Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon
Half Marathon #34
January 18, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Next up: AlfaDog 40 Mile + 25K — March 7 — Pretty Prairie, KS