Three years ago I told myself I would never run the Dirty Half Marathon again, but I obviously lost an argument with myself when I signed up. Healthier and stronger, I decided to give it another try. The race was two weeks after completing the Happy Girls, so I felt confident and ready to release the legs.
The race started with a cloudless sky and sunshine. I was in the first wave, taking off at the BOOM of the gun.
The race is called the Dirty Half for a reason as a significant portion of the route is on dusty, rocky, single-track trails. Basically, you follow the person in front of you (remember lining up in Kindergarten?) while breathing in and wearing their dust. Sexy, I know. Not only is the trail a dirt bowl, the first seven miles consists of a gradual climb Up Up Up.
The challenge of the elevation (3,700-4,100ft), endless line of traffic (you have to hurdle the sage brush or round a tree in order to pass), and rocky terrain (you look away from the ground for a moment you are toast) make this race what it is – and that is awesome!
As you make the final ascent (yes, uphill) to the finish line, the screaming fans, bells, horns, and entertainment (music, booths, beer garden, etc.) make it all worthwhile.
I finished in 1:49 – about 15 minutes faster than three years prior. That is why I run.