1st in age, 56th female! – ING Hartford Half Marathon – 2012

It was 25 degrees as I drove my little Red Prius to Hartford this morning. I love the city — the history, the old buildings, churches and the ground where the Capital of Connecticut stands proud. I have run the marathon once with a time of 3:40 and the half in 2009 with a time of 1:31. The foliage and the villages of the Hartford area have a wonderful New England feeling & many of my friends are able to run this “home town” race. It fits right into my NYC marathon training plan and hoping now that I am ready to go for NY!

I walked from my car and went directly to the port-a-johns…. a nemesis and stress of the pre-race faux paux – this one takes the cake – With only 20 minutes till start time I stand in line with 1000s of others that need to get to the start. But I was in the back. I danced around the lines looking for the shortest one, really wanting to head to the start, but really NOT wanting to have to stop on the course as that would take away from my time. Well — I finally got there — took my time as I was afraid to drop my car key and my elite coral ticket into the ‘Poo” –YUCK. Success!

I flew out of there to the corral – that I couldn’t find. And the clock was ticking… on your mark, get set, go! I was with the 4 hour pace marathoners and stuck doing the zip zag run, speed up, slow down, jump on the curbs, sidewalks and hope not to cut anyone off and get yelled at. There were a few others with me following me and we made it through for the most part. It was quite the crowd! I felt strong, really strong for the first 6.2 miles… keeping it right around a 7 min/mile and then a few hills kicked me a little… sapping my energy. I pushed to catch a few pony tails and saw so many others wearing pink!

Lululemon Shorts
Inknburn Wonder Woman Sleeves
SF Marathon pink tank
Adios sneaks! 
CEP Compression running socks
Zensah hot pink sports bra 

 I celebrated my breast cancer survivor friends – Cheryl, Donna, Lily, Dara, Sue & Susan by wearing pink. Through all they have gone through I am sure to realize that extra toughness I had the whole outfit ready, but the shorts really clashed with everything else so I wore my black Lululemon pinstripes instead (LOVE THOSE SHORTS!) – I get compliments where ever I go – even on the way to the start this girl stopped me to ask me which style they were cause she liked them so much! 😉 Love my WW sleeves too — I got compliments on those on the run too — just gives me the strength & just a little more edge – without having to wear the whole costume! 🙂 I know it isn’t about what you wear, but when your whole wardrobe is tech clothes – it is fun to try what works! 🙂

The finish is the best – you get over that hump of feeling like you lost your PR and then you realize it is time to kick it in. I love all the crowds cheering like you the rockstar of the day — then to hear your name on the loudspeaker! Yay me! Another great race and a post cancer PR! I ran a 1:38:38 in the Stratton Faxton Half Marathon in June and didn’t place in my age — so I wasn’t sure what fast girls may have shown up here today.

I won my age group! At first I was second place when I checked and the girl must have been put in the wrong age group, so I will check again tomorrow – BUT I am in first in my age right now so I took a screen shot! 🙂 Awesome feeling —- and I really think I can run faster considering my weight is high and I really didn’t get much sleep last night !


Hartford’s medal is of the gateway you finish through at the end — it is a real historic capital city — the medal shows the surrounding and is just so beautiful – I had to share. The last time I won my age I got a really cool crystalesque plaque. Hartford Marathon Foundation does a real great job in putting together this race – they were awarded the “greenest” marathon status — a pipe with lots of water fountains off it for the finish – then they gave you a water bottle with the logo on it — and a recycled bag for the goodies too. The bag check bag is also re-usable. Very nice, and truly appreciated.

New York City Marathon ! 21 days! I opted out of the bag check and looking forward to the fleece cape and early exit from the “Death March” — I need to redeem my time there and hope to beat my SF Marathon time too! We shall see, but this is the time of year when I should be in the best shape and anything is possible! So excited that all my training has paid off and I am living life to the fullest cancer free! Less than 2 years ago I was running in Chicago and finishing my last rounds of treatment. I was bald. Today I had the bouncing ponytail going — it was awesome! Wahoo!

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Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles. 

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