Summerville Sweet Tea Half Marathon Race Recap Part 3: The Finish

Immediately medics swarmed me. I told them I just really needed to sit down. I kept repeating this as one medic practically dragged me to an ambulance. I’m pretty stubborn and was NOT getting into an ambulance after running my strongest half marathon ever, so I sat down on the curb and instantly could feel the cramp easing off ever so slowly. At this point I was surrounded by medics and firefighters and I quickly realized I hadn’t said anything other than I needed to sit. So I assured them all I felt great despite my finish line stumble. I explained I just had a really nasty cramp and I ran with it for about 3-4 miles. It took a bit of convincing, and one medic asked if I was dizzy or nauseous and I assured her I was great. I began stretching and immediately the cramp broke and I sighed in relief. The medic chuckled and told me they were just ahead if I need anything.

As a first responder wife, I have to say I do really precipitate the attentiveness of the EMT’s and firefighters that assisted me. I felt kinda dumb having fallen to my knees because I felt great, but I will say, cramps are no joke.

Sitting next to me on the curb was the gentleman who I focused on during miles 7-9 and I told him about how he really helped me during those tough miles and thanked him. We congratulated each other on our races, chatted for a bit, and then I got up to walk and stretch. I stayed long enough to see Mary Winn finish her first marathon with a smile on her face! I was getting pretty cold at this point and felt like my legs were walked out enough that I headed to my car and proceed to cry and take pictures.

Ugly crying in my car because I just ran an incredible race. 


You’ll notice I haven’t’ shared my time yet. And here’s the thing…my bib didn’t have a chip.

*cue audible gasps*

When I walked over to the timing tent, I had a finish time recorded, and the gentlemen said he didn’t get my chip start time. Evidently there were about 15 bibs that didn’t get a chip. He apologized, and that was that.

To say I was disappointed is a HUGE understatement. To work and fight as hard as I did on the course and KNOW that I PRed, but not know my time….ya’ll there really are no words for this. I still have no words for this. It’s beyond disappointing. I know I earned this time, and I know this time is a great reflection of my current fitness level, but not knowing what that time is, I am crushed.

And to add insult to injury, I actually noticed that my bib didn’t have a shiny silver sticker on it at the start. I offhandedly noticed someone else’s bib did, and I didn’t recall seeing one on mine, so I checked. Just minutes before the race started and I noticed I didn’t have a chip. And it never occurred to me to get this looked at, instead I just shrugged it off and told myself that the race timers knew what they were doing. And that was that. I don’t regret this honestly. I had worked so hard during my taper to focus on executing the race well. I was focused on the process of racing and I poured a lot of my mental energy into it instead of focusing on a specific time goal, and being nervous and anxious about achieving it.

I’m beyond proud of myself for recognizing all my hard work in the race, for not giving up, or giving in to walking, and staying mentally strong the whole way, that the bitterness of not having a finish time as warn off. And this is directly related to my taper and my shift in goals from race time to race performance. I will be eternally grateful for this.

So damn proud and happy!

My Garmin was accurate the whole race with the exception of the miles. I know I started my watch a second or 2 before I stepped foot on the starting mat, and I know I had to walk for a good 2-3 minutes before I got to the starting mat. Given these details I have decided to use my mile average pace to determine my time.

Here are my splits:

10:24, 10:14, 10:08, 9:27, 9:04, 9:03, 9:34, 9:45, 9:49, 9:55, 10:33, 10:06, 10:10 giving me a 9:50/mile average. My Garmin read 13.3 miles. Since I started my Garmin a little early and this compounded with every mile, plus feeling like I ran the tangents well, I decided just to use 13.1 miles as my finish mileage. I realize this isn’t necessarily accurate, but its all I’ve got right now.

My (unofficial-self-determined) Finish Time: 2:08:49

A 14 minute PR.

My race finish time was 2:11:09

My 12 mile training runs were done at 2:03 and 2:06, so to claim a 2:08 finish I feel is “fair.” And now I know to always keep my Garmin accurate.

If you’ve gotten this far, and read all 3 parts of my race recap, thank you! Thank you for all the support, encouragement, congratulations, and love! I have to say the running community is amazing! I love you all and keep running!


I’m curious, how would you determine your finish time, given my circumstance?

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