I wanted to do a tuneup race before Boston. I had looked at a couple of half marathons, most notably the one up at the speedway. But this one fit into my schedule more. Plus it had a 4 miler that my wife and some of her friends were doing. The race was mostly on the McMullen Creek Parkway which I have rodes bikes with the kids several times.
We were going to have a busy morning on Saturday so I picked up our number on Thursday at Trysports over in Blakeney. I hadn't ever been in there before. I thought it was supposed to be a triathlon store, but you really just got the impressions it was a workout/fitness equipment place. Oh and they have bikes off to one side. No swag just the bib number and a t-shirt.
I like the new bibs with chip in them. Nice t-shirt that is not a "tech" T that seems to be all the rage nowadays.
|Rainy, Dreary, Cold|
The first hill didn't seem bad since it was at the beginning of the race. But that last hill at 8.5 miles really stunk. I started out at a 6:30, just picking my way through the crowd. There wasn't a ton of people (333 finishers) but they had us in one lane of the road with oncoming cars in the other lane. I felt fine and the second mile felt pretty good. So then I saw the pack of lead women and decided I had to get ahead of them. I was still feeling pretty good and changed my goal pace to 6:15's,
Around the 5 mile mark I was averaging 6:17's per my Garmin. As you can see my splits weren't exact as they usually are. I still felt pretty good. I ran with a group of 3-4 guys until I felt them start to slow a bit and then pushed ahead. I was cruising through mile 8 and saw a kid who was a good 1/4 mile ahead. I wasn't sure if I could catch him, but when I hit that hill at 8.5 miles I really didn't think about it. Its a 120 foot climb in 1/2 mile. Its one of those hills that you go up, think you're done, make a left, go up some more, think you're done, make a right and you got more hill to go.
The good news was it was flat or sloping downward the last mile. When I got to that part, I saw the kid in front of me not going too fast. The hill took something out of him. So I cranked it and caught him with 1/2 mile to go. I told him to come with me and he did. I dropped him with about 100 yards to go. I ran the last mile at a 5:38 pace. So the last 5 Miles (which my Garmin actually had 4.90 miles) I averaged 6:03's.
I ended up officially a 1:01:00 which put me 7th overall (154 men). My Garmin had 1:00:54 and 9.87 miles for a 6:10 average pace. I was 2nd out of 28 in the age group. I technically "won" the age group as the first place guy was the overall male masters winner that they had a separate award for. So that was pretty fun.
The race was put on by Start2Finish Event Management. They did a very good job starting the races on time (which is sometimes a challenge in soggy conditions). The courses were very well marked and they had people directing traffic at any intersection, though not a lot as the race was mostly run on the greenway. Aid stations were fine, but with the weather I didn't use any. The thing I liked the best was that they had a results tent setup. It had scrolling results screens, but had the 4M and 10M mixed together which was annoying. It was similar to a Setup Events tent for tri's. But they had a couple of computer screens setup with a touchscreen that you punch your bib number in and it shows your results and even gives you a printout if you want. That was sweet! Full Results Here.
I found my wife hanging out with some of her old high school buddies. They were pretty cold. They started the 4 miler 15 minutes before the 10 miler, so they had been hanging out for a half hour
|The Crew after the Race|
|Wifey and Me|
Sausage and Cheese Omelet was awesome! Don't judge me.
Now we have our sights officially set for the Boston Marathon. 7 weeks to go. This race was just training. I biked 23 miles Saturday afternoon, and then ran 18 miles Sunday morning and biked 50 miles Sunday afternoon. I have 4 more weeks of 50+ miles and then start bringing it back a little. This is where the fun begins!