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2015 GRU Augusta Half Marathon and 10K

The GRU Augusta Half Marathon and 10K‘s tag line is “Half as long. Twice as cool.” And in 2015 I think it’s safe to say that it may still be half as long – but it’s definitely more than twice as cool. This year, the 13.1 half marathon distance and 6.2 mile 10K distance will still be available – but for those looking to tackle a more managable beginner’s distance, there will also be a Sports Fanatic 5K. Runners and walkers can dress up like their favorite athlete or wear their favorite team colors. Although there’s plenty of awesome new stuff going on – the aspects of the race that make it a local and visitor favorite remain. No matter which course you run, you’ll get great views of our historic downtown and Summerville neighborhood. We love this Run Pretty blog by Presley – it gives a great overview of what you can expect for the GRU Augusta Half Marathon. Register to run the half, 10K or 5K today and make the start of your 2015 awesome.

Run Pretty: 2013 Augusta Half Marathon

Sunday I ran my second half of the year. I have a feeling 2013 will be the year of half marathons for me. I’m having fun with them! Maybe 2014 will be my year for speed and short distances then? One can dream, right? I guess I could try to get a bit faster at the half distance this year, buuut that would require some sort of training. I really didn’t run much at all before this race other than running the ZOOMA Florida Half in January. Basically, I was under trained and overenthusiastic. ;) I do really want to break 2:00, so I supposed I’ll have to put some effort in soon!

Anyway, Saturday afternoon I went to the Augusta Half expo with my friend Logan and her friend Allison. It was a very small expo, but it had surprisingly decent booths and swag. For a smaller race, they definitely went out of their way to make it as exciting as possible. They even gave away free hot chocolate and coffee outside. They had me at liquid calories. ;) No, for real, the hot chocolate was the bomb. (Do people still say “the bomb”? I do when I can’t say “the s#*t”.)

augusta half marathon expo

Sunday morning I got up and got ready in my own house. I seriously have to start running more local races. Getting up and drinking your own coffee/eating your own peanut butter is miraculous. I chugged some coffee and scarfed down a huge peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon sandwich. I forgot my beloved bananas and chia seeds. I think I was still asleep. The weather was pretty chilly, but it was nothingcompared to what they had been forecasting leading up to the race. They had originally called for even colder weather and rain. HOLLA for just chilly temps and eventual sun! Can you tell I was cold here? It’s either that or I needed to pee really badly.

augusta half marathon

Logan, Allison, and I met up with Madeline and her friend Erynn before the race. Without really discussing it, we broke into groups. We all had a general idea of how we wanted to run, so I guess we naturally split up. Erynn was a speed demon, so she broke off immediately. Madeline and I decided to run together, followed by Logan and Allison.

I am so glad she let me run with her, because I hadn’t the slightest game plan going into this race. She had a smart racing strategy, which I definitely appreciated. After all, look at these hills:

augusta half marathon elevation

I didn’t wear my Garmin (story for another day), but I know our splits thanks to my running partner/coach. :)

Mile 1: 9:42

Mile 2: 9:32

Mile 3: 9:37

Toward the beginning of the race, there was a small bridge to warm us up. My ankles appreciated the tease before the killer inclines to come. Thankfully, it was followed by a flat stretch of road.

augusta half marathon

augusta half marathon slant

Miles four and five were probably the roughest miles of the day. The incline started slowly, but pretty soon your ankles wanted to gnaw your legs off to force you to stop running. That’s probably just my take on it, haha, but it was a loooong hill. You can’t really tell from the picture, but towards the turn at the top, it gets vicious. When you look at our splits, you can see us start to slow down at mile 4 and then totally die on mile 5. ;)

augusta half marathon hill

Mile 4: 9:53

Mile 5: 10:50

Mile six was pretty uneventful. There was a sizable chunk of downhill running, so we sped up. I honestly think that’s when I started to hurt myself a little. When we hit the climbs, I was very careful with my running. I was pretty haphazard on the way down, though. We were talking more and I just wasn’t paying attention. My poor ankles.

Mile 6: 9:13

Mile seven had a bit more ups and downs, but we also decided to just coast for a while. It was fun to chill out a bit.

Mile 7: 10:09

At the beginning of mile 8 was this beautiful beast. That hill was no joke, but we survived it relatively well. I think we were able to manage a consistent pace because we had relaxed leading up to it.

augusta half marathon hill

Mile 8: 10:07

There were a few more sporadic hill after that, but nothing as intense. I won’t lie, though, even small inclines pissed me off at that point. I’m pretty sure I said my fair share of nasty words.

Mile 9: 9:36

Miles 10 and 11 wrapped around Lake Olmstead. It was a nice change of scenery. I kept thinking the cars that were passing us were going to splash me with water from the road, but I made it out okay. That’s really not relevant to the race, is it?

augusta half marathon lake olmstead

Mile 10: 10:02

We both started to get pretty tight at the beginning of mile 11. We saw a wall (both literally and figuratively…) and stopped to stretch. My left IT band and my right ankle were screaming obscenities at me. I definitely needed to stretch. I felt so much better after stopping. It was also a lifesaver, because we came up on a very unexpected incline after that.

Mile 11: 11:04

Mile 12 contained the last “hill”, which really was just a bridge that made me angry. It’s all good, though. We survived.

Mile 12: 9:52

Once I saw the “MILE 12″ sign, I got so daggum excited. I knew we were almost done. We decided to speed up some and get this bad boy over with. Right at the end of mile 13, Madeline’s husband snapped a picture. 1.) I’m a nerd. 2.) At least I have proof I’m heal striking less. 3.) You can’t fake joy like that.

augusta half marathon

Mile 13: 9:04 (BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!)

At that point, we sprinted to the finish holding hands (…into the sunset… no? fine).

Mile 13.1: 7:47

Official Time: 2:09:33

It was a challenging race, but it was so worth it in the end. I’m very grateful that Madeline let me run with her the entire time. I’m probably the most irritating person to run with. I may or may not have the most inconsistent pacing and carry on the most annoying conversations. I’m a joy. She PR’d by the way, so that was AWESOME. I’m pretty ready to PR now, too. BRING IT.

augusta half marathon

With that, the second half of 2013 was in the books. PS: How cute are the medals? My wedding was pink and green, so I’m definitely a fan.

augusta half marathon

The only real major problem for me was no fuel provided on the course. I generally am the most unprepared runner alive, so I needed a little something handed out. Madeline shared her chomps (edited: apparently they were honey stingers… maybe I really was totally out of it?!), so I am forever indebted to her. I will definitely be running this race again, although I will train next time for sure. Hill repeats are pretty necessary for this half. Trust me.

I also want to shout out to Logan for running her second half of the year. She’s a beast. :) Hope y’all are still having a good week!


Check out more of Presley’s Run Pretty blog here.

Augusta Gift Guide

When trying to find the perfect gift, we all need a little help sometimes. When shopping we love local shops for their unique offerings.

Here are our 4 picks for gifts around $100, $50 and $25 at locally owned retail shops around Augusta. Click on the item links to purchase online (where available) or stop by Augusta’s local retail shops to find these and other unique items.

Around $100

original

1) High Cotton MacIntosh Tartan Suspenders from Low Country Clothier – $125 – Buy Now

2) Tire City Potters Altered Centerpiece -$108 – Buy Now

3) Palm Frond Cuff Bracelet by Gogo Ferguson at the Morris Museum Store – $75

4) Men’s Augusta, Georgia Wind Jacket at the Augusta Visitor Center- $92

Around $50

original

1) Tire City Potters Green Parafin Oil Lamp – $53 – Buy Now

2) Ronaldo Infinity Bracelet at The Swank Co. - $50

3) Blown Glass Votive Holder by Loretta Eby at Art on Broad - $32

4) Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar set from High Country Olive Oils - $30 – $55 – Buy Now

Around $25

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1) Tire City Potters Faceted White Bowl – $28 – Buy Now

2) Fruitland Augusta Peach Tea Vodka at White Horse – $25

3) Stain Glass Peaches by Schweitzer Art Glass at the Augusta Visitor Center – $16

4) Jewelry by Popli Tin at Art on Broad – $15 – $26

Local Store Information:

Art on Broad – 1028 Broad Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 722-1028

Augusta Visitor Center – 560 Reynolds Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 724-4067

High Country Olive Oils – 343 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 854-0055

Low Country Clothier – 426 Furys Ferry Road, Augusta Ga – (706) 869-4230

Morris Museum of Art Store – 1 Tenth Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 724-7501

The Swank Co. – 391 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 364-3421

Tire City Potters – 210 Tenth Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 294-3871

White Horse Wine & Spirits – 497 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 733-2262

Inside Scoop for Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference

If you’re in town for the Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference this week, you’ll find plenty to do and lots of fun while you’re here.

Things to do while you’re here:

Got kids? On Wednesday mornings The Book Tavern hosts Super Awesome Story-Time. Take the kiddos for free cookies and a story while you browse and shop with your Augusta Current-C. For more information – check out The Book Tavern on Facebook!

Love music? Rock band Adelitas Way with special guests Starset and Refuge Lost will play at Sky City in downtown Augusta on Thursday, September 4th. Doors open at 8 p.m. Music starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door. Sky City accepts Augusta Current-C!

Love books? The Book Tavern will have a book signing on Thursday, September 4th. For more information – check out The Book Tavern on Facebook!

Love food? Veritas wine & tapas bar at La Maison on Telfair in downtown Augusta hosts a wine pairing on Thursday evening. Get 4 wines paired with 4 tapas for only $25. Also, all week long, get a free dessert (coupon here) to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner at French Market Grille in Surrey Center. Both restaurants will be on the dine-around on Thursday evening and accept Augusta Current-C.

Love to shop? The conference may end on Friday, but your visit to Augusta doesn’t have to end yet! Stick around for another night and enjoy First Friday in downtown Augusta. The shops downtown stay open late. There’s live music and art. It’s awesome. And many of the downtown shops accept Augusta Current-C! Then, on Saturday, hit the Augusta Market for breakfast (you HAVE to try a Stuffed Puppy – it’s a giant hush puppy stuffed with grits, eggs, cheese and sausage) or go for a guided hike at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park.

Augusta Current-C

Attendees registered for the full conference – make sure to hang on to your Augusta Current-C! While you’re out downtown and at Surrey Center, look for the GTC Talk Bubble. Any business displaying it accepts Augusta Current-C.

Restaurants:

Augustino’s Bee’s Knees Boll Weevil Café Calvert’s
Craft and Vine Farmhaus Finch and Fifth French Market Grille
La Maison on Telfair Nacho Mama’s Oliviana’s Takosushi

Art Galleries / Shops:

Art on Broad Gallery on the Row
Vintage Ooollee
The Book Tavern
Oddfellows Gallery Zimmerman’s Gallery
Curvitude
Tire City Potters

Bars / Nightlife

O’Donovan’s Irish Pub
Sky City
The A List: November 2013

Top 5 things to get excited about in Augusta, Ga this November

Oka’Chaffa Indian Festival: November 9 -10, 2013

Two days full of Native American art, crafts, dances, music, food, games and a tribal drum competition – all in the beautiful Phinizy Swamp. For more info, visit NaturalSciencesAcademy.org.

Sacred Heart Holiday Open House: November 14, 2013

Last year we got a loaf of Cinnamon Apple Pecan Bread and we’ve been talking about it ever since! Get freshly baked goodies along the halls downstairs or stop by the gift shop to see what kind of holiday décor and gifts they have for the season. For more info, visit SacredHeartAugusta.org.

Christmas Made in the South: November 15 – 17, 2013

Hundreds of local and regional artisans bring their hand-crafted products to one place for your shopping pleasure. Find hand-made toys, refinished antiques, home and outdoor decoration, ornaments and lots more. For more info, visit AugustaEntertainmentComplex.com.

Annual Holiday Gingerbread Village: November 21 – December 1, 2013

Creative locals build iconic Augusta landmarks from gingerbread, icing and all manner of sugary snacks and put them on display in the Augusta Museum of History. Browse the sweet collection surrounded by a life-sized winter town in the Augusta Museum rotunda.  For more info, visit AugustaMuseum.org.

Image courtesy of the Augusta Chronicle.

Christmas in the Backcountry: November 30, 2013

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the light displays and gift giving. Get a glimpse of how early colonists and their slaves observed Christmas. The Living History Park will be bustling with live exhibits to show the simple celebrations that gave meaning to the holiday season for the early settlers. For more info, visit ColonialTimes.us.

For more information on attractions, restaurants, hotels and events in Augusta, Ga visit AugustaGa.org.

The “A” List: September 2013

Top 5 things to get excited about in Augusta, Ga this September

Border Bash: September 6, 2013

Fall and football go together like peas and carrots. Border Bash celebrates a long-time rivalry between the University of South Carolina and University of Georgia – bringing fans of both teams together for a night of music, drinks and a little trash-talking right on the border of our two great states. For more info, visit BorderBash.net.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band: September 16, 2013

New Orleans in coming to Augusta! The iconic Dirty Dozen Brass Band will take the stage at the historic Imperial Theatre downtown. Opening for the group are local favorites Funk You and JAMP. One night, three awesome bands – need I say more? For more info, visit ImperialTheatre.com.

Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival: September 20 -22, 2013

Arts in the Heart wasn’t named a top 20 event in the Southeast for nothing! Good food. Awesome art of all kinds. Live performances. The beer garden. All bursting at the seams in the heart of downtown Augusta on Broad Street. 5 bucks in advance, or $10 at the gate gets you into the festival all weekend – you just can’t beat that! For more info, visit ArtsInTheHeart.com.

Les Miserables: September 27-29, 2013

One of the most epic musicals of all time is being brought to life on the Imperial Theatre stage. Whether you’ve seen it a million times, or only ever heard of it – don’t miss the chance to see this Broadway smash. For more info, visit AugustaPlayers.org.

intermedix Ironman 70.3 Augusta: September 29, 2013

The largest half Ironman in the world brings world-class athletes to Augusta’s front door. Come and cheer each of them on as they push themselves to complete a 1.2 mile swim in the Savannah River, a 56 mile bike ride throughout Georgia and South Carolina and a 13.1 mile run through downtown Augusta. You will be amazed. For more info, visit AugustaSportsCouncil.org.

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