Once I got into the race, it was really fun. The spectators for this race were so joyous, silly, encouraging, and wonderful.
I’d heard from one of my friends that the only all-women race she’d done had a really uplifting vibe that was hard to describe, and it was hard to put her finger on as to why it was so different from a normal race.
I was a bit skeptical. Racers and spectators are always awesome. How will this one be any different with mostly women? (It wasn’t quite all women. I think there were fifty-ish men in a crowd of over 3,000 women.)
But for some reason it did feel a little different, a little sweeter, a little happier. Not to fall into gender stereotypes or anything… it just was it was, and that was my experience.
Another cool thing that I noticed here was that there were people from the medical staff just out walking/running around – looking around, checking on people throughout the race. You didn’t necessarily have to wait until you got to a tent if you were out. They were out and about – offering water to anyone who looked dehydrated, trying to proactively help anyone they could.
I also loved that for the first time I can remember this year, I heard the Macarena on the course, and saw spectators doing the dance. It was pretty awesome.
Also, just a general note. I like the Phoenix area. It’s hot and sunny, of course, which is not my favorite, but the air seems so much nicer than the air on Los Angeles. It’s really pretty over there, and I just get a generally nice vibe from the Phoenix area. I like it.
After the race, there’s a Charm Transfer Station where people will help you take the charm out of the middle of your medal and put it on a necklace or bracelet if you want.
I was treated like an absolute queen at this event, and they gave me a free bracelet (Thank you!) ‘cause they liked my whole 52 in 52 deal!
I wasn’t completely sure how I’d feel about the idea of turning a medal into jewelry. It sounded pretty cool, but I wanted to wear it to see how I’d feel about it.
Now I can say I think it’s a pretty awesome idea. I think it’s fun to wear a piece of your medal around in day-to-day life – especially if this was someone’s very first half marathon (or maybe a PR), it’d be pretty cool. You get to have a little reminder on you all day of “look what I accomplished.”
(Of course, I kind of made a mess out of this race… But it’s still a very neat idea that I think is very cool.)
For me personally – oh my goodness, not even to bring it back to this, right? But, I’ve never been one to wear jewelry. When something is put around my wrist, I have a small flashback to wearing my hospital bracelets (‘cause there was a time when I was wearing them all the time). I am sure there will come a point in my life when I don’t have a tiny moment that thinks about hospital bracelets anytime I put on a bracelet – but that time hasn’t come yet.
I don’t live in that old world of the hospital. I don’t think about it all the time, but I do have small moments that catapult me back to some other moment from that time. Having something put on my wrist was one of those small moments.
I think it’s nice to be able to put something saying “Yeah, what up, world?” (It doesn’t literally say that) in the same spot that used to sport a sign of weakness.
So, there you have it. The Women’s Half Marathon. Truthfully, I loved it. I loved the vibe. I love the sweet medals and jewelry. I love the kind staff, the lovely runners. I love it all. I wish I wouldn’t have made a bit of a mess of my morning, but it is for sure a race I’d do again.