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: 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

Race report: Father’s Day Four Mile

Father’s Day Four Mile

June 16, 2018

Place: 65/350

Time: 36:41

logo

Father’s Day Four Mile

All week, leading up to my first race pushing Bryant in his stroller, we talked about “the big race.” We talked about how we’d pass people and say “Catch ya later, nerds!” (in a funny voice, of course).

The race was to be a loop course around Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City. It proved to be a really cool course that I’d love to return to. This could be a fun traditional event for us, should it continue.

shirt +bib

Instant favorite shirt, too.

We got out, ate some graham crackers and geared up for the big race.

prerace selfie

We got in a few pre-race selfies, of course.

I’ve got the coolest kid, you guys.

cool guys

For real. Kid’s a baller.

bib on shorts

Bib on shorts once again.

We got there a bit early, because that’s how I roll. If you’re not early, you’re late. I’m determined to teach him that lesson. When better to do it than… well, early.

photog

We even stopped for a photo from the race photographer.

love him

We were ready to go!

4

Finally heading to the start line!

start

The start line. We’re on the left. 

We started out near the very back out of courtesy. Didn’t want to get trampled. I’d estimate 20 people at most started further back than we did. We had some work to do.

Bryant got really fussy upon starting and I worried he’d have a tough time throughout the race, which would’ve led to a lot of walking. I was fine with the idea of having to walk and prepared for that possibility. I just wanted him to do well and maybe even have fun.

It was really congested early on, as we had a lot of maneuvering to do to pass some people. Lots of “zoom-zoom”-ing and weaving in and out of people. The more open space we saw, the better he did. I even heard him laugh once or twice. Love that.

We settled in and maintained a steady-ish pace for awhile, although obviously slower than I’d run without a stroller.

We got to see some pretty sweet views along the ways. It was an airport — and I love planes.

skyline

That KC skyline is something else, you guys.

We even had a couple of hills, which seemed worse because of the stroller than they would have otherwise.

Bryant stayed happy and awake until at least 2.5 miles in, when he dozed off. He slept through a fairly noisy bit of construction at the 3-mile mark and I expect mostly through the finish line.

finish

Official time — 36:41

Our splits8:44 | 9:31 | 9:28 | 8:20 | 6:40 (0.11) 

Yeah… that last tenth or so of a mile — 6:40 pace. Wow. We were flying. Had to pass those last few guys before the finish.

We got a kick out of people sighing when they were passed by a stroller. But hey, everyone did their best out there — another lesson for B Dizzle.

I was so proud of him — as always.

champion

Even when he’s sleeping, this kid is a champion.

We got a sweet medal to go with the sweet shirt and the cool KC Running Company bib.

shirt w medal

Swag

Our medal is now hanging on Bryant’s wall just above his light switch. We’ve talked about it every day since the big race.

pose w medal

He earned that bling.

eat the medal

Chomp, chomp.

Next up for me: Freedom Run 15K — July 4

Next up with Bryant: Undecided

 

Race report: Longview Half Marathon

Longview Half Marathon

Half Marathon #18

November 11, 2017

Place: 217/521

Time: 2:03:59

race logo

Longview Half Marathon logo

Chalk this up as another “just for fun” race — kind of my theme this year. This was my first race since our son Bryant joined the world three weeks earlier. He nor Kami made the trip as it was a bit on the cold and windy side, but I was happy to get out and run more than 7 miles for the first time in a couple months. The race itself went better than expected.

When I arrived, I was told they did not have my shirt size, but would order it and mail it to me. I was upset for about two seconds and quickly decided it wasn’t worth it. Besides, as a race director myself, I get it. I did, after all, sign up a bit late. No worries. Still a personalized race bib. They even gave me a VIP bracelet to make up for the temporarily missing shirt. That got me a pass into the tent with the heaters and a nicer bathroom. Score.

bib 299

Only third time with my name on my bib — one was a DNF.

When the race started, I took off slowly by design. Wasn’t sure how I’d hold up running farther than I’d run in quite some time. I kept pace just ahead of the 2:10 pace group for the first two-plus miles.

That’s when we hit “the hill.” Excluding a couple of trail races I’ve done, this was likely the steepest paved hill I’ve ever run in a race. Brutal. But I counted runners going the other direction to keep my mind off the hill — 275. I was in 276th place by the time I reached the top. Yeah, this was a big race.

KC Running Co bus

KC Running Co. does a good job.

Right at the top of the hill — maybe around mile 2.75 or so — I caught up with the 2:05 pace group. Figured I’d hang with them for a mile or two until I felt the need to drop back again. Instantly got to chatting with a couple guys, Sean and Andy. Sean was one of the pacers, while Andy was a guy in his 40s (I think) running the race a few minutes behind his teenage son.

Cool guys. Good conversation. I never like running with groups, but this was a good time. Maybe it was because I forced myself to settle in and not race. Maybe I’ve lightened up since I entered fatherhood. Who knows.

Anyway, off and on during the race, Sean, Andy and myself were joined by a couple of girls — Kelsey and Stephanie. They either knew each other previously or had become fast friends in the early miles of this one. Not sure of their ages, but Stephanie has a baseball playing son and Kelsey was going to do another half marathon the next day. Crazy person.

Hearing other people’s stories gave me an excuse to talk about my own son — Bryant. He’s a stud, you guys.

Back to the race…

me full length

Cold, windy, hilly, fun.

Each mile that ticked by, I thought “Maybe I’ll hang with this group another mile… Okay, maybe two more.” I surprised myself greatly with how steady this race was. I owe a lot of that to Sean’s pacing skills and the good chats with the runners mentioned above.

I stuck within a few steps of the group, especially Sean, until about the 11.6 mark. I decided I could push it a bit and tried to pick it up a notch. After my slowest mile of the day (9:44) in mile 11, I sped up by one second in mile twelve, then turned in my fastest mile of the day (8:44) in mile 13.

LOL. Yeah, I’ve definitely never done that in a race before. I even had a little bit left for a sprint through the finish.

9:34 | 9:29 | 9:41 | 9:06 | 9:20 | 9:27 | 9:23 | 9:29 | 9:30 | 9:40 | 9:44 | 9:43 | 8:44 | 6:52 (final 0.16)

me finishing

Chip time 2:03:59

I don’t like being slower than two hours in a half marathon, but all things considered, I was very happy with this race. I met some cool people, maintained a steady pace and had a fun time. I would definitely consider doing this race again.

hoodie, bib, medal

Borrowed a guy’s hoodie to snap a pic since mine has to be mailed to me — no idea when that will come.

While the weather was cold, especially when the wind hit the lake just right, I chose a pretty perfect wardrobe for the conditions — especially given that I wasn’t really racing this one. I actually got warm a time or two, but never so much so that I felt inclined to ditch layers.

me close up

Somewhere around mile 11.

Before taking off for home to be with the wife and boy, I meandered around a bit and took in the scenery while stretching out the legs in the process.

I even got someone to snap a pic for me…

post race pose

My 18th half marathon.

I may do a free Thanksgiving 5K if they’re still having it this year, back in Hutchinson. Otherwise, my next race is the Hangover Half Marathon in Overland Park on January 1, 2018.

Until then…

Race report: Kansas City Marathon

Oct 19, 2013 — Kansas City, MO

Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon

Place: 1,409/1,791

Time: 4:57:02

Embarrassing. Painful. Depressing. Did I mention embarrassing? I am only posting this to remind myself just how bad it can get during a race, and maybe even learn from it.

Started slow, like everyone always tells me to. Kept a steady, albeit too slow pace through 10-12 miles. It didn’t take long for the race to beat me up, physically, but even more so mentally/emotionally.

By mile 13, I knew I had no chance at my sub-4 goal. By mile 14, my dreaded hiccups hit (just like every marathon I’ve done around the same point) and I knew I had no chance at my weak 4:12 PR. By mile 15, I knew I couldn’t even come close to a PR. That’s when I quit mentally. I was crushed. It was an emotional weekend for various reasons. I have a looooong list of excuses I could make, and have (unprepared for hills, horrendous training, mental blocks, complete lack of focus, outside stress, etc). But I won’t elaborate further. At least not again, and not here.

Fact: I’m better than this. I am not a quitter. But I almost quit several times in this one. Only reasons to continue: Big medal + finisher’s shirt (only to find out you had to pay extra for a finisher’s shirt — no, thanks). Mentally, I quit. My state of mind has improved slightly since the race, but not by a ton. I am taking a break from marathons. I stink at the marathon, plain and simple.

“At least you finished.” Screw that. That’s not the goal. Especially by now. I will be back. Probably as soon as April (+ as long as it takes to figure out my hiccup past mile 14 issue). But for the time being, I’m taking a mental break from 26.2. I’m running a local 5K race for Halloween with my girlfriend this weekend — I’ll be dressed as Wolverine. Then, a local 10K on November 9… Strongly considering a 12-hour Ultra on November 16 with a goal of running 50 miles (my longest ever is 38) to earn a special belt buckle award. Even that would feel less like a race, though. Long story, short: I just want to make running fun again.

The 26.2 is no fun for me at this point. And that’s okay.