2017 Honeywagon Runs Half Marathon

This was my second year running GBRC’s annual Honeywagon Runs in Everson, WA. The course is fairly flat which makes it a great first half marathon to try out, and later gives people the opportunity to catch a PR (previous year's race recap can be found here)! This year, the runs were forced to find a new starting/finish area and route because the Nooksack Valley Middle School is under construction. Originally I was looking forward to being familiar with the course, but I didn’t realize the route changed until the week of the race…oops! Distance options are 4 mile or half marathon, allowing walkers to start at 8:00am and runners at 9:00am. Something new and fun this year was a free half mile run for the kiddos! The race is free for GBRC members, $25 early registration for nonmembers, and $30 day of race registration for nonmembers. Not a bad deal at all! They also offered a unisex t-shirt and finisher’s medal for additional purchase with registration.

Photo by Matt Frymire

I woke up at 6:50am on race day and surprisingly had the best night’s sleep I’ve EVER had before an event! Eisley stayed asleep and I didn’t have any anxiety or jitters causing me to wake up throughout the night either. Although, excitement makes me super scatter-brained and forgetful, so the evening before I wrote a pre-race checklist and laid everything out. For breakfast I ate a piece of hemp toast, made a smoothie using Nuun Active Lemon-lime with spinach, banana, frozen pineapple, hemp protein powder, and flaxmeal, and finished it off with a cup of black coffee. I also prepped my favorite chia seed kombucha drink to sip right before the event. We had rain with high wind gusts in the forecast, so I wore a warm long-sleeved shirt with shorts, knee-high socks, my Nuun hat, and had gloves in my vest just in case. Eisley actually slept in, so I didn’t get to steal baby kisses before I left.

Race day fuel!
I planned on a 30 minute drive, but it was closer to 40. Driving in an unfamiliar area with no cell phone service had me kind of nervous, but once I crossed the Nooksack River, Riverside Park was on my left. Thank goodness! It was dark, cold, and windy, but no rain. I jogged to the registration table to check-in and grab my bib. There were two porta-potties with quite a line and only 15 minutes until start time. I was not about to make the mistake of not peeing before, like at my last half marathon, which forced me to stop mid-race so I could tinkle like a ninja while watching my average pace go down. Womp womp.

There were only 81 participants in the half marathon distance and the starting line had an intimate, community feel to it. Everyone was in high spirits, even with the gloomy weather! The announcer did a countdown and at 9:00am, we were off! We did a quick loop through the park along a trail before heading out onto the rural, country roads. We started out by running the route of the 4 mile course before passing Riverside Park again to head out further North. I felt well-fueled, well-rested, and ready to kick booty! These first few miles were a little faster than I had planned, but it didn’t feel like it was using much effort. There were two runners just ahead of me and one girl that was right behind me for the majority of the race. Nothing beats hearing someone run behind you to motivate you to go a little bit faster! The course had a total of five aid stations along the way offering water or an electrolyte drink. While passing the third station, I saw two friends volunteering, which made me smile!

I took this with my phone around mile 4

Between miles 9 and 10, my right foot became highly sensitive and began bothering me. To be honest, it was more than bothering me, it had me slightly worried. I focused on my breathing and the cows and horses of the farms we passed, but my foot kept creeping into my mind. At this point, my goal was to finish the race without stopping or walking. It was a mental and physical challenge, me against me. When I wasn’t even to mile 12 and it was 1:44, my goal time, my ego stung a little bit. I continued on, running into the strong headwinds on the exposed country roads, enjoying the final moments of the race. We returned to Riverside Park and did a final loop back on the trail and I finished officially in 1:50:08. Full results can be found here by BuDu Racing. The finish line party was a chilly, windy cookout. They had the grills fired up for hotdogs, there was a spread of fresh fruit and trail mix, and I tried to warm up with a cup of hot tea. Thanks to the Race Director, Larry Lober, for adapting to the school’s construction issues and putting together an awesome event at a new location!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


  1. Sounds like a fun event. Hope your foot is feeling better!


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