On Saturday, I ran the Growing Green Half-of-a-Half Marathon at Treasured Haven Farm in Rush City, MN. They also offered a half marathon option on Saturday. On Sunday, they offered 3, 6, and 12 hour challenges.
Friends of mine ran the race last year and said they enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a try. Plus, it was nice and close to home. Logistics couldn’t have been easier for this race. I pulled into the driveway at Treasured Haven, drove up near the start line, and parked on the grass. Packet pickup, which was just a race bib, was just a few feet from where I parked. There were two porta-potties available, but since there were only 43 participants between the two distances, there was never much of a line and it moved quickly.
Just a few minutes before race time, runners were gathered for announcements about the course, and then we were on our way. Most of the course was on mowed grass that made up the perimeter of the crop fields. A very small portion of the course was hard-pack dirt in wooded areas on the farm property. I absolutely loved the portions in the woods; between the more technical footing, elevation changes, and cooler shade, I was happy there. I very much dislike running on grass; I find it to be very difficult and boring. There were three water stops on the course, each consisting of a large cooler of cold water and a stack of paper cups. It was easy to refill a handheld water bottle at these stops.
Because of the amount of miles on mowed grass, and the heat and humidity, I had a very slow time for this race. I let myself get discouraged somewhere between miles 4 and 5, and walked most of the course after that point. I finished at the back of the pack. While I wish I’d had it in me to do better, it just wasn’t there on Saturday morning, and that’s okay. For the past year, I’ve been hitting PRs in both distance and race times, so it’s okay to have a “bad” race once in a while.
I enjoyed being on the farm, and the fact that it was a very small race. I didn’t even mind being mostly alone on the course after the first few miles. The farm family, who organized the race themselves, were friendly and welcoming to all.
Post-race snacks included trail mix, granola bars, cold water, and frozen fruit. The frozen fruit was by far my favorite choice of the day, and I’m ranking it right behind the lemon gelato and chocolate milk I’ve had at other races.
Finishers also received a wooden medallion and a vegetable or herb plant of our choice. I chose a bell pepper plant because I was told they’re hard to kill, which is exactly what I need in a plant.
This race was small, well-organized, and everyone was friendly. I loved the atmosphere at this race and while I wouldn’t do it again in the heat, I would sign up for their fall races.
My finishing time was 1:34:07.
As with my last race, I fueled with Generation UCAN Drink Mix (lemonade flavor this time, which I did not care for) and Generation UCAN Hydrate in Berry. So far, I’m liking the UCAN Drink Mix, but prefer Nuun over the UCAN Hydrate for electrolytes.
After the race, I enjoyed Leinie’s Summer Shandy and a burger, on a patio overlooking a lake, with friends and family. It was a lovely kick-off to the Memorial Day weekend.