Half marathon #183
Weather - Sunny, mild
For the first year, Snow Mountain Ranch was going to have a full weekend of events. ERS skipped the marathon distance and went right into added a 50K distance. Since I'm no longer an ambassador for the series, I figured I didn't need to run the ultra, plus, it was pretty expensive. I was, however, intrigued with the new half marathon course. In the past, the course had always been a double loop of the 10K course. Always a beautiful race, right at the end of when the leaves change. We had one race left to register for with our volunteer hours, so we picked this one. I figured A would want to run the 10K, but upon looking up the info, the 10K and half weren't on the same day. She said she would run the half with me (and then promptly forgot she had told me that).
We needed to leave the house by about 5:35, so I set an alarm for just after 5 am. We grabbed our gear, last minute jackets, and food, then headed out the door.
There was a surprising number of people on I70 at that hour, but everything thinned out once we exited on to 40 in Empire. The drive over the pass was uneventful (no snow, unlike last year), and we arrived at Snow Mountain Ranch right at 7:15.
Race started pretty much on time. Lexa, Mary, Kristin and A all took off. Goodbye!! I knew that this was going to be a more difficult course than in years past, and I had zero desire to burn out early. Plus, Tom had let me know where all the big climbs were.
I had started in a sparkle skirt and my team long sleeve shirt from last year, with it covering my Garmin. This ended up being great, as I had no idea what my pace/time was at ALL for the first 6 miles.
First mile or so was the same as the old course, and I only walked a few small sections. The course became a bit different shortly after, and we moved onto a section where we were running across some tall grass. I didn't love this part.
I was able to catch up to (and pass) a few people, that was nice. This whole section had not been familiar, so I was wondering what was up next. Shortly after mile 5, I could see we were going to be going UP. I caught up to a guy, and he let me pass him at the base of the climb (biggest climb of the run!) and I did some jogging to put some space between us. This section was tough!! Definitely up higher than we had been in years past, and in an area with a lot of trees, although many of them were already missing their leaves.
I was running really well here and I was happy to have the chance to make up some time on my pace (although all things considered, it actually wasn't that terrible).
We then turned down a road that I remembered from previous years and I figured that I knew what the last 5ish miles had in store for me.
When I turned up the hill toward the summit above the lake, I saw Alison! We chatted briefly on my walk break, then at the aid station I filled my bottles and headed out. I figured I "only" had about 4 miles to go. My "A" goal was to beat previous times, although I also figured that this course was actually going to measure a half, while in previous years it had seemed a half mile short.
I managed to stay ahead of her as we headed in, and I was really pleased to see that I did beat my times from previous years.
|Nice to not be beat on an uphill finish! (Pic from Alison)
Garmin distance - 12.87 miles
Garmin pace - 12:32
Elevation gain - 1,549'
Mile 1 - 12:03
Mile 2 - 13:16
Mile 3 - 13:57
Mile 4 - 12:47
Mile 5 - 12:33
Mile 6 - 13:19
Mile 7 - 15:58
Mile 8 - 9:57
Mile 9 - 11:30
Mile 10 - 11:04
Mile 11 - 12:49
Mile 12 - 12:51
Mile 12.87 - 10:44 pace
I actually got to watch A cross the finish line for once, which was exciting. (And she won her age group again, although she was the only one in it).
|Pic from Alison (which I LOVE)
- I have run this race four times now, and I'm sure I'll be back. The new course was HARD, but I really liked it! (The course had about 400' more feet of climbing than previous years - I went back and looked at my previous times, and even though distances/climbing has varied, my average pace WAS the fastest this year. Woot!)
- I didn't pay extra to get the shirt, it had a Colorado-y theme to it this year.
- The medal this year is meh, but wow, the 50K medal or challenge medal (if you did both the 50K and HM) was REALLY cool.
- As always, excellent post-race food & beer.