B & A Half Marathon 2014

I have signed up for this race four times and ran it three (long story).  Without writing a whole new review for this race let me just get the obvious things out of the way.  I have read a bunch of reviews and almost everyone agrees on a few things:

1. Packet pickup and expo are very well managed.  Easy in and easy out. Always have a great premium.

2014 Premium

2014 Premium

2.  The race is a smaller field.

3.  The course is mainly flat with a hill down and up at the turn around point. There aren’t huge crowds but what there is is very supportive.

4. Awesome volunteers.  Awesome.

5.  The Annapolis Striders do an excellent job with this race, year after year.

I am not going to type a whole new review of this race.  Not a whole lot has changed from 2011 when I ran it.  It you are interested, you can check out that review:


….so I will skip ahead to….

Race Day- Chance of showers.  100% chance.  It was misty when I left my house and raining by 0730.  I waited until the gun went off before I ran from the High School to the start line. I guess I wanted to stay as dry as possible, but we were all soaked within a few minutes.  My next goal was to try and stay out of the big/deep puddles for as long as possible.  The constant attempts by runners to dodge, leap, skirt and hop puddles were probably amusing to anyone who braved the weather to cheer us on.  I applaud those among us who just dove right in and went straight through the puddles and streams.  I was not one of them.  I tried to tap dance around them the entire race (with limited success).

Despite the puddles and dancing, I found myself ahead of my 8:30/mile goal.  I found that I was able to climb the hill after the turn around without much difficulty.  My hands were numb, my shirt was frozen to my chest, and my shoes were cold and heavy, but I was running a pretty strong race.  I kept moving forward and passing runners trying to catch a guy in a black and yellow shirt that I mentally nicknamed Bumblebee.  I never caught up to him but he inspired me most of the race. Thanks Bumblebee.  I finished with a chip time of 1:45:14 which crushed my previous best of 1:57.  I couldn’t have been more pleased.

The Finisher's Medal

The Finisher’s Medal

Thanks again to the volunteers for staying out in the miserable weather.  It was cold, windy and wet (it even snowed later) but you all stood outside and cheered us on.  Thank you thank you thank you!!!

****Just like in 2011, I would give this race 4.5 stars and will do it again next year. The Annapolis Striders did an excellent job of putting on this race and taking care of the runners.


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