**View other half marathon race recaps here.**
I came very close to backing out of this race. After my 8 mile training run the week prior, I experienced some irritation in my left kneecap. I self-diagnosed myself with the all too familiar ‘runners knee.’ Basically, irritation where the kneecap rests on the thigh bone. Although the pain was absent during my training run, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to risk further injury by ‘pounding pavement’ for 13.1 miles. I eventually decided (the day before the race) to give it my best shot.
Almost 48 hours later, and I still haven’t felt any pain in my knee (score!). I am walking funny and sore from the waist down, but my knee is feelin’ good! I am glad that I made the decision to run.
This was my first race as a Carelli (I got married this past March)! In the back of my mind, I kept thinking of this race as a new start to my running career.
Something inside my head told me to give this race all I’ve got. So, I did. I pushed myself. I kept a very fast pace (for me) from the beginning. Around the 6 mile mark, I started to worry that I may have come out too hard from the beginning, which would cause me to crash & burn during the second half of the run. While everyone’s pace seemed to slow down once we entered the parkway (because the trail narrowed and it was difficult to pass the runners in front), I managed to keep my pace in the 8:15-8:30 min./mile range until around mile 11, where I definitely crashed & burned. At that point, it became a mental game. I only had 2 more miles to run and was on pace for a PR. My pace slowed down a lot during those last 2 miles, but I still hit my PR and was very happy with my time.
This is not a flat race. Expect many hills, but the scenery changes a lot during the run and the scenic route makes the course very enjoyable.
What? St. Luke’s Half Marathon (13.1 mile run)
- There is also a youth run, family fun walk, and a 5k (3.1 miles)
Where? Allentown, PA
- The course begins at W. Allen High School and ends inside J. Birney Crum Stadium. There were thirteen live bands along the route. The course takes the runner through several Allentown parks, including the Lehigh Parkway. An uphill battle and a lap around a track makes for a very exciting stadium finish.
When? The 5k began at 8:00 AM and the half marathon began at 8:10 AM.
- The runner’s predicted finish time determined the color of their bib. All runners left at the same time (there weren’t corrals); however, the runners lined up at the start according to their bib color.
2014 Race Statistics
- 750 Children (aged 3-14) participated in the free youth run
- 577 runners finished the 5k
- 2,820 runners finished the Half Marathon
- 5k – 10 US states were represented by runners
- Half Marathon – 31 US states were represented and 2 European countries (Canada and Germany)
Proceeds support area youth running
This year was the fifth year that St. Luke’s University Health Network has sponsored the event. Proceeds from the St. Luke’s Half Marathon and 5k benefit youth fitness, health and running programs across the greater Lehigh Valley.