Anne Springs Close Greenway Trail Half Marathon
Fort Mill, SC
Placed 6th Overall; 2nd place Age Group
I decided to jump in on this half marathon in Fort Mill after finding out about it and it's $17 registration fee. Way less than the $45 I paid for the upcoming Owl's Roost Trail half marathon in Greensboro at the end of the month. So I rose early and headed south about 2 hours for this race.
It was very low key, with an 8k in addition to the half. I checked in, received my bib, and tote bag, and got warmed up. We were told the course was marked with orange flags and ribbons and there would be multiple stream crossings and swinging bridges that we would have to walk over to avoid being bucked off. Temps were in the low 40's to start. At the start, we all headed off with the first stream crossing coming in the first 0.3 miles. There was a swinging bridge here as an option if you didn't want to run through the foot deep creek. Only one girl too advantage of the bridge as myself and the group in front of me took to the water.
We settled in and the lead group took off. I let them go as they were probably running 7mm pace and I was doing good to hold on to an 8mm pace. Myself and one other guy ran together for a couple of miles, me following him, and then I decided to pass. He stayed with me as I tried to hold a 9mm pace. We were told it would be muddy but the first 6 miles wasn't very messy at all. That would soon change.
My Garmin kept measuring a little short of each mile marker, and after 6 miles, I pointed this out to my drafter behind me. We began to chit chat a little and he mentioned this was his first half. i congratulated him on hanging at such a fast pace, as I didn't know how long I could hold that pace, and I know in my first half, I wouldn't be able to do that. We conserved our energy, and just kept running, no talking.
We reached the bridle trail portion of the race and here came the mud. With the rain in the past week, the second half of the race was full of mushy spots. Around mile 8, we ended up catching up with a local girl who is part of the Rock Hill Striders (the local running club putting the race on). We ran single file, the three of us, for a mile or so. I then motioned for the pass and took off. It was then that I decided to see if I could put my distance between myself and these two.
The last 3 miles were tough, with what seemed to be the most uphill parts of the whole race. Maybe it was just my legs telling me they were getting tired. I kept trucking though. Passing a few people who were in the 8k race going on simultaneously. Mile 11 went around a lake and mile 12 actually passed by the finish area where snacks were located. But at the last second, the route cut back into the woods for the last 3/4 mile. I only had to stop and walk once on the uphill, which I was content with given the pace I surprising to myself, held for the race.
I saw the finish line and crossed in 1:53:38. Good enough for 6th place overall, the 5th overall male, and 2nd in my age group of 25-34. My Garmin actually showed it being 12.55 miles but not too surprised as most trail races are not exact. I stuck around for a bit and enjoyed some food and got my AG prize (a frisbee), and then headed home.
Overall, a great low key race on some great trails. I enjoyed it and would keep this on my list to do in the future.