Chocolate Rush Half Marathon
February 4, 2017 — Olathe, KS
After a five week stretch of running at least 5 miles or more every day (though mostly treadmill miles), my ankle was slowly feeling a little bit stronger heading into this one.
The Chocolate Rush Half Marathon took place in Olathe, starting and finishing on the campus of Mid-America Nazarene University.
Another cold race, similar to the one I did on New Year’s Day, five weeks earlier. This one was windier, however, which made it that much less desirable for most folks. But the course was a good one and mostly flat, which suited me just fine.
I decided to start with a pace group for the early miles, which I never do. If I’m being honest, talking — or listening — when I run. Well, to strangers, anyway. Maybe I just don’t do small talk well. I enjoy running with friends. But when a stranger tries to chat my ear of during a race? I’m not all about that life.
Anyway, I stuck with the pace group for most of the first 6 miles or so and kept them in sight through about mile 9 or 10. I sprinkled in bits of walking the last few miles, as my recent head cold had made it tough to breathe in spurts — although not nearly as bad as I’d expected.
But my lungs worked harder than the rest of me seemed to throughout this one, as my legs, feet (ankle included) and brain all felt pretty good following the race.
Since I’ll likely never PR this distance again as long as I live, I really just wanted to run fairly consistent and finish sub-2 hours, if at all possible.
Once I lost sight of the pace group, that plan was in jeopardy, but I managed to keep my walk breaks brief and stay on track, coming in just under the two hour mark.
I did visit a little with a girl over the last few miles who said this was her first half marathon. She is a soccer player at MNU, who was talked into running by some teammates. After going together for a bit, then alternating leads between the two of us, she finished strong, just ahead of me.
My splits were good early and tapered off late. Still managed to maintain a sub-9 pace overall with an 8:58 through 13.24 miles.
8:44 | 8:30 | 8:15 | 8:17 | 8:23 | 8:12 | 8:38 | 8:34 | 8:55 | 9:41 | 9:55 | 10:13 | 10:22
Factor in the sweet, chocolatey food at the post-race festivities, this was an event I’d definitely do again.