On to the next one – the first nine half marathons

On Sunday I’ll reach a new milestone in my running life when I run my tenth half marathon! In honour of my tenth half I wanted to take a look back at the nine that came before.

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Highlights from my first nine half marathons.

1. Disney World Half Marathon – January 2012

KristenMeiDisney

Kristen and I both ran our first half marathon together in the happiest place on earth. It was fun, painful and memorable. After I crossed the finish line I knew I was hooked. It was extra memorable because Dan, Paul and the Cappellis ran it too. Our new running motto became “Crush it!” Final time: 2:36:17

2. Disneyland Half Marathon – September 2012

Running through Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Dan and I went in for round 2 so that we could complete the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge. I loved this half. The crowd support and bands were amazing. I’ll never forget passing the 2:30 pacer. After that I didn’t dare look back or stop for fear that he would catch up to me. This personal best would stand until 2015. Final time: 2:21:54

3. Rock ‘n Roll Montreal Half Marathon – September 2012

Kristen and I smiling through the pain.

Three weeks after running the Disneyland Half I ran Montreal. We reunited with Kristen, Paul and the Cappellis. At the 20k mark I wanted to walk and Kristen said if I walked that our friendship would be over. She got me over the finish line and we’re still friends. Final time: 2:36:08

4. Toronto Women’s Half Marathon – May 2013

Mei running in a tutu at the Toronto Women's Half Marathon.

Chocolate, firefighters handing out water and a finisher’s necklace. I also wore my running tutu and when I stopped to walk someone shouted “Hey tutu girl! Keep running!”  Time: 2:30:22

5. Melissa’s Road Race 22k – September 2013

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Dan and I travelled to Banff to run this scenic race. It is one of the most beautiful courses that I’ve ever run on. I kept looking around at the mountains. The altitude got the better of me and I couldn’t catch my breath but still loved it. Time: 2:28:47

6. Hypothermic Half Mararhon – February 2014

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This was one of the most challenging halfs I’ve ever run. Dan, Jason, Arlene and I went to Sarnia where we discovered that they don’t close the roads down for this race! I spent the entire race slipping and sliding on the side of the road. It became a new personal worst (which I would break later that year). Time: 2:38:26

7. Toronto Women’s Half Marathon – May 2014

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I went back for round two and this half marathon schooled me again. This time I was under trained and overheated. Kelly ran with bronchitis. I ran a new personal worst. Time: 2:45:49

8. Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon – October 2014

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After a poor racing year I ran this half with Kelly, Brian and Kevin. I cramped up near the end but finished stronger than I had in any other race in 2014. Time: 2:28:27

9. Bermuda Half Marathon – January 2015

Mei and the Town Crier of Bermuda

I haven’t done a race recap for this one yet, but it’s coming. This was one of the most beautiful courses I ever had the privilege to run on. The crowd support was also amazing. After spending all winter training with my awesome Running Room group I was able to run my first strong half since 2012. The best part was knowing that it was on a challenging hilly course and that I had just finished racing a one mile race and a 10k the day before. I felt like if I could do that then what would I be capable of fully rested? Time: 2:11:57

My training hasn’t been as diligent since Around the Bay so we’ll see how I do on Sunday. Either way, I love the half marathon distance and I look forward to the next 10!

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