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Thank you, Half Fanatics, for my 13.1 Adventures

September 20, 2016

Little bit of history …

My first half marathon was in 2007. My second was in 2008. Then I did one during my training for the 2009 Inaugural Seattle Rock and Roll marathon.


After I did that marathon (still my one and only) I realized that my body liked half marathons better. That 26.2 miles was excruciating!

2010 and 2011 were taken up by breast cancer; I did a few halfs, most notably the 2010 Seattle Rock and Roll Half six weeks after I had surgery. The doctor told me I shouldn’t, but I knew myself. I wrapped up tight and had a great race.

I joined Half Fanatics on New Year’s Eve 2011. I saw the world of half marathons laid out on a website and Facebook – people do one in each state –  people do one each weekend – or two or three! But I didn’t think that was me, because I am slow and I was last to be picked for a team in PE … and, well, you know. But it was still nice to belong. I bought the shirt and buff and wore them proudly to the races.


Then something amazing happened. The shirt made me part of a community that was the friendliest and most supportive I had ever experienced. No one cared if I was slow, or where I finished. I met really interesting, colorful, and just plain nice people who shared their knowledge and enthusiasm.  I had fun. I got medals. Which made me want more medals.


Aside on the medals: Half Fanatic Sunny Delaney entered her collection of medals and bibs at this year’s Western Washington State Fair and won the People’s Choice award. We do like our medals!


I only did a couple of races in 2012, including the Inaugural Rock and Roll in Lisbon, Portugal, held ON MY BIRTHDAY, which fueled my desire to do more international races.


After the Lisbon, Portugal RNR

In 2013 I did nine races, including one I dedicated to my dad who had died a couple of months earlier.


By 2014 I was determined to get to Jupiter status in HF and I ended the year with 12 completed halfs including my second international race running along the Caribbean in Belize.

Two miles to go!

Two miles to go!

Which brings me to now

Early on I marked the halfs I did on a little scrap of paper I kept on my refrigerator, but when I joined HF I started keeping them online. In May I celebrated a good running friend’s 100th, and it dawned on me that I had no idea how many half marathons I had done. So I found the scrap of paper, then counted the ones I had tracked online and I was at 45. OMG, 45? Amazing for the girl who was always picked last.

I had already registered for the Cocoa Beach Half in October (I want the I Dream of Jeannie bottle that is the medal, and I need Florida),


so if I played it right I could make that one my 50th. One thing about Washington in the summer and fall, there are a lot of half marathons! I found the four I needed, finished, and added them to my count and voila! Cocoa Beach will be number 50!

So my new goals are to do one in each state and in as many countries as my life allows. I have a milestone birthday in 2017, and it is actually on a Saturday, so I want to find a spectacular way (read: race) to celebrate it!

I have signed up for four more 2016 half marathons after Cocoa Beach, and one more may make it in. It will take me a lot less time to get to 100 than it took to get to 50!

2017? Already registered for my second Nevada race (I love going downhill!) and now that my life has made a sudden left turn towards retirement I have no doubt I will have a very interesting year!

Last night I spent an hour researching races in China (there are a bunch). Thank goodness for Google Translate. Yes, I would like to do one on the Great Wall, but the hill training you have to do is a little disconcerting to me. See above statement where I like going downhill!

Other possibilities? The Race Director from Kuwait told me I had plenty of time to finish their race. I love the idea of doing five halfs in five days in five states with Mainly Marathons. There is the race in Myanmar where you wind your way around Buddhist temples. My cousins live close to this one in Michigan where you cross thirteen bridges in 13.1 miles. I found one in the Iowa town where I started kindergarten so may go there in November. I need Iowa, too:)

So many choices! So exciting! Where will I go next?

Back to Half Fanatics

In the HF community I discovered a lot of people my age who are totally crazy about doing the races. A lot of them.  One amazing guy is on his 113th country.  I know several who are on their second or third go around for collecting states. What about doing 4 races in 4 days in Kaua’i, Hawaii? I know if I ask, people will give me their opinion on the best race to do in China. Or Kansas. Or anywhere!

I am looking forward to being just as crazy! Thanks, Half Fanatics! Couldn’t be doing this without you!

  1. Marge Bethel permalink

    You are such an amazing person it is such a pleasure to get to know you and have you in our training group! I have
    no doubt that you will achieve everything you set out to do and more! Run Happy you fanatical fantastic Fanatic😊 Love reading about all your adventures

  2. Susan & Chuck Harvey! permalink

    Awesome running log Cathy thank you so much for sharing your running journey. We sure hope to have our paths cross, hopefully in 2017, when Chuck will be working in completing his quest to complete a Half Marathon in all 50 States too!

  3. Ron Hoppe permalink

    If I did not know better, I would say you are an imposter, but the running down hill, yup that’s the Cathy I know.

  4. Yours is an amazing story of a kid pick last in PE who turns into an athlete. When we first met, I never would have guessed. You are inspirational!

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