Monday, June 4, 2018

Up the Mountain: King Mountain Half

On May 5th I ran the Kings Mountain Half Marathon. This was my second time running this race, so I knew going in a bit of what I was in for, however, the course was rerouted for 2018, so it was pretty much all new to me again. And let me just say, the 2018 course was crazy harder than the 2017 one! But like the race registration page says, this Half Marathon isn't so much a race as a historic battle! And the course certainly live up to that.

The weather was pretty nice this year, which was a blessing, since it was super hot the previous year. When I arrived to the Park, the temps were in the mid-60s and the sun was hiding behind the clouds. I am super cold natured, so I knew I was going to need something to keep me warm both before and early into the race. That's where I knew my Buff UV Arm Sleeves would come in perfect. 

I love arm sleeves. Nice and cozy warm when you need them, and easy to slide off and tie on to your fuel belt when you don't. They kept me nice and warm pre-race and were actually so light and breathable, I wore them for the first 4 or so miles of the course. When I started to heat up, I was able to slip them right off and tie onto my belt without even breaking my stride. Additionally, I am sorting my new favorite running hat, the Buff Pro Run Cap, which also offers UV Protection in addition to being super light, comfortable and moisture wicking. 

Not much to say about the actual running part of the race except that it was a beast. Lots of hills, of course, but the route also was on a pretty gravelly road for a good portion (about 8 miles or so of the 13) with some pretty decent rocks to avoid. I was a bit nervous on a few of the more sloped down-hills about hitting a rock and losing my footing, but overall, I ended up navigating the course with no real issue. I will say the last mile or so was pretty up hill, which seems cruel, including the very final stretch being a pretty steep climb. I pushed through for a running finish, but I did see several people walking the finish line. I always say that this race is more than just a race, it is an adventure. It's a challenge I love to conquer.

After the race for Kings Mountain is always a great time. I knew several of the runners and stuck around to cheer them on. A Boy Scout Troop does a cookout for the race participants of burgers, chicken, or hot dogs with chips, drink and dessert. While hanging around to wait for award presentations, I started to cool down again, so back on went the arm sleeves. Not only did they warm me back up, they totally kept my bare arms protected from UV rays. 

When all the numbers were crunched, I ended up placing again this year, 2nd place in my division! Plus, despite the tougher course, I managed to knock 6 minutes off my finishing time! 
Dorking it up Post-Race!

Overall, it was a tough race, but again, a challenge I look forward to each year. I will for sure be back to conquer the mountain again in 2019. Who knows, last year I was 3rd, this year 2nd, maybe I can pull off a 1st placing then! 

(Disclaimer: I received several Buff products to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!)

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