I prefer to participate in a race or two every month to preserve my fitness and motivate myself to consistently train. Running out of time in February 2021, I only a few days before registered for the Greenville Half Marathon on the last Saturday of the month in South Carolina, advertised as the “fastest half marathon in the South.” Half marathoners would take off in Travelers Rest, run through the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and finish on TD Stage at the Peace Center in downtown Greenville. I doubted I could challenge my personal best in the distance at this moment but still shot for a sub-1:50:00 on this net-downhill course.
I was assigned Corral 3, consisting of runners who submitted their estimated finish times close to mine, and the hundreds of us ran the initial mile and a half together prior to scattering following a minor incline. Having meticulously researched this race, I knew ahead of time the first four miles or so would comprise rolling hills and then most of the downhill running would begin, so I kept the balance between not pushing early and not falling off pace too much in hopes of making up in the faster miles so that my finish time could actually benefit from this layout. I could tell the swiftness of the course based on how little resistance my body felt for the pace I maintained, but visually most of the downhill sections, subtle and gradual, appeared more flat.
Physically, this 13.1-miler, 13.23 according to my Garmin, felt to be one of the easiest out of the 39 I have completed, albeit my 1:53:42.3 finish does not seem to indicate that. Perhaps the race director could consider naming this the “easiest half marathon in the South” instead.