Posted On:
Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Updated On:

Athlete Race Recap: Town of Celebration Half Marathon

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Leslie was happy to be running in shorts and a tank top in January!

Leslie Smith flew south in the Winter to run the Town of Celebration Half Marathon in Celebration, Florida on Sunday, January 28, 2024!

Unfortunately, Leslie had some issues with her flights and she didn’t arrive in Florida until 14 hours before the race started.  Flying is not a great thing to do before running, and especially this close before racing, because it automatically is dehydrating (and most athletes will dehydrate themselves even further on top of that since restroom access can be limited while flying).  Furthermore, the cramped quarters on the plane means that you are sitting in hip flexion for a prolonged period of time.  (Running, by contrast, requires full hip extension.)

I share all of this to say that when Leslie crossed the start line, she was already managing adversity.  But manage it she did!  She adapted her original race strategy to one that was more appropriate for what actually happened (not what she wished had happened) and to be in alignment with the ambient conditions (warm and humid, which was harder for Leslie since she’s from Upstate New York) that were in play on race day.  Those choices enabled her to embrace the beauty of the course and to enjoy the experience of the race, crossing the finish line with a smile.

Well done, Leslie!


Coach Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.

She can be reached at

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