It was a last minute decision to run the Norfolk Half Marathon. After the last race I did (Bird-In-Hand), which was a torturous race (see review), I thought I could use a better experience like I’m used to having at races. Plus a couple friends also seemed interested in running it, so I signed up. Though my friends ultimately were unable to go, I had a great day at a well planned race.
This my first time in Norfolk/Portsmouth, and I really liked the area. It was a bit stressful traveling to the Expo the day before the race because packet pickup closed at 3PM with no packet pickups in the morning! My ETA was 2:40PM, so it only left 20 minutes to account for delays, etc. Of course, I would have tried to still get my bib number and shirt, even I got there after 3PM. But I did make it in time and got everything I needed. It was easy to park in a nearby parking garage and walk over to packet pickup. I did not see a lot of vendors there like some of the bigger races, but are only ~1600 runners in this race.
Race morning was cold and somewhat windy. The race started on time, with plenty of time between corralled runners to separate out the different paces well. I mostly ran with runners my pace and did not have to run laterally to pass a lot of slower runners like at some races. The course was really good, going through the city, Old Dominion University, and a little bit of trails. The course is flat and fast with little elevation – this is definitely a course one could get a PR. Towards the end of the race, the run is waterfront. I finished the race at 1:59:06, which was fine since I didn’t train for this race, and it was a last minute signup.
The post race was great! Food and drinks, a hat, Blue Moon beer and soup. I sat near the waterside and watched boats before catching a ferry back to Portsmouth. This race is highly recommended.
Rating: 4.8 out 5.0 stars.