Race Recap: 2015 West Point “Fallen Comrades” Half Marathon

So, a while back, my running group here at West Point decided to sign up for the 2015 West Point “Fallen Comrades” Half Marathon.  I immediately signed up since the memorial run honors fallen graduates of the United States Military Academy and is home turf.  Well, fast forward to last weekend and it was race day!  Despite not running long since the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, I thought I would go ahead and run it for fun.  And, with the support of all my crazy running friends on social media, it seemed like a no brainer to go ahead with the race, after all this wasn’t my first time running a half!

West Point Half Marathon

I left my house and arrived at Michie Stadium at the United States Military Academy around 8:15am.  For a 9am start, I thought this would leave me plenty of time.  When I arrived, the registration lines were very long.  The lovely dusting of snow was still on the turf in the stadium and the temperatures were biting cold.  The snow certainly didn’t help keep the feet warm, that’s for sure.  I received my bib just as the parachute team was jumping into the stadium.  It never gets old to see them!  They are amazing.  After I secured my bib, I dropped my bag check and headed to the starting like.  It was just at 9:00am when they announced that the race would be delayed an additional twenty minutes.  I was really upset because it was absolutely freezing outside! West Point Half Marathon

As with any military race where there are tributes to the fallen, this race was no different and I found it gut wrenching to run by mile markers paying tribute to the lost lives of recent USMA graduates, especially when there were family members of the fallen soldiers there too.  It was really difficult to watch various runners stop, pay their respects, or perform push ups at each mile marker.  It was definitely a very moving experience.  As for the course, the first few miles were relatively flat and offered some downhills as we descended down to the Hudson River.  Our first climb was right around the 4.5 mile mark.  From there we traveled on slight inclines and relatively flat roads through the more residential sections of West Point before the real beastly hills started. {Note:  I didn’t take any pictures during the race but feel free to check out this post for some of my favorite West Point views!

Somewhere right around the 10k mark, I felt a stabbing pain in the bottom of my foot.  I went from cruising to being stopped in my tracks.  I’m writing this recap on Monday night and I am right in the thick of being pissed at myself for not quitting at that point.  If I could go back in time, I would have stopped at that moment and called it quits.  Instead, I let my ego get the best of me and I finished the race.  In that moment during the race, I felt like quitting was the weak thing to do, I didn’t want to look like a quitter in front of my running group, and I wanted to honor the fallen.  They gave their lives, the least I could do was finish a half marathon in their honor.  Sure, those sound like legitimate reasons to stick it through.  Yet, after the sense of accomplishment of finishing wore off post-race, I realized that what I did was potentially really, really stupid of me.  And, here I am freaking out worried about my foot and running Ragnar in two weeks.

So, with that I will spare you the details of my finish and the rest of the incredibly hilly run.  It involved many miles of beating myself up over whether or not I was doing the right thing.  I’m proud of the finish yet pissed that I willed myself to finish, if that makes any sense.  At this point, this is likely the most rambling piece of writing ever posted to this blog so thanks for listening.

West Point Half Marathon

I’m hoping that a little rest, ice, elevation, and compression will do the trick.  I can’t bear the thought of letting my Ragnar team down.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me!



  1. ugh… I feel your pain. I'm sorry. Hindsight is always 20/20 but wishing you fast healing my friend!
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    • I wrote this post last night and I am feeling better today. Epsom salt baths, rolling, compression and lots of icing going on over here. Oh, and I also booked an acupuncture appointment for Friday. It can't hurt, right?!

  2. Aw man, Lis! I am crossing my fingers and toes that you’ll be fine for Ragnar. If you can’t run it, we will figure something out. No problem! Don’t over do it. And I will not hesitate to remind you of this post if it looks like you’re being stubborn :). I won’t let you potentially cause more damage just to run with us. That said, get better xoxo

  3. Lisa Jones says:

    So sorry this was such a bad experience. I hope you didn’t do any serious damage and you’ll be all healed up for Ragnar. Take it easy girl! P.S. I like the medal! 🙂

  4. oh I’m so sorry to hear about your foot! The idea of the run sound so good – so respectful – but not good for you. Wishing your health and healing!
    Bradley recently posted…5 Reasons Why March Exceeded my ExpectationsMy Profile

  5. So sorry to hear about your pain during the race. You are quite the trooper for finishing it. Hopefully rest will help and get you strong for Ragnar race coming up.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness.com recently posted…I Need to Log Off and Go RunMy Profile

  6. Hopefully you'll be ready for Ragnar, but I would've done the same thing. The fallen have given their lives and I would've felt awful if I stepped off the course.
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  7. Tierney says:

    Fingers, toes, arms…. all crossed that your foot feels better! I have read some gut-wrenching posts about runners being injured and having to give up midrace and it sounds like it is always a hard decision. Absolutely in awe that you finished with that many miles left over here. (And yes, I did think of you when I hit the hills on my race this weekend and kept reminding myself "West Point is probably steeper"… as I walked those bits)

  8. Races that honor fallen military personnel are so gut wrenching. I remember the honor mile during MCM with tears in my eyes. Rest, ice elevate and hopefully you will feel great by the weekend!
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    • That mile in MCM nearly did me in… so emotionally difficult. This week was full of rest, ice, heat, compression, massage, and acupuncture. I don't think I can attempt anything else at this rate! Fingers crossed that it will go okay this weekend. Thanks for all the support!

  9. Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about your foot troubles mid-race. It's always such a tough call to make – whether to stop or continue on. I also think race fatigue sometimes clouds judgment. I've had that happen on more than one occasion. Until Ragnar, take it easy and rest up – I hope it heals up fast!
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  10. Oh no Lisa! So sorry! Have you been checked out by a doctor?
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  1. […] running just over 52 mins and all signs pointed to finally recovering! Well, that was until the West Point Half Marathon in March.  It should be renamed the race that broke me and then led to a terrible series of runs […]

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