It’s not every day that I drive 600 miles one way to run a half marathon, but this is not only a great race to run but it’s also a major race in the Running Journal Grand Prix, and for the past couple of years that’s been a big focus of my race season. At the age of 59 I’m most likely not going to make the next Olympics, and this provides me with some extra incentive to train harder than I might otherwise. Next year I’ll be changing age groups in the middle of this Grand Prix series so I won’t be competing in it then since my points would be split between two different age groups.
Linda and I are truly pioneers when it comes to traveling by car. Or at least we travel like pioneers, making almost as many stops and moving about the same speed as a mule-drawn Conestoga wagon. We finally made it though, mules intact, and were treated to great racing weather. For me, that’s about 60 degrees at the start and upper 60s by the finish of the race, which is a little warm for most runners but ideal by my standards. This was the same race last year that provided the most miserable weather I’ve ever encountered in a race, with a temperature of about 50 degrees and pouring rain at the beginning of the race, and a drop in temperature to about 40 degrees and more wind and rain right to the finish. The background photo I’ve been using for the Old-Runner blog is my finish photo from last year’s race, always there to remind of how miserable it was.
I won’t try to give a play-by-play recap of my race. After a bad cold (or possibly the flu) last week’s race was a disaster. I felt a lot better this week before the race but never ran more than 4 miles so I was a little unsure of my stamina. Sure enough, I felt like I was out of steam after about the 8-mile mark and started taking walk breaks in the final miles. I don’t really look at my pace as I’m racing but I could see by the clocks posted at each mile I was doing okay. Although my pace slowed in those final miles, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be and I ended up with a time of 1:36:38, second in my age group, and a time I was really happy about considering the way I felt in the last few miles of the race.
9 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
8 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
6 – 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)
5 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 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)
5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 100
1st Overall Male: Micah Tirop (1:08:28)
1st Overall Female: Meggan Franks (1:23:40)
Age Group: 2 of 27
Overall: 82 of 1460