Second time here. Lots of friends doing various triathlon events. Jody races tomorrow. Tammy and I will run the Half Marathon today. This year we are staying in the host hotel overlooking the start/finish area. This is great and so convenient. Its not quite as hot as last year, but still these are not ideal running conditions. I do not expect to be as fast as last week. Hot, slanted highway that is open to traffic, about 4 hours from home. Not my first choice for a race, but it ties in nicely with my friends and family who come for the triathlon races.
One of my goals for this year is to qualify for the Half Fanatics club. Since I ran the Ocean Shores Half last weekend, I will get into the club with today's effort. Finish time does not matter today, though I want to do my best. For the first time ever for a race I decide to not wear a watch or GPS. I think that I have a good enough sense of pacing and when it gets late in the race I need to just focus on running, not the time. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Really just want to have fun and get in a good workout.
Start - Meet two other Brooks Running athletes. Line up with Tammy who says that I should just go off fast and leave her to her own paces. Crowded start with the 10K runners. We have to skinny down to all get across the chip timing mat. Nice cushy chip strap to go around the ankle. Short countdown and we go. Jammed in the crowd, up fairly close to the front though. Around the hotel, up the steep hill, then on to the road.
Mile 1 - Well sorted out and less crowded. Same as last year it is a very scenic and well organized race, just not liking the slanty road and cars going by. Bicyclists coming towards us, I look for Nick, Bill, Dan, Tom and Evan.
Mile 2 - I can't stand it any more. I feel like my pace is good, hopefully in the 8:00 to 8:15 per mile range, but I really do not know. I catch up to a racer wearing a GPS watch and ask her about our average pace. She says we are at 8:05. "Perfect!!" I exclaim.
Mile 5 - When we lost the 10K racers at their turn around it thinned out significantly. Gradually I catch a short woman who has a very large backpack/hydration system on. Its sloshing around and seems very unneeded to me. There are plenty of aid stations. At each one the water is very cold. I will drink a little bit and pour the rest on my cap. First female is on her way back and I am pleased to see that it is the Brooks runner. She will go on to win the woman's race.
Mile 6 - Catch two guys and we run in a little pack. One asks the other what the pace is and I hear that we are at 8:00/mile. Continue on up the hill to the turn around.
Mile 7 - We have lost the head wind. Instead we have heat coming off the rocks and road. Much warmer now. One of the two guys has taken off and soon is out of range. The other is behind me somewhere. Tammy approaches and says that I am in 35th place. I remember the days when I would count runners on the out and back. Then I see the hydration pack woman running in the same direction as me. Is she cheating? She sure did not go all the way to the turn around point. As I catch her I ask her what race she is doing. I like her reply....."the wrong one". She signed up for the 10K and totally missed the turnaround, by about two miles!! Maybe she thought it was a point to point race, I don't know, but when I was at the 3.1 mile mark there was a cone, chalk on the ground and an orange shirted volunteer telling all 10Kers to turn around. Aid station kid asks if I want water or Heed and I get as laugh when I ask if he has any hot cocoa.
Mile 10 - Feel like I am running well, though slower due to the heat and hills. No watch is nice. Just run. Now back to the 10K turn point and my little race becomes a major event. Hundreds of Olympic Distance Triathletes on their 10K run. Hey, there is Evan and he looks good. I just keep passing the slower runners and weave my way to the end. Tiring but not as bad as last week. Right leg issues are good, nothing really to complain about.
Mile 13.1 - Still with hordes of triathletes as I ease on to the finish. No great sprint to the end as that final downhill is too steep for me. The clock reads 3 hours something as it is set for a different race. However it is only a few minutes until my time is posted on the results wall. Slower than last year, but I'm fine with it. I do not think that I could have done any better with a watch. I may have to race without one again. Another glass mug, for getting second in my age group. Oly friends did well so it was a good day all around in the blazing sunshine.
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