I guess I should have read my review of last year’s race before heading off to Asheville. For some reason I forgot how many hills there were in Asheville and how steep they are. One thing I did know in advance though was that I’m not running quite as well as I was a year ago. My current knee problems really aren’t all that bad but I’ve been having to change my training so I’m doing less running and it’s been obvious in races over the past few months. Last year I was 2nd in my age group with a time of 1:39:55. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect this year but I felt like I’d be lucky to finish in 1:45. My assumptions were correct and this year’s time was 1:43:15. I was a little disappointed to finish 4th in my age group but I rationalized that since there were 43 in my age group I was still in the top 10%, so I really don’t feel too bad about it.
The emcee announced at the beginning of the awards that today’s race was the largest race ever held in Asheville, with a total of about 2,000 finishers (1285 in the half marathon and 684 in the 5k). That’s about a 50% increase from last year and there were runners from 21 states. It’s a first class event for sure, and it’s kind of nice to run through all the great places in Asheville. Some of the uphills are so steep that I would take a couple of walk breaks on a single hill before I got to the top. Some of the downhills were the kind you have to ride the brakes all the way to the bottom and it feels like your toes are going to burst right through the front of your shoes. Ironically, my little piggy that stayed home actually didn’t stay home, although he should have since he ended up with a huge bruise/blister from coming down some of those steep hills.
It’s only 7 weeks until the New York City Marathon. I’m registered and everything’s paid for so I’m going, although the thought of running 26.2 miles is not quite as appealing to me as it was when I signed up. I’m hoping to get in at least two or three 18-20 mile training runs between now and then but even that could be too little too late.
Race Rating: 8 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.) 6 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10) 8 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10) 8 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10) 8 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No) 5 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No) 6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No) 7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No) 7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 2 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 8 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 10 – 0-10 Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups) 0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided) 4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 93
Time: 1:43:15 Pace: 7:53 Age Group (55-59): 4 of 43 (9.3%) Overall: 156 of 1285 (12.1%)