Race report: Hangover Half Marathon

Hangover Half Marathon

Half Marathon #12

January 1, 2017 — Leawood, KS

Place: 72/250

Time: 2:07:09

For the fourth year in a row, I ran a race on New Year’s Day. In 2014, it was the Hangover Half Marathon in Wichita. In 2015, it was the Last Run/First Run 10K combo in Lincoln. Last year, back to the 13.1 in Wichita.

But this year, after moving to Topeka this spring, it was the Hangover Half Marathon in Leawood/Overland Park. This one is a lot more low-key than the one in Wichita. At a cost of just $20, there wasn’t much complaining to be done. I got 13 miles and change out of the deal, plus a knit cap and an event pint glass. Not too shabby.

Oh, and some free race photography. Here’s Kami and I hanging out before the race at the KC Running store:

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With our matching Cubs World Series hoodies and all.

With the nagging ankle injury hounding me since the DNF at Heartland 100 on October 8 (almost three months earlier), I hadn’t done a lot of outdoor running since then, minus a couple for-fun 5K events and so on. So, this was a test.

The ankle held up fine, I suppose, although it’s more sore the day after than I’d hoped it would be. I’ll get back to the treadmill for the foreseeable future — seemed to help the past few weeks.

As it turns out, I was probably only ready for about nine miles or so, and certainly wasn’t prepared for hills — I rarely am. What I got, though, was 13.31 miles and a few nasty hills that left me cursing under my breath a time or two.

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After I jokingly scoffed at the race photographer for popping up at mile 11.5, I tried to force a smile.

I held a decent pace for the first 5-6 miles and had hopes of running a goal marathon pace and finishing in the 1:54 – 1:56 range. But once the unexpected hills popped up, I knew that wasn’t happening. I became frustrated with myself and my progress (or lack thereof) for the next few miles.

But for the final couple of miles, despite the soreness, I decided to just be grateful for the miles and the excuse to get the heart beating a little faster to kick off a new year. Results will come later, I figure. This wasn’t a race I came into aiming for speed anyway.

So, all things considered, I’ll call it a good day.

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Crossing the finish line. I then helped clip off other runners’ chips. Not to be generous — I just wanted an excuse to sit in the open chair.

I like the half marathon distance. Whether I’m in race shape or 30 pounds over my ideal weight, it’s a distance that is long enough to force me to work hard, but short enough the soreness doesn’t generally last more than a day or two, max.

Obviously if I’m racing, I prefer the ultras (50-milers at the moment), but for just a getaway/experience type of event, this will do. Especially at $1.50 per mile.

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Pre-race selfie + race swag and logo.

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