The Woodlands Half Marathon 2017 Recap & Tips

The Woodlands Half Marathon took place on March 4, 2017. I was given a free entry on March 1 so I signed up that day and started planning for race day - when to take gels and how I'd taper until race day with a couple of easy 3 mile runs. 

Since I ran the Rocky Raccoon 50K trail race three weeks ago, I wasn't sure how I'd feel running so soon. I felt great, though! I finished in 2:10 and I was 35th of 122 females in the 50-54 age group. It was a great race day!

The Expo

Expo/Packet Pick-up: The expo took place on the day before the race. I arrived at 10:10 (it started at 10) and waited in line for 20 minutes. Then I spent 20 minutes walking around the small to medium sized expo. I parked across the street from the expo - easy parking!

Getting to the Race: I live near the race course and I've run the marathon in The Woodlands twice and the half marathon twice before so I felt safe leaving home at 5:35. I was parked at 6:00 in the blue lot, leaving me plenty of time to be in my corral at the required time of 6:40 for the 7 AM race. 

I Crossed the Finish Line! (I'm not pictured, but the green finish sign is there.)

Race day parking: Just go straight to the colored lots. Remember where you parked because there aren't a lot of landmarks and it's easy to lose your car. I've seen runners with lost cars more than once!

Weather: The predicted weather was 55-65 for the morning and I think that was what we had. It was overcast and never felt too warm.

I finished, called my husband and picked up my checked gear bag.

Course: There are mild hills and shade trees.

Fuel Pre-race: Rocket Fuel cookbook 
Chocolate banana pancakes, coffee; GU gel at the start

Filled my gear bag with food for the walk back to my car!

Fuel During the Race: Gatorade Endurance drink and 3 GU gels (miles 3, 7, and 10). Carry an extra gel or be flexible about when they hand out the gel and you'll be a happy camper.

Fuel Post-race: chocolate milk (hits the spot!), Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits, fruit (oranges, apples, bananas), muffins, cookies, fruit juice, protein bars

Picked up my finisher's race shirt - I like it!

The Finish: The spectators did a great job of cheering for us at the end!

Gear: I wore new shoes today: Asics gel noosa tri shoes. Comfortable!

Parting shot of the lake on my way to my car. A fun day at the race!

I'm glad that I listened to music during the race. Some parts of the course seemed really quiet when all of the runners were quietly pushing forward with only the road ahead and the trees on the side of the road. My music was a nice distraction. Oh, plus there was that runner who kept singing out loud with his music!

One great thing about running a half marathon rather than a longer race is that it's over sooner. I had time to race, clean up and write this blog post all before lunch time today!


  1. Ha! A half is as far as I go. And I'm tired afterward!

    Sounds like a good race (if unremarkable).

    1. I'm a little sore, the kind where it feels great to stretch - so it's a good sore!

  2. I remember my one friend ran this marathon as her very first one and she enjoyed it. Glad you had a good time and you were in and out of there quickly! That is an odd set up for bag check. I've never seen it done like that before.

    1. Sorry, it's confusing the way I wrote, "Filled my gear bag with food for the walk back to my car!" beneath the photo of the line at the food tent. First, I went to the "gear check area" for my bag with a jacket in it and then I used my gear check bag to hold my food because this year I wasn't staying to eat it. There were two separate places like usual.

      I'm glad your friend enjoyed the race. It's a nice area to be a tourist and a nice place to live, too!

  3. Looks like a really great race! Perspective is everything a half would be long for me at this point in my life but it's short for you! lol! Glad you had a nice time!

    1. Thanks, Julie! Races are always more fun than running long on my own - an exciting morning!

  4. Great recap and loved all the pics! Yes, I agree, half marathon's are great for the quick finish and being able to carry on the rest of the day! ;)

    1. Even though this was my 9th half marathon, I've been running longer races lately and I kind of forgot how nice it is to run a half!

  5. I agree about the half marathon being a nice shorter distance to race. You race in the morning and have the rest of the day to do whatever! After a full, I would rather just sit the entire afternoon. As for an ultra marathon... I don't know how you do it, Tina! Some of those last the entire day I guess :)

    Very nice race and you had a great finish time! And you can't beat a free race entry!

    1. Thank you! I had to choose between running a free marathon or the half marathon and that was hard to do. I'm glad that I chose the half because they're fun, too! I had a little more energy near the end and this week I've gotten back to normal fairly fast.

  6. Nicely done, the 1/2 is such a great distance!!

    1. Thanks, Robin. This race was such a difference from my last race since this was shorter, a bigger field, a road race. It's fun to change it up a bit now and then.


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