Joanne Blatchley — HF14845
39 (lifetime) and a new state in the books!
Ran the @vacationraces Mount Rushmore half marathon yesterday.
Beautiful course but OMG, the hills. 8 freaking miles of UPHILL running is a killer.
Add to that the change in elevation for me. The course itself had about a 1850 ft gain but it was another 3000 ft gain from where I live. Talk about adjusting your breathing as the air got thinner and the weather started warming up..ugh.
The sights were definitely breath taking and it’s always nice to see nature untouched.
Bib pick up was easy peasy. It was a nice drive from Rapid City Airport to the expo area on Ghost Canyon Road. As usual with VR, there were only a few vendors.
An added touch were the Mt Rushmore president mascots to grab a photo with.
Perfect weather on race morning although a little chilly waiting for the 🚌. I guess they were 5 🚌 short of what they ordered so the wait time was longer to get to the start line but we all arrived safe and sound.
There were plenty of port-o-potties at the start area which is always a good thing. There were 2 different areas for port-o-potties but not sure many runners saw the 2nd area as there were some complaints of not being enough.
A touching moment was when they were playing the National Anthem (recorded) and had audio technical difficulties so the song cut out but not to worry because we as a group continued to sing the rest. It gave me goosebumps. 🇺🇸
The course itself was challenging for sure. The first 3 miles was run on a gravel road with tons of dust flying up and all around. The road was a gradual incline. Not sure why they thought starting a race going uphill was a good idea.🤔
Miles 4 through 8 may have been scenic but those constant hills are a calf killer, especially when you aren’t used to those kind of hills. I think k everyone breathed a sigh of relief when we started going down hill.
There was medical support and plenty of aid stations/water stops. They provided water, Gnarly, Gu, bananas and oranges.
The only complaint here was 2 of the 3 stations ran out of bananas and oranges by the time we got there and no, we were not the last.or even close to the last runners.
The race photographers were strategically placed in some nice areas for what I hope will turn out to be great photos. 📸
The post finish line area was a bit chaotic and not very well organized as far as where to go afterward but with limited space, they did a great job overall.
Being a Vacation Race, the medals are of course, beautiful.
Photo and Post Credit Joanne Blatchley