The Over the Narrows ten mile race is now the Galloping Gertie Half Marathon. Still a well organized event by the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce. Pricier, but with a nice long sleeve shirt (good quality but ugly race logo) medal, chip timed and good course support. Jody was going to run the 10K but is nursing a bothersome Achilles so stayed home. Nice turn out, though I barely know just a couple of people.
For those who do not know who/what Galloping Gertie is you should watch this: Galloping Gertie
I am wearing my Tacoma Narrows Bridge Run shirt from 2007 with my Narrows Half Marathon cap from 2011. The shirt is cotton and will get heavy late in the race, but it is a fun one to wear today.
Weather is going to be very warm. Seems humid too. Add super hilly course and I fear not being able to beat 2 hours. I have yet to go over 2 hours in a half marathon, so I will have that incentive to keep working if it gets tough.
Ran 48 miles last week and intentionally kept it in the low 30s for this week, ending with today's race. Really happy with my mileage. Even got in a slow 15 miler a week ago. Working hard now so that my Fall marathons will not be so bad.
Easy parking and good staging area in the Uptown Mall parking lot. Restrooms in the movie theater. First race for the Super S Pacing Team. Lots of Half Fanatics in their fancy shirts.
Start - I line up behind the 1:50 pacers. One guy mentions my shirt, says that he just threw his away, it got too old. Slight delay as the police work to close the roads and then we are off. I have no trouble staying with 1:50 out into the road and down the long hill.
Mile 2 - The left turn and the giant steep uphill. 1:50 slips away from me. This would be a very tough course to pace, with all the slope changes. So steep and warming up in the sun.
Mile 3 - To the bridge. Sun is so bright that I have to check to make sure I am wearing sunglasses. Such a beautiful day to cross the Narrows. Look for whales. Now the long uphill. Yannick is there to cheer for us. More uphill into Veteran's Park. So glad to make it to the top and hit the water station. Take an S!Cap that I carried with me and get a gel from the aid station, to be taken at the next water.
Mile 6 - Twist and turn and up and down some quiet Tacoma neighborhoods. Leapfrogging one woman since the bridge. Now I catch her but stay even for a half mile. No words spoken, just run together. Super steep little hill that I was not expecting. Then water and as I pour on my head, my cotton T-shirt gets heavy.
Mile 8 - Back over the bridge. Went ahead of that woman. Feeling OK, just warm. I can not see 1:50 ahead of me. But I am still running sub 9/mile, so I know my pace is OK. 9:09 is the pace for 2 hours. I know that I will slow on that long last uphill.
Mile 11 - Here is the final long hill. Not as steep as coming off the bridge and the shade is such a relief. Slowing but no wall. I get passed by one guy and work on catching another but he gets away. Good effort but when I know I will make my goal I ease up a little.
Mile 12.5 - Catching a woman I have been gaining on for a long time. I tell her to not let me get to her. But she is slowing and I get even right near the end. I feel a little bad about passing her for some reason and slow to cross the finish line with her. Chip timed she will beat me by a few seconds.
Mile 13.1 - Finished. Very happy to be under 2 hours with the heat and the hills. I get handed a cold Red Bull and I never drink those, but it is most welcome. Watch the finishers come in and I am surprised at how far apart everyone is. 2 hour pacer comes in all alone. Nice to have the lap tops there to check results before heading out.
48th place of 252, 37 of 112 men, 9 of 20 in the 50-59 age group