Carmel Championship Weekend Half Marathon. Even with some signage issues and poor volunteering (but also plenty of excellent volunteering as well), this was a great race. Hillier than I expected. Most races in the area are flattish, but this one had some rollers and overall net gain. I lined up closed to the front, but behind the 1:30 group. I was tempted to go with them, but I knew it was slightly out of my reach. Still, I set close to a 6 minute PR.
Only had time for a bit over a mile warm up before jumping into the corral.
First 4 miles were primarily downhill into a turn around back up a portion of the hill (7:10, 7:02, 7:18, 7:13.) We went through some nice neighborhoods and a few folks were out spectating, which was nice even though it was a smallish race (about 2000 for both half and full). My race memories are never that clear, but I think we entered the paved trails around mile 7 or so (were the "fun" began), but splits 5-7 were (7:14, 7:27, 7:10). At one point in the race I was running with one person and we couldn't see anyone up ahead, and we came to a fork in the road. No indication of direction! We guessed and there was a guy playing a guitar up ahead and we asked him. Of course he was singing and he kind of smiled before letting us know we were on track. Some tree cover, so I think the pace was a bit off but still close: 8 & 9 (7:10, 7:18). Another spectator told us we hit the last hill, which was a sharp turn uphill to get to the end of the woods section (he was very wrong about it being the last hill I might add). Around this point we exited the woods and got to an intersection that had a weird turn that went down another path (possibly this was earlier), but the point is the volunteer had her dog and iPod and was a little slow to give the direction (we had to ask), so I had to change my direction. Mile 10 was 7:18. I planned to run the last 5k in 22:00. I was tired by this point and the guy I ran several miles with pulled away a bit, even though I thought I had more energy than he did. We ran the last few miles through a downtown area back to the start 11-13 (7:03, 7:04; 6:56). As usual, the finish was just around a corner, and I always think it is farther than it is, but it was down hill and I ran around the 5-minute mark for the remaining partial split trying to catch the guy in front of me (25 seconds for the partial). After I hit the finish I was moving 4:45 so I kind of missed my medal at the end of the chute :) I heard "You forgot your medal!" Yes, yes, I did! I couldn't slow down because it was a nice downhill. Someone was nice enough to meet me when my parachute finally slowed me down. Some day I will learn how folks run at that pace in a controlled fashion! 5 minutes and 53 second PR.
Heard a voice call my name after I got my goodies. It was another grad student I know, who ended up winning. I guess there was some discrepancy about a missed turn when he was in 2nd and the guy ahead was lead the wrong way around a roundabout (rotary, traffic circle, circus, whatever folks in the mid-west call it!), but the times weren't close enough at the end for a minor detour to matter.
1.75 miles for the cool down