RACE RECAP: Rutgers Unite Half Marathon

Shortly before 8 o’clock the race director announced (to an approximate field of 4,500 runners) that a call was received from “Grammy award winning Taylor Swift” letting him know that “she was not available to sing the national anthem for us today”.

The 6th Annual Rutgers Unite Half-Marathon & 8k began with a mix of disappointment, relief and a few laughs. Let it be known the national anthem was lovely even without Taylor.

unite start

The campus is located in Middlesex County, but even as far out as my own Hunterdon County the easy to spot red “R” bumper stickers clearly tell you that you’ve landed right in the middle of Rutgers Country.

This was my first time running the Unite half-marathon, but my second registration for a Rutgers organized race (my first being the Big Chill 5k held in December each year). Their campus is large and their parking is limited, so it can be a bit frustrating. The earlier you arrive the easier it will be finding where you need to go and of course finding somewhere to park.

Typically I’m a fan of larger events. I love running through big city streets and traveling to new places that I get to experience for the first time during a race. However, there’s something to be said for the local races. Portions of this (mostly) flat course were beautiful, the smaller crowd meant no wait time for a shuttle to the start and there was very little on course foot-traffic.

The price tag for Unite can seem a bit steep for a local half-marathon, but the tech shirt, glass coffee mug, post-race snack bag and the sizable finisher’s medal make up for it.

unite medal unite mugs

I had decided to register for this race last week, sixty-seconds before online registration closed. Technically, I should be tapering for my 50k next weekend, but I was pulled in by the nearby location, the course description and the opportunity to run with friends. You can never go wrong when all three of those things align. I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

Article by, Susan Oswald

unite finish line unite finishers


Featured image credit: CGI Racing



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Susan Oswald

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