This was only part of the beautiful course.
As some of my Thompson family would say - "What a great day!" I got up early Sunday morning and made the trip to Midway, Kentucky with my parents for the Iron Horse Half Marathon. We hit a little traffic coming into Midway (it is a pretty small town) but we were able to find a parking spot on a side road not too far from the starting gate. The rest of the race went as smooth as the start for us.
This was a really beautiful course. I was a little worried about the course map at first and this is why I say that. If you look at it, you run out a few miles, turn around, run back through town and out a few miles, turn around, run back into town, and finish. I usually don't like races that turn around and run the same road more than once, but this half marathon was rated one of the best in the country so I figured it was worth a shot. I am really glad I did.
The scenery in this race is so wonderful that you don't even think or notice that you are running down the same road. The roads are country roads with no markings on them and they are either lined with fences to horse farms or trees. At one point during the race, there was a herd of horses that seemed to be running with us. They would go back and forth from one side of the fence to the other. It was great to watch them gracefully run up to one side and then all at once, turn around and head the other way.
This race probably isn't the best race to try to get a personal best. It seemed like the whole race was either going up a hill or down a hill. I know at each turn-around a small part of me said to myself "I have to go through those hills again??" Luckily that thought passed rather quickly as the scenic view takes over.
All in all it was a well put together race which I really enjoyed. Both my father and I earned our best half marathon times and enjoyed every minute of it. There were plenty of refreshments at the end of the race, nice long sleeve technical shirts, and a good looking medal. There was a band playing at the end and a pretty good turnout of people cheering in town as well. I believe we will both be signing up for this one again next year.