Fairfield Half Marathon. The (Final) Recap.

Heavens to Murgatroyd.

Here’s what MY recap would read if I were allowed only 3 lines.
It was hot.
It was humid.
I KNOW it was my last Fairfield Half.

Tina wrote an excellent recap of the FFH (and yes, feel free to insert the f-word and ‘hot as balls’ into that acronym as you see fit. ) You can read Part 1 of our recap here. We decided since this Fairfield Half was our swan song, we would write the recap in two parts. Double your pleasure!

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The Course.

I want to state for the record, that the Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon is brilliantly run by JB Sports. They do a hell of a job with all of their races- they are always well run, well marked and well supported. Fairfield has everything a half marathon should- a spectacular rolling course through a beautiful shoreline town, a great post-race party right on Jennings Beach, bands along the course, an ample number of water stops, and a boatload of spectators cheering wildly. It’s a great race. Honest. But, ya gotta love the heat. It’s usually the third weekend in June which means that no matter what the forecast is the week leading up to it, figure on it being 90 degrees, 0.5 mph wind, with 100% humidity. I’ve run this beast 5 years in a row. That’s been the story every year.

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5 years of Fairfield Half Marathon Medals!

And yet, I still run it.

5:30AM. Rise and shine. Pad into the kitchen and make coffee. Debate on making a coffee slushy instead. I’m thinking ahead. Anything to lower my core body temperature. Opt for a cool shower. Should have taken a pre-race ice bath. Eh. Live and learn Colby. Live and learn…

6:00AM. Out the door. Get gas. Contemplate feigning a pulled hammie and bailing while filling up. I wonder if this would be acceptable to Tina. Somehow I believe Tina is also planning an exit strategy of her own. Somehow I’m sure that we would never do any of that. It’s already 79 degrees.

6:45. I get to Tina’s. We have our philosophical discussion regarding why we decided to do this. I swear my lip quivers ever so slightly. I think her eyes tear up. Toughen up Buttercups. We’re doin’ this. I steal Tina’s Glide. Grab Gatorade. Out.

7:30. Park. Look up at the sky. Ball up fist and curse at the heavens. Cloudless. It’s well into the 80s.

8:15. Waiting in line at porta potty in a lava field. Squeeze the last sips of liquid from our water bottles and crawl to the start. I pull Tina to a sliver of shade. We are standing next to ‘Tan Mom’ in Nike Frees. Booty shorts, aviators and 17lbs of hair and extensions cascading down her back. No pony tail. What the?!? I gasp. Tina cringes. We scoot away. Far, far, away from all that hot hair.

8:30 – We’re off. I am SO not thrilled. When is it over? This ain’t good.

Miles 1-3. Despicable. Come on lungs, breathe. Zero rhythm. I am moving. But I don’t feel good about it. Rolling course, lots of turns, lots of hot, stinky, sweaty people. And ps: If you REEK at mile 2, you have an issue. It may be glandular. Either that or you need a new high efficiency washing machine or a bonefire to burn those stank ass shorts. Actually? Just strip down and throw them on the black top. They’ll ignite in a few. It’s in the 90s now.

Mile 3. Sirens. Ambulance. Runner down. Oxygen. You are kidding me. Why am I doing this? I send telepathic messages to Tina. ABORT! ABORT! {Pause.} Nothing. Run on.

Miles 3.5-6. Contemplate The Meaning of Running. Decide I still love it, despite how badly I want to cannonball into Long Island Sound. Also decide I am not running this one again. I’m miserable. The heat is EPIC. Every. Year. I see the Boomslangs, Tina’s son’s band. They ROCK! I dance by, fist pumping, screaming like I was on fire. Oh wait. I think I am. Consider stopping, then run harder.

Miles 7-9. Shade? Shut. Up. It’s minimal but I’ll take it! I am melting. Fall into a great familiar rhythm. (Well, that only took 7 miles…) Fear I really am a distance runner. Smile wildly at the notion.

Mile 9. Lean runner down. Fit. Oxygen. Whole shebang. Shit got really real. That’s two. This blows.

Mile 9-12. Calculating how far I have to go with every step. It’s excruciating. Glance at my Garmin. Not bad considering I’m running through fondue. Decide I’m finishing in 2 hours. Shake a leg Colby.

Mile 12-12.5. Realize I’m running next to a Marine holding an American flag. I’m amazed how anyone can run holding anything. People cheer loudly for him. I wave as if I’m part of his entourage. For a second I’m Miss America. I’m blowing kisses. I am certain I have heat stroke.

12.5- 13.1. Sweet Baby Jesus. The Finish. Down a dirt path. Huge crowd lines the gravel runway. Sand kicks up. I swear I see a camel. I’m hallucinating. Oh no I’m not. The finish line! Mission accomplished! I hijack a pitcher of water and stagger off to find Tina. We laugh at how we REALLY ran the same race- mentally, physically and emotionally. We pinky swear we’re not doing this again.

Who are we kidding?

I finish at 2:01.
It must have been the kisses.
I’ll take it.

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18 thoughts on “Fairfield Half Marathon. The (Final) Recap.

  1. You’re scaring me with the “Who are we kidding?” Does this mean your pinky swear didn’t count? Here is why I don’t want to run it again. As you pointed out, it is consistently hot & humid. We ran a great race. We ran smart, we ran well and finished strong. I feel like I have nothing left to prove there. My only “goal” would be to finish without medical attention and try to run as well as this year. But I already did that. Three days ago. And I hate the lightheaded feeling that sticks with me all day. So, I say we replace this one with a new half. In March.

    • My pinky swear counts. I posted that at 1:30am. I was delirious. I’m wondering if it was the effects of latent heat stroke? I’m also sitting in bed at 7:27am on a Wednesday, drinking coffee, feverishly scanning the Internet for destination half marathons in FEBRUARY. Screw March.

      Oh wait. We ARE ‘running’ a destination half marathon. On snowshoes. I can’t WAIT for that recap!

      Love our running adventures. Remind me to send Chris an Edible Arrangement. Thank GOD he married you.

      Xo Your Heat Hating Running BFF.

  2. Love how you two continue the race conversation in the comments section!!! Colby Nicole, hilarious write up. Living in Texas, where heatandhumidity is one word and seems to rule over every half/full marathon we run down here, your write up reminded me of many, many races. So glad you survived, so glad you never lost your sense of humor, and so glad you have another year to recuperate before you run it again (you know you will)!

  3. And I think I’m SWEATING as I read this while on my elliptical in my air-conditioned condo with a liter of Smart Water tucked in my cup-holder two inches within reach?! Maybe it’s the intervals….or the vodka I drank last night? LOL

    Great job girls. You ROCK!

  4. I love your irreverant recap. It makes a great change from some of the earnest write ups you read (like some of mine) that tell you how deep we had to dig etc. Having spend the last few years training through English winters (think running while wearing every piece of running clothing you own) I dream of heat and humidity.

    • Thank you! Sadly, I know exactly what it’s like to run wearing every piece of running clothing you own. I get total extremes here- brutal, bitter cold in the winter and then molten lava summers with Rain Forest Like humidity. (Slight exaggeration, but not much.) And still, us Crazies run! We runners are a tough breed. :-). Thanks for stopping by! Stop often!

  5. First, did the guy running with the flag have a ponytail? If so, that guy must run an event a week because I have seen multiple pictures of him at races in California. If you are looking for a destination race, California weather is perfect in February and March. Also, having limited hair is awesome when running, the no-ponytail girl sounds HOT and terrible but amazing! Congrats to you both for sticking with it, those races where you question why you run are entertaining in hindsight but they show you something too!

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  7. I know this post is a little old but I was looking online for reviews of the Fairfield Half. My friend wants to train for a half marathon with me to race in the spring, early summer. She’s never ran a half before or trained for one. I’ve ran the Hartford Half three times (planning to keep running it annually) and run consistently so I feel like the heat won’t kill me too much for Fairfield. Honest thoughts on this “hot as balls” race?! Any suggestions for a different CT race? I just don’t want my friend to be intimidated by the heat! Or myself!

    • Fairfield Half is a great race IF it isn’t hot. Problem is, it is usually hot. The past 2 years have been great, but before that, it consistently was painfully hot. Like, lots of people in the medical tent hot. But the race is well run and a great course.
      Danbury and Cheshire have half marathons in the spring. I have run danbury – it is a bit hilly, but I liked it. Have not run Cheshire, but I think it is pretty flat. Colby may know more. Hamden Hills is around Memorial Day, but is really hilly and hard. New Haven will host a half on Labor Day weekend. That is a well run event, but can also be hot. I’m sure you can find more if you do a google search, but these are the ones that I have run or at least known someone who has run them. Cheshire sounds like it might be a good fit if it isn’t too early – I think it is in April?
      If the heat doesn’t bother you, you can’t go wrong with Fairfield. Colby and I like to run in the snow, so it tortures us. Good luck to you and your friend – love that you are running one together!

      • Awesome, thanks for the info!! I’ll take all that in to consideration. I looked in to Cheshire but that may be too early as well. That heat must’ve killed you guys if you like running in the snow!!! That’s some bravery right there. Thanks again!

      • GAH. The heat is our kryptonite! I agree with Tina. Fairfield is a great race- and yes, it’s hot. But it’s a great course, really well run and has an awesome post race party. This year will be the first New Haven Road Race Half Marathon along with the traditional 20k. That’s a fun one too! The weather is a crap shoot. It’s Labor Day Weekend. Love that you’re running with your friend!!! Let us know what you decide! And good luck! We might see you there! πŸ™‚

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