the mood or ready and they agreed. Morgan was running the relay and had to wait for the leg 2 runner, so Wendie and I left her to line up. We chatted a bit more, then put on our headphones and said our good-byes and good lucks.

The race set off and Wendie was ahead of me. There weren't any pacers, which was kind of a bummer because I would have glommed onto any group. After a tenth of a mile I caught up to Wendie and asked if I could tag along. She said she didn't mind and that I should take off whenever I wanted to go faster. I told her I probably wouldn't leave and to let me know if I was bothering her.

Around mile 1. Thanks for the photo, Amber!
This is a short recap because guess what? We ran together the entire time. We spent the race chatting and ran without stopping until mile 6 when we stopped to take photos of the scenery.

The race was advertised as fast, flat, and downhill, but it was a lie. Yes, it was a net downhill, but there were several short climbs along the way. The sun was beating down by the halfway mark and I wish the race started at the same time as the marathon (7am). Montana Septembers are dicey, so I guess you can't predict the weather.
Technically downhill, but those hills = noooooope.
We kept chugging along but stopped at the remaining water stops so Wendie could fill her small handheld and I could grab Gatorade. It was hot! Wendie has asthma and had a hard time breathing on some of the climbs due to the hot sun and the haze. I don't have asthma, but I was also struggling to breathe at times. It wasn't terribly smokey like it has been, but it certainly wasn't clear. (Bummer because Saturday was lovely.)

Coming in to the finish
After mile 9 we both decided we were over it and ready to be done. Even though we felt that way, we were both having a good time and kept telling one another how terrible it would have been alone. After we crossed Kagy (major road) the race was mostly downhill so we were able to coast in. Afterwards we hung around to wait for more Oisellies (ha) to finish.

Free photos! The one on the right cracks me up.

Stats and Thoughts
This was my second slowest half (my slowest was an epic, sad disaster), but I had a ton of fun. We told stories, commiserated over a smokey summer, and socialized with volunteers and spectators. So thankful for good company!

Finish time: 2:24:47
Overall: ? / 447 (results divided by gender)
Gender: 210 / 319
Age: 38 / 48

The course itself was nice (even with the hills that weren't supposed to be there), but there wasn't much crowd support outside of the water stops. I don't usually care about that, but since it isn't a PR course I probably won't run the half again. I'd do the marathon relay.

...You know what? That opinion was formed during the race. Now that it's been a few days I've almost changed my mind about not doing it again. ;)

Oiselle Montana, represent!


  1. I love your last line that was added a couple days after the race :)

    1. It's funny how we forget what we said during a race. ;)

  2. Congrats on the race! Fun is super important :-) I have run a bunch of halfs now for fun and some of my best running memories happened during my slower races. It is still 13.1 miles and that is no easy feat!
    The scenery is so beautiful in Montana, it is truly one of my favorite places to be. I try to come out once a year to see my Mom and I would live there in minute if I could convince my hubby.

    1. Thanks! It was definitely one of my favorite race experiences. I'm loving Montana so far. I highly recommend moving here. ;)

  3. Congrats! Yes, you'll have to run it again if I ever visit Bozeman for the half :)

    1. Thanks! Will do ;) I think Bozeman is cooler than Missoula, but I will admit their race is better.


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