GAINESVILLE Virginia, October 13 2013
It was too freakin’ wet.
The temperature was nice, but there was moderate rain fading in and out during the entire race; my clothes were drenched within minutes of starting. People were dodging around puddles in the road for no reason. Your shoes are already soaked, what’s the point?
There was only one difficult hill but the constant rollers ground me down a little bit. I kept pretty close to an 8:00 pace through the first half or so, but fell off pretty hard in the last 10k, finishing with an average pace of about 8:22. I felt better than usual during the last 5k of this race. I was tired and slowing, but I never felt a strong urge to stop and walk, and my suffering index was lower than normal for that point in a half.
I’d been thinking that I’d be happy to stay under two hours, so I was quite pleased with my 1:49:32. Almost five minutes off my PR, but on this course, at my current state of fitness, I felt like this was a very good result.
The volunteers were fantastic. They kept great attitudes while standing in the rain for hours, and were very attentive to all runners.
- I saw Paul P. on each of the three out-and-back sections. He would go on to finish his first half marathon in a very respectable 2:22:xx
- In the second mile I passed Andrew A., who’d worked an aid station with me at this year’s VHTRC Women’s Half. He soon caught up to me and seemed startled when I greeted him by name. I reminded him of our shared service and we chatted a little before he dropped me. I kept him in sight for a while, gaining some on the ups and giving it back on the downs, but he kept his pace when I fell off in the last five miles and came in some five minutes ahead of me.
- In the last mile I kept leapfrogging a woman who would stop to walk briefly, then run past me while I kept a steady pace. She finished ahead of me and gave me an extended high-five at the finish.
- At one aid station the young volunteers had a fantastic technique of running along with the racers to make it easier for us to grab their proffered beverages. This worked amazingly well, but probably wouldn’t be possible in a larger race.
Miles this race – 13.1
Miles raced in 2013 – 244.1