Applefest Half Marathon – 3rd overall woman!

Another gorgeous day in Hollis, NH – my second Applefest — last year placing sixth overall woman, and knowing I could run it faster, we made the 1 hour 40 minute trek to New Hampshire. Schuyler was in the Belchertown Fair parade and spending time with his friends, so Steve & I dropped him off early with Lynne and hit the road.

My training has been right on track and I am feeling fast training for the Marine Corps Marathon. I have put in 3 – 22 milers… but haven’t been racing much except a few mountain runs (which are indeed grueling)… I have dropped some weight with a renewed sense of diet and nutrition for fueling my body as well. So my goals were high…. I figured this could possibly be a PR for me and it really is a good gauge to wear I may be in shape for MCM. My goals were 1:28:00 (I had the pace chart printed and on my wrist from this great site)…. and then to PR would be my second goal: 1:28:47, and then of course hopefully to beat last year’s time of 1:32. See last year’s RESULTS and story.

We made it to the location, got signed in, a very cool high tech long sleeve shirt (that a medium is too large – note to self – unisex shirts need to order a small). I did a little jaunt around the parking lot for a warm up and some quick stretches before this amazing soundtrack of the star spangeled banner. Then a few of my favorite hits that are on my playlist played from the Black Eyed Peas and we were on our way! I love the photos Steve took of me in the beginning and it is pretty cool that the Brightroom Photography folks got that same shot. 🙂

The course was a few different loops (that totally turn me around…. did I tell you that I get lost in a paper bag?) — good thing the water stops were there and they directed me the whole way (thanking that this one was not in the woods!). There were about 3 hills and one in particular at mile 9 that went for a whole mile uphill was tortureous…. but I put my focus face on and pulled it out.

I was 4th for a while in the beginning, then third, finally passing Julia (from NH – winner at Big Lake 09), and then she passed me back with 3-4 miles to go. I ended up 3rd, but most important was that darn clock was ticking so slowly, but surely as I made the last stretch a dead sprint. I missed my PR, and I missed making it under 1:29 — but it was so gratifying being in third place. “Cash is King” — they advertised that 1,2,3 get cash and I was psyched! I recovered quickly, got a brief massage, change of clothes, spoke to the race director to let him know we needed to leave because of Schuyler’s game. Bummed – as I LOVE the celebration at the end of this race. The band rocks…. the people are fun…. the race is sold out every year…. I will get a comp entry again next year, the cash is in the mail and I walked away with this enormous fruit basket full of apples! I was / am ON top of the world with my results!

3rd woman
28th overall of 900 finishers
1/45 – age group F4549
Time: 1:29:01*
6:48 per/mile

I am hopeful in 2 weeks to set my PR in Hartford – another 1/2 marathon, but a much flatter course. I have a seeded number and will be near the start line with nothing to hold me back. I also have a seeded number in DC and again hope to get near my PR, if not have a personal record with a 3:05.

Stay tuned!

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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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