Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's Done

The McDonalds Maymont half marathon is probably the hardest physical thing I have ever done. An almost perfect day -- 52° at the start. The only weather issue was the wind. The course is really interesting but really challenging. We crossed the James River about 6 times, ran trails, ran roads, some flat terrain, some hills, both up and down steps. The worst were the spiral steps down from one of the bridges to the river level and the long set of steps that we had to run up somewhere around mile 8.

I had trained for the last 12 weeks for a 1:41 finish -- a pace of 07:45 mpm. One of our new journeymen, Justin Drummons, decided to run with me. Justin's less than half my age and normally runs a half in 1:20-1:25 but he was very gracious. I could not have finished as well as I did without him. Thanks, Justin. However, neither of us factored in the difficulty of the course. This was my first half but Justin has run several and he said that it was the hardest course he's ever seen. (Maybe he was just trying to encourage this old dude!)

It was also great to have Linda (my wife) and Stacey (our daughter) there at the start and finish. They had to get up early, early and leave at 6:15 am on a Saturday morning to be there. It was really encouraging to here our names called out and look over to see their smiling faces.

My finish time was 1:49:08. That put me at 166th out of something like 641 runners who, based on the results, finished. (The pre-registered printouts showed something like 1200 runners registered but that might well have included those who were registed in any of the races during the weekend.) It also put me at 7th in the men's 50-54 year old bracket. We had to walk several times. I think if I'm disappointed in anything about my race it is that I couldn't run the whole thing. The results are here -- I registered as "Robert Allen".

It's done. I'm glad I ran and I'd do it again. The race organization gave every appearance of being casual but was very good.

Run well, y'all,
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