Monday, July 1, 2013

Mountain to Meadows half marathon 2013

I participated the Mountain to Meadows half marathon, which takes a logical loop south of Lolo pass on the Montana, Idaho border.  This is only the second foot race I have ever run, but with some training runs at race pace, I was able to run an even race.  Fortunately, my fears of ending up curled in a cramped ball of pain, and dropping off pace due to the length of the run were unfounded, and I ended up with a time of 1.28.15, which was good enough for second place.  Race results can be found here.  Leah also had a good race, and it was fun to toe the line with her.

The blow-by-blow was pretty simple.  From the starting gun, the pack quickly sorted out with J Rogers, Nick Hamilton and me opening a sizeable gap on a pack of about 10 high school age runners, who we did not see for the rest of the race.  We ran as a group of three to the start of the first hill, where I slowly dropped off the back.  Nick eventually dropped back and ran with me for about a mile, then dropped hard behind me.  I didn't think I would see him for the rest of the race, but he must have caught a second wind somewhere, because he was just out of reach of breathing down my neck for the rest of the race.  I spent the rest of the race in no-man's land, running at a conservative pace to the top of the first hill, then at full speed down to the base of cardiac hill.  With Nick slowly closing the gap at the aid station at the base of cardiac hill, I pushed hard to the top of the hill, then just hung on for the final 3 miles or so to the finish line.  Fortunately, Nick was never able to close the gap.  The second pack of predominantly high school kids came through shortly after I finished, and it was cool to see them charge across the line.  The first place woman cruised in at 1.36, and Leah cruised in well ahead of her target pace at 1.51.

After all the logistics of randonee racing, the simplicity and low cost of running races is appealing.  Just show up on race day with a pair of shoes and try to run fast.  I am excited to get out for some more foot races (soon?).  It would be especially fun to battle with a larger pack of similar speed racers, and to race a more technical course.  

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