Run for the Rocks Half Marathon
Half Marathon #17
September 24, 2017
My fifth time running this race. I enjoy the course, the people and environment. There are a bunch of things I wish were different with the event (conversations with several friends indicate I’m not alone) and it makes me sad to see its participants dwindle each year. There has been a 57% decrease in finishers from 2012 to 2017 — 428 down to 183. But I’m not in charge, so I’ll just continue to show up when I can and enjoy the miles.
That’s precisely what I had in mind for this one. I tweaked a calf muscle a bit in a basketball league game a few days prior and it was feeling a bit tight. I knew I wasn’t ready for a fast race, but thought I’d give it what I had. I held up better physically than I expected and though I slowed down throughout, I was able to (barely) eke out a sub-2 finish.
Let’s rewind, though.
The shirts have always been my least favorite part of this race. They never fit right. This one is sharp, though. And though I haven’t run in it yet, it seems to fit really well. Nice!
I did zero warming up before the start. I mingled and chatted with a few friends I saw in July at the Rodeo Run and some I hadn’t seen in a bit longer. Good times.
I started fast in relation to my overall pace in the end, but I was feeling comfortable. I ran with a guy for a few miles who ran Rodeo Run, but I don’t know his name. I’ve seen him at several races over the years. All I know is that his mustache is the stuff of legend. Seriously, it’s phenomenal.
Mr. Mustache and I parted ways about 3.5 miles in or so when I slowed my pace down a bit (by design) and he maintained his.
I slowed to a walk through the aid stations, drank water here and there, thanked the volunteers and spectators. Shout out to Hutch PD and the HCC Cross Country and Track teams who were out and about. They were great.
I knew it was going to be a fight to finish sub-2 since I was slowing mile after mile. And while I didn’t particularly care about my time, as long as I had a shot to finish under two hours, I was going to stay focused on that goal.
Took me awhile, as usual, to catch my breath, but once I did, I had a good time mingling. My mom and Kami came down to meet me and we chatted for awhile. Talked with some other running friends and a few who were spectators as well.
Somehow, embarrassingly, I finished second in my age group. I’ve run this race before — MUCH faster — and not come anywhere near placing. But, hey, I guess I’ll take it.
This was my 24th race in Hutchinson, where I lived for three years. I enjoy the half marathon distance — mostly because here I am 24 hours after finishing and I’m not really sore anymore. That’s always nice.
Anytime you get to grab some miles and see friends, it’s a good day in my book.
I really only got one photo with friends, but Kami was starting to get warm (getting close to baby time, y’all) and I was ready to get on the road and back to Topeka.