Half Marathon #124
Colorado Half #57
Weather - Perfect
Last year, I missed the Polar Prowl because I was running Tinker Bell with Heather. So of course, it was on the schedule as one of the only January distance races in Colorado. We had some dicey weather the beginning of the month, but the initial forecasts were for highs in the low 50's!! Unfortunately, we had two snowstorms during the week and it never really got warm enough to melt all the way. We were expecting ICY conditions.
Up just before 7, out the door before 7:30 to drop off the kids with my parents. Arrived at Bear Creek park right before 8. Picked up our packets and ran into Heather and Dan on our way to the bathroom. It was still overcast, but L was trying to convince me that I would be a sissy if I wore arm sleeves. (She ended up being right, but she is so mean!)
Dropped off our bags at the car, got our bibs on, and headed to the start, stopping at the bathroom along the way. It was a beautiful morning, I was just hoping the clouds would burn away to warm up a bit.
We walked up to the start with about two minutes before the gun. Just enough time to hear about the super icy conditions on most of the course (as you can see in the photo above). I have run the course before and I knew it would be very hilly and challenging (not even counting the ice).
I wanted to run easy and hope for the best (especially after how bad the last race went). For the first half mile or so I did fine. Until the woman in front of me dropped her handheld right as I was stepping down and I landed on it, slightly rolling my ankle. It didn't hurt that bad, but it figures... not slipping on the ice, but on a woman's water bottle. Most of the first 2-3 miles were a sheet of ice. I was running cautiously, but it was nice to keep the pace down. I knew the hills were going to shred my calves.
I only walked up the very last section of Mt. Carbon - definitely an improvement over last time. The backside of the Mt. Carbon heading into Fox Hollow was not quite as icy, but I was afraid to bomb it on the downhill. I spotted Ross around mile 2 and it took me almost TWO MILES to catch him. For a 76 year old guy, he is pretty spry (did you catch my rhyme there?)
I spent about half of the race trapped between two super annoying people. The woman in front of me was wearing Yak Trax, but it wasn't icy or snowy enough for them so with every footfall she sounded like she was carrying a ton of change. The guy behind me was a mouth breather. Every minute or so he would snort on his breath in. I was really wishing I had worn two ear buds. Made me insane.
Turn around point was around mile 6. We had to head back up that giant hill just before the mile 8 marker. It lasts almost a full mile before we get to the top and run down the backside of Mt. Carbon, getting on the road halfway to go around the lake before ending on the last section of road by the boat ramp.
I felt pretty good until just before the last aid station around mile 11.8. It's flattish at this section with a gradual uphill, but it just seems to last forever. I had passed maybe a dozen people in the last few miles and I managed a decent last half mile or so (even with the hill at the end). I saw L, Heather and Dan at the finish line. We got some pictures while we waited for the raffle:
|Heather got 2nd in her AG in the 10K|
|We looked AWESOME (and were pretty much only people with bare arms and legs|
Official Time - 2:25:12
Overall Place - 128/186
Overall Gender - 59/103
Division Place - 25/43
Garmin Time - 2:25:12
Garmin Distance - 13.1 miles
Garmin Pace - 11:05
Mile 1 - 10:43
Mile 2 - 11:10
Mile 3 - 12:18
Mile 4 - 9:53
Mile 5 - 10:53
Mile 6 - 10:45
Mile 7 - 11:05
Mile 8 - 11:02
Mile 9 - 12:53
Mile 10 - 9:44
Mile 11 - 11:07
Mile 12 - 11:24
Mile 13 - 11:18
Mile 13.1 - 9:03
|Long sleeve, not tech, too small (for some reason I got an XS)|
- Lots of aid stations. I think at least 2 or 3 of them had Clif gel. At least one also had shot blocks.
- The shirt is ok, I should stop ordering XS, they are just too small and the sleeves are too tight. Don't like white shirts.
- Medal is cute, and I like that they do medals for all three distances.
- The course is tough, but it is a pretty course and it is well marked, like all her races.
- They have really good burritos at the finish and she does great raffles.
- I will run her races again, if it is convenient and I don't have something else that weekend.
- Overall, a good event.