Chip Time: 1:47:10
Pace: 8:14/mi (watch), 8:11/mi (results)
Overall: 116 of 425
Male: 70 of 158
M 55-59: 6 of 15
In the few weeks prior to the race Wayne and I just wanted to finish in under 2 hours. The week prior to the race we ran a trial half marathon on a similar terrain fromTrefoil to my house. We both finished in just under 2 hours, Wayne 1:57, me 1:58. So going into Hobble Creek we were hoping to be a little faster than that.
I left Wayne early. Larry, who was driving his truck with the clothing bags trailer, was delayed and ended up with the runners swarming around him. I picked up the pace to catch him and tease him a little. I looked down and saw 6:58 pace so I backed off quickly after chatting with him briefly. I looked back but Wayne was nowhere to be seen. Turns out that was okay. Wayne said he started feeling tired after about mile 3, struggled on the trail after the golf course, and walked up the hill between mile 10 and 11. He finished in 1:57, a little disapointed I'm sure. It turns out he was sick. That explains it, because he has been outrunning me in training.
After leaving Larry I settled into a more reasonable race pace.
7:20, 7:56, 8:25, 8:16, 8:25, 8:18 - down to the hill just before the golf course
8:41 - includes the hill up to the golf course
8:16, 8:11, 8:16 - rolling trail up to left turn at mile 10
8:25, 8:37 - down/up dip into Mapleton and trail to right turn
7:49 - final descent to park
6:34/mi for final 0.1 to finish
I'm very happy with my 1:47 (8:14/mi) finish. I feel like I ran a pretty smart race and felt strong to the end. Right around the climb to the golf course about mile 6 or 7 I noticed 4 or 5 guys pass me that all looked like they could be in my age division. I didn't panic or push the pace up the hill. I was feeling strong and didn't want the wheels to come off. I felt like I might still have a kick left in me to catch them on the downhill sections later. It turns out I did. I think I passed them all back before the finish. I feel like I'm a good downhill runner and passed a number of runners on the downhills.
I have to admit that my real focus wasn't on catching the old men. There was a young blond female runner who ran about 50 yards ahead of me for the last 10 miles of the race. It wasn't because she was attractive (though she was). It was because she was running so smoothly and strong and the same pace as me. Whenever I felt myself tiring and getting sloppy in my form, I'd look at how easy she appeared to be running and just tried to match my form and pace to her. She pulled away on the final downhill, but her work was done. She had inspired me to finish 10 minutes faster than my trial half marathon the week before.
The run was beautiful. I'm very happy with the result. I enjoyed hanging out with Wayne, Larry, and Jo. (Jo finished in 2:01 despite a prior long run of only 7 miles I think.) I also enjoyed seeing Rick (who won his division) and Luke (who took 2nd in his) and other runners. It was a great morning.