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U.S. Marine Corps Reserve 1/2 Marathon

Sunday, October 12th, 2008 · 4 Comments

gabe-jen-half.jpg

┬áToday was a picture-perfect fall day. The morning fog rose over the trees as we drove south to Albany for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve 1/2 Marathon — my third half-marathon and second in the past 3 weeks — which shares the second half of the Mohawk-Hudson River Marathon course, one of the fastest in the country (and top qualifier for the Boston Marathon after the Boston Marathon itself).

At the start of the race, the fog still hovered as 500+ 680 participants stretched, bounced, and prepared for what would likely be a personal record (PR) for many of us. It was my first race without my iPod — there was a strict no headphones policy — so it was just me and nature for 13.1 miles.

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There’s always a surge of energy at the start of a race, so I ran out fast with the pack before settling into my own groove and tailing another runner for the first 8 or so miles. Seeing Jen jumping and cheering for me around mile 7 was a welcome surprise and helped me charge past some of the runners in my pack. I ate my first GU around mile 6 or 7, too, which helped me maintain the strong pace, which, at that point, I felt like I could hold all day long.

Things started to get rough around mile 9 or 10 as I felt my body running a bit low on energy. So I ate my second GU. It was a good feeling, though, that I was mostly passing other runners, and not the other way around.

I powered on home to the finish, getting passed by only a couple runners in the file mile+. But I ended up sprinting past them before the end in my signature charge to the finish line (4:57 max pace in final sprint):

New PR: 1:36:10 (7:20 average pace)! I left my previous PR, which I’d just set three weeks prior at the Saratoga Palio, in the dust by nearly 4 full minutes (and 8 minutes better than my debut half in Nashville).

I placed 87th overall (out of 500+ 680) in a fast field. I’m not sure yet where I placed in my division, but the guy who got 3rd in my division ran a 1:30, so I wasn’t too far behind him.

Big thanks to my wonderful and supportive wife for being there to cheer me on bright ‘n early on what’s a work day for her.

Enjoy more photos in this Flickr set or below:

My mile splits looked like this:

  • Mile 1: 7:19
  • Mile 2: 7:12
  • Mile 3: 7:10
  • Mile 4: 7:09
  • Mile 5: 7:05
  • Mile 6: 7.19
  • Mile 7: 7:16
  • Mile 8: 7:22
  • Mile 9: 7:18
  • Mile 10: 7:26
  • Mile 11: 7:35
  • Mile 12: 7:36
  • Mile 13: 7.23
  • Mile 13.1: 6:31 (4:57 sprint to finish!)

Tags: photos 2008 · running

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 suzanne // Oct 13, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks for the great photos of a fabulous East Coast autumn day. I have become quite the armchair marathon runner watching you chart your running stats. . No pain but all of the glory, as evidenced by the empty Cliff bar wrappers at my feet. .

  • 2 Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k // Oct 26, 2008 at 11:25 am

    […] (thanks to the hills) — the McMillan Running Calculator predicted that, based on my awesome 1/2 marathon performance a couple weeks ago, I could handle a 6:57 average pace (in ideal conditions) — I’m […]

  • 3 Stockadeathon 15k // Nov 9, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    […] about that. This morning I woke up at 7am, psyched to run my 11th race and first 15k. Based on my great half-marathon last month, the McMillan Running Calculator predicted my 15k time would be 1:06:58 (7:11 average […]

  • 4 Lake Placid Half-Marathon // Jun 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    […] pace), placing 38th overall out of more than 1,200 runners. I shaved nearly 2 full minutes off my last half-marathon time, which I set on a much faster course than Lake Placid back in […]

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