Saturday, June 11
Half Marathon #35
Weather - Sunny, Upper 50's
Iowa is another state that didn't have a lot of choices for races. We picked the Marathon to Marathon half marathon because we were trying to schedule races as close to possible for the summer so we wouldn't have to fly.
Even though the race was close enough to drive, the race was scheduled on a Saturday. That meant that we would have to leave on Friday. Meaning L wouldn't be able to help me drive since she can't miss any more work. So we recruited her boyfriend, R, to ride with me. L planned to fly into Omaha after work, and we would pick her up.
I took A to her last day of camp, and R and I left the city just after 10:00. We had decided to take Bee Rad since the car gets about 40 mpg. The drive? Long. Pretty uneventful. What can you really say about driving for hours and hours across eastern Colorado and Nebraska. We had lunch at a Subway in the middle of nowhere.
|Subway. The only food option for an hour.|
|I really DID drive that far on one tank of gas|
We headed out and picked L up at the airport. The highway our GPS wanted to take turned out to be closed because of flooding. We were detoured down a "boulevard" that was really a one way dirt road.
After about an hour of driving around, we finally got out of Omaha and found the detour we needed to take. The detour unfortunately added some miles and of course time, so our estimated arrival at our hotel (30 minutes from the start line) was about midnight. Most of the last part of our drive was on a two lane road in light rain. Arrived at the glorious Best Western in Cherokee at 11:45. I really hoped I'd be able to get four hours of sleep.
Even though it was the most comfortable bed in the world I just could NOT sleep. I bet I was up for hours before I finally dozed off. Too bad we had to be up before 4:30 to get ready and be at packet pick up (remember, a 30 minute drive) before 5:30.
I was way more tired than usual when the alarm went off. Got dressed quickly and headed out the door. We arrived at the high school in Storm Lake at about 5:15 and went inside to pick up our packets. It was a bit overcast and chilly, so I was hopeful for decent temperatures during the race. I'm pretty sure that at least 20% of the participants of this race were Marathon Maniacs...
The marathon started at the high school at 6:00, and the bus for the half marathoners was to leave the school at 6:05 for a 7:00 start. When the marathon runners lined up we finally realized just how small this race was. There was no banner, just a line spray painted on the ground. After the marathon started, I made a quick stop at the bathroom, then we got on the bus for the drive to the start.
|Full Marathon Start Line. Seriously.|
|I think L managed to get MOST of the half marathoners in this picture|
|Me. L. Corn.|
Of we went...
The race is described as fairly flat and fast. I was worried about a few things. With a race of this size I was worried about missing course markings and/or running alone. Didn't have to worry about either one of these things. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get lost. At least 10 miles of the race was on a straight road without a single turn of any kind. And as for "running alone," it's hard to really be by yourself when you can see a mile or so ahead of you at any time.
How to describe this course? You, me, and the corn. Other than the volunteers at the aid stations, there was virtually NO crowd support. There was seriously nothing but corn fields. Maybe a half dozen farms. I never saw any cows or horses or birds. It was not the most interesting course I have run, but it also wasn't the worst.
|Pretty much what the whole course looked like - about mile 4|
As for how the race itself went? Like last race, I tried not to go out too fast and I tried to have more of a positive attitude than I have been having lately. It was pretty sunny by the time the race started so I was a bit warm, but at least the actual temps were in the upper 50s so it was bearable. I also had a few other goals in mind (NOT walking anything but the aid stations and finishing sub 2:10), but mainly I just wanted the race to not suck.
I accomplished the first goal, but missed the second by about a minute and a half. I kept a pretty decent pace most of the race, but I struggled miles 4-5 with some very tight and sore quads. I guess I'll just blame that on just being tired. I hadn't slept well the night before we left (getting maybe 5 hours) and only getting 2-3 hours the night before the race can't have helped. Overall I feel good about the race. I passed a few people mid-race, and managed to keep ahead of a few people I had been playing cat and mouse with.
The most "exciting" part of the race was the last mile or so when we entered the town of Marathon and finally had something to look at besides corn!
|Turn to enter Marathon|
A cute little town that I wish I would have taken some time to get some pictures of. For the first time in ages I didn't feel 100% drained at the end. I was tired of course, but it wasn't as bad as it has been.
|Thanks, R, for the finish line pic!|
Overall Place - 44/62
Gender Place - 24/36
Division Place - 10/14
Garmin Time - 2:11:33
Garmin Distance - 13.14 Miles
Garmin Pace - 10:00
Mile 1 - 9:20
Mile 2 - 9:44
Mile 3 - 9:29
Mile 4 - 10:20
Mile 5 - 9:47
Mile 6 - 10:39
Mile 7 - 10:08
Mile 8 - 10:21
Mile 9 - 10:18
Mile 10 - 10:10
Mile 11 - 10:11
Mile 12 - 9:45
Mile 13 - 9:59
Mile 13.1 - 8:46
After crossing the line I found L and got some water and Gatorade. An older man approached us and asked if we were from Colorado. He proceeded to say that he was from North Carolina, but he worked with someone that was from the same city that we live in and he asked if we knew the name. Strangely enough, not only did we know the name, but L had been in an "relationship" with the son in 5th grade. And her ex-husband had dated the daughter. Talk about small world.
- First time I haven't had to use the bathroom during a race in months.
- Didn't get passed by the first marathon male until almost mile 8
- Didn't get passed by the first marathon female until after mile 12
- Finally placed top 10 in my division (so what if there were only 14 of us :-/ )
- Smallest race I have run - only 62 finishers in the half marathon (just over 180 for the full)
- NOT running related - Bee Rad *did* average over 40 mpg. Over 1500 miles driven and we only spent about $115 in gas.
We got back on the road at about 11. Our only stops were for meals and gas, and trying to pick up a few souvenirs. Since we already knew about the road closures, we didn't have any trouble getting on the right roads. L had left her car at the airport, so we had to make a quick stop to pick up her car. Managed to get home at 11:45. What a long few days.
|Pioneer Museum over the highway in Nebraska (R took this picture from the backseat... does my window look like there are a *few* dead bugs on it?)|