A half marathon race course is not the place to show how tough you are. Just being in the race is proof of that. For some, claiming they didn’t walk one step during the race is a bragging point. If that is your goal, that’s fine but walking during a race, particularly one with hills like the ARX Half Marathon, is not a sin and can mean the difference of meeting your race goals or not.
Some believe walking up steep hills, particularly in the early part of a race, is more a more efficient strategy than running up. The theory is, why blow yourself up early running up a hill when walking will get you there almost as fast with much less energy expense? There are three places on this course that lend itself to this strategy:
- Cherokee Road between Terrace Drive and Canterbury
- Inglewood Road as it curves past the golf course toward the entrance to the Country Club of Asheville
- The top half of Jarnaul Road past Beaver Lake
Others might suggest portions of Lookout Road between miles 10 and 11. That road is more long than steep but it all depends on how you are feeling at the time and how much you need to save for the final ascent into downtown. At that point, it might feel good to walk a couple portions of that road.
Aid stations are another place to take a short break as you grab that cup of fluid or snack. It is much easier to drink while walking than while running and it ensures you will ingest more of the valuable fluid. There are nine of them on this course which means nine short opportunities to save fuel while taking it in at the same time.