Sunday, February 19, 2006
LOST DUTCHMAN HALF MARATHON
Here's my shirt, and here's my medal.... I had a great race and I'm pleased as punch!
The weather was perfect, mid 40'sF at the start, sunny and pleasant, maybe 55-60* by the time I finished, very light breeze, just perfect. The course was hillier than I thought it would be, but I think that actually helped me... I find a flat course tiring.
A man had a stick tied to his hat, and at the end of the stick dangled a Twinkie, about 12" in front of his face.... I thought this was very funny.
Two men were pushing babies in jog strollers. No women were. Yay for the dads!
There were a couple stretches of gravel road, one about half a mile and the other about a mile, which of course repeated on the return trip. I knew there were gravel roads on some of the marathon course and had trained on some when I planned on the full marathon, but I didn't realize the half also had gravel roads. I was glad I had done some gravel training, although it really wasn't bad to run on.
I thought I might not run well, since we visited neighbors last night who kept refilling my wine glass; I thought about today's race but figured I was going to lollygag it and just finish when I finished so it didn't matter much. I probably had 4 glasses (I hope it wasn't 5, that sounds awful.) Anyway, I drank a liter of water when we got home and I guess it must have helped because I felt great today.
So great that, when I discovered I was on a good pace, I challenged myself to stick with it, pulling off a 2:09 for the half-marathon, which is, according to the pace chart I checked when I got home, an average of 9:50/mile, which totally blew my mind. I don't know when I've run under 10-minute miles, at any distance. Years. Maybe I ought to make a point of drinking too much the night before races :-)
At the finish line I discovered MY HUSBAND handing out the medals. A friend took a picture of us together.... me with my medal hanging around my neck, next to Steve with two dozen hanging over his arm. I'll post it when I get it. After I wandered around getting food etc., I joined him and hung medals on marathon finishers... I took the guys and let him take the girls. That was fun.
I'm not sure how many half-marathoners there were. 500 medals had been provided but they got a lot of late entries and ran out of medals. They still had medals when I got there; I was 326th out of however many. In my age group (50-54) I was 6th. The last time I checked the results board there had been 13 in my AG; there may have been more, since half-marathoners were still coming in along with marathoners (who started an hour earlier) well after 4 hours. Those who didn't get medals filled out forms to receive them by mail. Steve said some were upset and one woman was really irate and yelled at everyone. But he said she came back later and apologized. I missed all that. I must have still been at the food place :-)
4 of my friends from the RV park, including members of the hiking group and Pat, my biking buddy, went as volunteers and told the race officials, "We'll do whatever you need us to do as long as we can be at the half-marathon finish when our friend gets in." They were manning the food tables. I was so pleased that they came and did that!! The campground population shaped up better than I thought it would, back in November.
This was really fun, I'm really happy, it was a wonderful day!