Race report: Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon

Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon

Half Marathon #34

January 18, 2020

Place: 47/123

Time: 1:58:19

Seems like we just did this. Back in 2019, this event was pushed back 7.5 months to August 31, which made myself and others skeptical that the event would continue moving forward. If it had been up to me, I would’ve kept it on Labor Day weekend. But it wasn’t — and they didn’t.

shirt design

I don’t love the shirts compared to the pullovers in previous years, but it’ll do.

I was impressed they got 100+ people signed up again with that quick of a turnaround, but it’s always nice to do a race here in town and not worry about travel and lodging.

Two weeks prior, as usual, I ran the course preview run, where I got to meet a couple new folks and had a good time, despite the cold temps.

forecast

It would be much of the same on race day. This was the race day forecast as of a few days prior.

Both times I’d run the race previously, I had run it in 2:17:something, going just a few seconds slower the second time than in the first. In the preview run this time around, I got it done in 2:13:something.

Wasn’t sure what to expect on race day. I knew sub-2 was highly unlikely and I had no aspirations of that, if I’m being honest. I was just hoping to beat that 2:17, but didn’t expect faster than 2:10.

Guess again.

I went to work for a bit first thing, to get our youth basketball game tipped off and actually wound up officiating a game due to an illness by one of our veteran officials. Nice little race day warm-up, am I right?

I then went to Indian Hills Elementary School, the site of the start line.

Indian Hills Elementary

Indian Hills Elementary School

swag

Pre-race swag.

back of shirt

Back of the shirt.

I went out strong, with plans to fall back a bit as the miles ticked by. I told myself that I’d hold the pace until I felt I couldn’t any more, then back off.

Turns out, that time never came.

I also told myself to run up the hills because I knew once I got to the tops of them, I wouldn’t want to start running again — so that helped.

Urish Hill

At the top of the hill on Urish.

I realized after a few miles that I would probably beat my 2:17 time.

I realized after I conquered the Urish hill that I would likely beat 2:10.

I realized once I hit the gravel/dirt roads at mile 8 that if I could hold a steady pace, sub-2 wasn’t out of the question. Honestly, that’s what kept me going.

I saw the cross country team from Shawnee Heights High School (I coach at the middle school and knew a few of them) volunteering at the mile 12 aid station.

Knew I would beat two hours, as long as I stayed moving and didn’t walk. Actually thought to myself that if I could get down to the 1:57 range, I could potentially beat my time by 20 minutes.

I didn’t quite get that, but it was still a very successful day, as I crossed the finish line in 1:58:19. I was pretty excited about that time — especially on this course. Sub-2 is pretty challenging for me these days, but this course is really tough and I often commented how it just wouldn’t happen here.

But it did.

Can’t be mad about that.

Splits: 8:47 | 8:56 | 8:47 | 8:51 | 8:51 | 8:48 | 9:14 | 8:48 | 8:56 | 8:52 | 9:31 | 9:15 | 8:59 | 8:07 (0.2 mi)

post race

I got fifth in my age group, but they had extra mugs, so I got one. I felt like I earned it on this day.

Next up: AlfaDog 40 Mile + 25K — March 7 — Pretty Prairie, KS

Race report: Spooky Sprint Half Marathon

Spooky Sprint Half Marathon

Half Marathon #31

October 27, 2019

Place: 119/151

Time: 2:33:15

race logo

Wanted one more race with Bryant before the end of the year, so I signed up for this one at Longview Lake in Kansas City. I had been there before for a different race and really enjoyed it.

This experience was an interesting one for a few reasons:

  • They ran out of safety pins and asked runners to donate spare ones.
  • Bryant got cold and was tired, so I handed him off to Kami at 7.3, going the rest solo.
  • It started out out pavement, but quickly transitioned to a soft, fine gravel course.

Still an enjoyable experience overall, despite Bryant struggling. I was happy Kami was there to take him or I would’ve had my first ever DNF at a half marathon. The kid perked up once he warmed up and saw a dog at the finish line. But yeah, he wasn’t having it out there. No worries, though.

Not sure if I should count this as my fourth stroller-pushing half marathon or not, since we didn’t make it the whole way together. Oh well.

Here are some photos:

shirt and bib

swag

Race report: Salt City Half Marathon

Salt City Half Marathon

Half marathon #30

October, 2019

Place: 73/147

Time: 2:26:05

Second weekend in a row pushing the kid in a half marathon. Goal going into this one was to beat our time yet again, though we knew it would be tough — especially with the pending storm.

We got to the start line, chatted with a couple friends, snapped a couple selfies and got ready to go. No rain early on. We knew it would hit eventually, though.

But it was a good day for us out on the course — which had a small detour along the way, making it just a hair long. Bonus mileage and whatnot. 🙂

course map

This was my 30th half marathon overall, seventh in Hutchinson and third pushing Bryant. Love the half marathon distance because it’s a good workout, but my legs don’t really hurt after, which is always nice.

We got to about mile five before the rains hit. It lasted about 10 minutes before the skies really opened up for a bit, releasing a heavy downpour for a few minutes. Bryant was a trooper throughout the whole thing, getting wet but staying happy. The downpour ended, but the steady rain continued for about six miles.

dark skies

Course along Jim P. Martinez Trail.

We were soaked, but he used my towel as a blanket and we kept soldiering on. Once the rain finally stopped, the sun actually came out. That was a welcome relief for the last few miles toward the finish line.

We got in some snacks, but stopped for shorter periods of time than we had before, which helped our time. We wound up beating our PR from one week earlier by 4:17.

10:57 | 10:38 | 11:17 | 10:12 | 10:53 | 11:05 | 10:50 | 11:25 | 12:36 | 11:49 | 10:45 | 11:19 | 10:19 | 7:06 (0.28)

We did lots of talking and singing and making animal sounds throughout the race. I love that kid so much. We have lots of fun.

We did annoy a lady early in the race, who I overheard groaning and complaining about my nonstop talking. I apologize for nothing. We had several other folks mention how much fun and entertaining we were. For the second week in a row, we were the only stroller in the race. I like that.

We flew down the stretch the last half mile or so. Probably the fastest I’ve ever run with a stroller. The legs felt good and Bryant yelled “Go!” a bunch of times, so… I went.

We passed a handful of folks that last half mile or so on our way to the finish line.

Anyway, all things considered it was a great day. I didn’t get any photos with any of my friends who I saw there, like I usually do. But I did get to chat with some folks and got some fun pics with Bryant, so that’s fun.

Not sure when our next race together will be. I fear perhaps not until 2020, but maybe we can find a shorter one or two and get lucky with some weather. Until then…

bib, shirt, medal

Next up: Heartland 50 — October 12 — Cassoday, KS

Race report: Royals Charities 10K

Royals Charities 10K

10K #32

August 10, 2019

Place: 36/106

Time: 56:57

I was excited about this one. Knew it would be fun to run another race pushing Bryant in the stroller and getting to run on the field at a Major League Baseball stadium.

Despite being at the Royals’ ballpark, we had to rep our favorite team. Bryant wore his Kris Bryant jersey and I had my Cubs hat off and on, then changed into my Cubs shirt after the race.

Got there not long before the race, but had enough time to get ready before taking off. Our goal was to beat our best 10K time together of 59:01 — which was our first attempt in Tonganoxie back in June. We ran at Sunflower State Games in July, but finished in 1:01:07 due to warmer temps, along with some extended snack breaks.

SportsPhotos_DSC01574

The only shot we were in from the race photographer.

Spoiler alert: We did it. We finished in 56:57 — 4:10 faster than our previous best. Really happy with that. AND we had a blast in the process, despite Bryant falling asleep somewhere around mile four.

sleeping on field

Sleeping on the center field warning track. Shame, kid.

He wasn’t even awake for when we saw the lion mascot (Slugerrr) and the hot dogs. Bummer.

hot dogs and mascot

Fun on the video board, creepy up close.

It’s not Wrigley or anything, but it’s pretty cool being on the field in an MLB ballpark.

Our splits were pretty good, despite the slow sixth mile, due to taking it easy on the field to soak it in a little bit with some time to spare.

8:29 | 8:59 | 8:49 | 9:01 | 9:18 | 10:28 | 8:47 (0.22)

Bryant slept until shortly after we finished the race, but was probably asleep for the last two miles or so. I didn’t realize it until well after that, but wondered when he stopped responding to me. He was super talkative until he wasn’t at all.

wave near finish

Just a few steps from the finish.

We hung out a bit after the race and enjoyed the environment before taking off for some lunch.

Bryant and Soler

I’m still mad we traded 4 years of Jorge Soler for 1 year of Wade Davis, too, buddy.

All in all, it was a great morning. But then again, Bryant can pretty much have fun anywhere, doing anything. Like, playing with rocks or whatever.

B playing with rocks

Love this kid.

Later on, after probably the best family nap since before Bryant was born, we went to the Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake MLS game. Had a good time there, too, even though the good guys came up short.

 

 

Next up: Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon — August 31 — Topeka, KS

Race report: Rodeo Run 4 + a Half

Rodeo Run Half Marathon

Half marathon #27

July 20, 2019

Place: 31/53

Time: 2:25:53

My seventh time directing the Rodeo Run was a success yet again. Proud of the event and what it’s become, as we’ve raised a good chunk of change for the Pretty Prairie High School cross country and track & field programs over the years.

In the first three years, we had a 5K and 1-mile, then in 2016 switched to 8-mile/4-mile/1-mile for another three years. This year, I opted to swap out the 8-mile for a half marathon, which is always a popular distance. We also added a bike option this year, which was a fun twist.

Participant numbers were down this year, especially in the 1-mile, but our profits were up. When you add a longer distance and charge just a little bit more, it really adds up.

Participants this year:

Half marathon RUN: 53

Half marathon BIKE: 8

4 mile RUN: 52

4 mile BIKE: 9

1 mile run/walk: 53

Results link here: 2019 Rodeo Run Results

Anyway… Always cool to participate in an event I host and get rid of at least a little stress by taking off for a run with my friends.

flat Derrick

Love the shirts this year — and picking my own bib number.

Here are some photos from throughout the day, as I will try to limit the wordiness of this report. Mostly because, well, we have a Facebook page, you guys. [here]

7.2 selfie

Selfie in the shade after aid station at the end of my childhood driveway at mile 7.

1082

Chris Wilson ran Rodeo Run each of the last two years. He died at another race in September, wearing bib 1082. I carried this with me throughout our race this year.

water tower

Love hosting and running a race back home. Cool to run by the old water tower, which will be coming down in the near future. 

I finished with my slowest half marathon time ever, but I wasn’t even upset about it. I had a steady pace until the aid station at mile seven, where I took a little break and sprinkled in some walking the rest of the way — not to mention fixing a couple turn markers and all that jazz.

Got the chance to run a few miles with my friends Wyatt and Kristina Clifton, along with meeting several other cool people throughout the morning.

Crossed the finish line, grabbed a root beer (yeah, root beer) and the stroller to push Bryant in the one-mile event.

Spoiler alert: That would also be slow/fun.

Rodeo Run 1-mile

1-mile #12

July 20, 2019

Place: 47/53

Time: 19:51

We rarely jogged and only in spurts. We mostly walked and talked and made animal sounds. Zero hurry in this one. Just hanging out with friends and moving a bit (more).

My legs were pretty gassed after finishing the half marathon run maybe three minutes before starting the one-mile run/walk. Oh well.

With a block to go in the race, we stopped the stroller so I could get the kid out and walk with him to the finish — well, sort of. He only enjoyed it for a bit. So we had a pick-up break in between, before walking again to cross the finish line.

B, Roscoe at finish

The kid finishes! 

B hugs mom

And a hug from mom!

I love hanging with the kid. If we hadn’t started so early (had to with the summer heat), I would’ve pushed him in the half marathon. I would’ve been quite a bit slower still, but man, it would be fun. Always is with that boy.

B at HS

Pretty cool seeing him walk around like he owns the place back in my old stomping grounds.

After the races were over, I walked downtown to eat some post-race breakfast and mingle. By that, I mean chat with and thank as many people as I could for participating. This is such a humbling endeavor. I’m always immensely thankful and appreciative to all the people who take time out of their days and pay money to travel to Pretty Prairie, Kansas and participate in an event that I host. I absolutely love it.

Thank you once again to all participants, volunteers and sponsors involved in this event. I couldn’t do it without any of you!

Sheila, Lisa, me

My crazy fast friends, Sheila and Lisa. They rock!

Cyn and me

My friend Cynthia skipped out on the 4 mile (quitter) but still came for the 1 mile and even helped out at the breakfast. She’s the best.

After the races were over and clean-up was done, we got cleaned up and drove to Pizza Hut, where we gave shirts to the store manager and his wife, who are big supporters of our event. They provided a ton of cups to us for the second year in a row. I can’t tell you how valuable such a small thing is.

They have expressed interest in continuing to help us out in the future. It’s become a traidition in the past two years to go to Pizza Hut in Kingman for lunch. What a delicious tradition, you guys.

Oh, did I mention we got Bryant his own shirt this year? It’s a little big — for now.

All in all, a very successful Rodeo Run yet again. Already looking forward to next year.

shirt, bib, medal

Custom race medals to boot. Get it? Boot? It’s a rodeo joke, you guys. 

Next up: Urban ICT 50-mile — Friday/Saturday, July 26/27 — Wichita, KS

 

 

Race report: Cauldron Run 10K (SSG)

Cauldron Run 10K

10K #31

July 13, 2019

Place: 22/31

Time: 1:01:07

Having been in Topeka now for three years and two-plus months, this is my fourth summer, and therefore, my fourth Cauldron Run 10K with the Sunflower State Games.

Unfortunately, the route is still an insanely boring six loops around Tinman Circle at Lake Shawnee. Here’s hoping they fix that next year.

I was also pretty disappointed at the scheduling, with it taking place the same weekend as Mexican Fiesta 5K here in town that I was hoping to do, but oh well.

This was my first time pushing the kid in the stroller at this event.

shirt and bib

The FOURTH time I’ve had bib # 210. Weird.

We had a huge day ahead with moving into a new house a few miles away, so while Kami was doing some moving tasks, Bryant and I went to the race, fellas only.

me and B ready

Getting ready for the race. Bib and watch on the stroller. Snacks ready.

me and B silly

Making funny faces.

start shot

Almost ready to go!

We didn’t beat our goal of improving on our 10K stoller PR (59:01 at the Tonganoxie Library Run), but given the heat and the two snack breaks, we did okay. We finished in 1:01:07. We ran a little bit with Melissa, a local TV reporter. She’s super friendly. Always good to see her out there.

I thought I saw one other stroller out in front of us, but pretty sure we were the only one in the 10K, so you know, that’s a win.

For the first time, I did not earn an age group medal at this one. BUT… When posing with the kid on the podium, one of the Sunflower State Games workers gave Bryant a first place medal from the Kids Run. That was super nice!

B on podium

CHAMP.

podium with B

I love this kid. Oh, and Roscoe.

SSG bibs

My four bibs and three medals from the Cauldron Run 10K at Sunflower State Games.

Bryant got to sit in a fire truck at the finish. He’s gotten to do that several times at various events and he loves it every time.

B on fire truck

Bryant the fireman.

And only a few minutes later…

B sleeping

B, out.

Next up: Rodeo Run 4 + a Half — July 20 — Pretty Prairie, KS

(yay!)

Race report: Father’s Day Four Mile

Father’s Day Four Mile

4 Mile #7

June 15, 2019

Place: 67/172

Time: 34:25

THE BIG RACE. This is the one Bryant and I talked about all year long after doing it last year as our first run with the stroller. Last year’s medal was hanging on the wall over his crib since that day.

We didn’t like the shirt as much this year or the course — an out-and-back instead of a loop due to construction — but the experience was just as good, if not better. Fun wrinkle this year is his ability to walk before/after and, well, be super nosy along the way.

We arrived with it sprinkling a bit, picked up our (my) shirt and bib and got ready to go.

shirt and bib

Shirt and bib.

bib on shorts

Typical, bro.

Of course, we had to squeeze in some pre-race silly selfies.

pre race face

It’s go time, son.

start line

Start line shot.

We were really just there to have fun, but had talked about trying hard to beat our time from last year’s race. We knew if we stayed steady, we could do it.

We zoomed on ’em early and often, holding fairly steady throughout. That’s one positive about the out-and-backs, is that you know exactly where you’re at in relation to the finish line.

The views out there, man…

around curve

Early race curve.

KC skyline

Took this exact pic last year. Love that spot.

mile 3

On the home stretch.

Our splits were good for a dad-stroller race, I thought. We had a fast 5K, a long half marathon and a mid-distance 10K to prep for this one — THE BIG RACE.

Splits: 8:24 | 8:51 | 9:02 | 8:048:35/mile overall

We passed a couple with a stroller right near the finish line to finish as the third fastest stroller in the race. We’ll take it.

We did it. We beat our time by 2:16 from last year. Think we can get even faster next year? You betcha. We’re gonna get faster and faster these next couple years before he starts running with me. That’ll be a blast.

Sad story, happy ending: We lost our medal somewhere between the finish line and the car. Must’ve fallen out of the stroller somewhere into the grass.

Thankfully, I contacted KC Running Company and they were gracious enough to send us a replacement. It has been added to the BIG RACE collection.

swag

Swag, son.

Oh, and THE BIG RACE wasn’t all we did on this day. After recovering and lounging a bit at a hotel, we took in some Monster Jam action at Arrowhead Stadium with some family — fellas only. It resulted in a couple of my most favorite pics yet of me and the kid…

As far as races go…

Next up: Freedom Run 15K — Lyons/Sterling, KS — July 4