Race #149 – Rocktoberfest Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 10/22/11

The Rocktoberfest Half Marathon is the same race that used to be the Dowd Y Half Marathon but the name was changed this year. Definitely a good move on the part of the race organizers, who evidently decided that a new name would generate some extra excitement, and I agree. Linda and I have only run this race once before — it was Race #8 back when we first started running in 2008. At that time we both only ran 5k races and I remember being in awe as we watched the half marathon start before the 5k race. It was the first time I had even been near a half marathon, and at that time it was hard to imagine running a race that was 13.1 miles long. I can’t remember my exact reasoning but just a few short weeks later I ran the Thunder Road Half Marathon for the first time (Race #14).

The weather was seasonably cool, about 40 degrees, and as always I dressed warmer than almost anybody else, although it felt good to me and I didn’t overheat at anytime during the entire race. Despite being in the porta-potty line 3 minutes before the start of the race, I managed to make it to the starting line just before the race began and nudged my way close to the front. I got off to a good start, hitting the 1-mile mark at about 6:19. Shortly thereafter the hills came, as they usually do in Charlotte, and the subsequent miles were considerably slower.

For some reason this was one of those rare races where I couldn’t get my heart rate up to the area where I seem to usually be most comfortable, around 165-170 beats per minute. As you can see in the charts below, usually I build up my heart rate in the first mile or two until it’s in the mid to upper 160s. In today’s race (the first chart below) I built up to the low 160s but after a couple miles I started dipping down into the 150s and I really wasn’t able to build it back up. I was finally able to push it a little bit in the final mile and at the very end I managed to hit 169, but in most races my average heart rate throughout is in that area. In Myrtle Beach my average for the entire race was 170 bpm, while today my average was only 158, which I think is the lowest I’ve ever recorded.

Rocktoberfest Half Marathon (2011)

Lungstrong 15k (2011)

Battle of the Triad Half Marathon (2011)

Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (2011)

I don’t ever look at my actual pace as I’m racing, and I was afraid that with the low heart rate I might be running more slowly than I felt like I was running. As we crossed the timing pad 10k into the race my split time was 43:42, which was encouraging, but I still wasn’t sure how I would fare the rest of the race. The clock at the 10-mile point was at about 1:11 and I knew if I went into jogging mode I’d end up over 1:40 for the race, which I didn’t want to do, so I pushed on as best I could for those final 3 miles, ending with a time of 1:35:27, which was second in the 55-59 age group to the always speedy Tim Richter, who entered the age group this year and has come in 1st place in every race since then, at least the local ones.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos Carolina Snapshot

Race Rating:

8 – 1-10  Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
7 – 1-10  Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10  Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
5 -10  Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10  T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 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)
5 – 1-10  Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 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)
5 – 0/5   Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
3 – 1-10  Bathroom Facilities (Just 3 porta-potties for 1500 runners + crowded inside Y)
0-10  Other

TOTAL – 91

Race Stats:

1st Overall Male:  Michael Creason (1:17:46)
1st Overall Female: Sonja Davy (1:21:58)
Total Finishers:  708

My Stats:

Time:  1:35:27
Pace:  7:15
Age Group:  2 of 18
Overall:  57 of 708 (8.17%)

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