Newport / Jersey City Half Marathon

On Sunday morning, Sept. 22, I woke up early to trek across the river and run the Newport Direct Edge Half Marathon in Jersey City. It was a clear, gorgeous, flawless morning, and I was looking forward to this race as I’d heard the course was pretty and flat and this is my favorite time of year to be a runner.

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That’s my happy runner girl face (or maybe my “proud my running clothes actually coordinate for once” face).

I missed the whole “lining up for the start” thing due to subway delays, so I started a couple of minutes after the clock. My legs were tight for the first few miles, but I loosened up and felt pretty decent throughout most of the race. We had a truly picturesque Indian Summer morning, and the course was lovely, with the highlight being a long stretch over a bridge in Liberty State Park that offered a straight view of NYC and the Statue of Liberty. It took my breath away and I wish I had pictures, but didn’t want to stop to take out my phone.

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I really, really enjoyed this course, both for its views and its flatness. I’m blessed to have some amazing friends who gave up their Sunday mornings to cheer me on (and be my photographers). This was the first race I ran entirely alone, and it made my day to have my friends there cheering (and producing proof that sometimes I match).

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Oh, and then there was the part where I almost got run over by the Light Rail, and then was nearly punched in the face by a really attentive policeman… good thing she documented that high point.

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The official results clocked my chip time at about 1:54, which isn’t my best, but isn’t my worst, and my running app actually mapped the course as being 13.8 rather than 13.1, soooo that’s certainly longer than a half marathon should be. Considering that one hip and the other calf were hurting by the last few miles, I was happy to see that finish line. Not to mention that we ended by the water, and as I’m such a water and boat person, finishing the race with a beautiful view of sailboats and a huge expanse of sky was fantastic. Photo

I had a good race overall and am certainly glad I ran it, but I was hurting toward the end and definitely finished thinking “I think halves are a good distance for me; not so sure about this 26.2 business.”

I officially think I am over-worked.

I’m praying I don’t psych myself out or get too sore to run the full thing, but if I do, then that’s life. Sure, I will be disappointed, especially after all the training I’ve done this summer, but I’m not going to push myself til I’m hurt. There will be other races, and I’ll take it a day at a time, as disappointing as it might be…but I’m hoping to heal enough to push myself through whatever pain might linger.

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I’d definitely recommend this half to someone who wants to run one and hasn’t before, as I think it’d be a great race to start with. It’s at an ideal time of year, with a lovely, flat course, and it was really well-organized (minus the far-too-few water stations). I give it two thumbs up, and I hope to run it again next year for sure.

Question: What’s your favorite time of year to run?

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