Race report: Run for the Rocks Half Marathon

Run for the Rocks Half Marathon

Half Marathon #17

September 24, 2017

Place: 40/183

Time: 1:59:51

Logo

2017 RFR logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Shirt + bib

This year’s shirt.

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!

Start area

The start area.

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.

Pre-race goofy

Always be yourself. Even if you’re weird.

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.

Mile 4-5

Somewhere near Rice Park, probably about mile 4.5 or 5.

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.

Overall splits

8:17 | 8:11 | 8:12 | 8:20 | 8:27 | 8:47 | 9:08 | 9:22 | 9:38 | 9:55 | 9:24 | 9:42 | 9:35 | 8:53 (final 0.33 mi)
Finish (photo company)

Finish line photo, courtesy of the race photographers.

Finish (Kami)

Finish line photo, courtesy of Kami in the bleachers of Gowans Stadium.

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.

Awards + shirt

Run for the … tile, I guess. My age group award + finisher medal + the sweet shirt again.

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.

Running friends

My friends Aaron Wilson and Lisa Johnson. They both did an amazing job, as always.

 

 

 

Race report: Run for the Rocks half marathon

Run for the Rocks half marathon

September, 2015 — Hutchinson, KS

Half Marathon #9

Place: 133/278

Time: 2:12:52

Half marathon together with the wife on our first anniversary? Sure!

It was Kami’s first half marathon. We had no real expectations going in; just have fun. However, being the numbers Nazi that I am, I had suggested an optimistic goal of 2:30. She scoffed at the idea a bit, not wanting to feel any “pressure.” Understandable. But that 2:30-2:35 range was in the back of my mind the whole time, anyway.

A finish time of 2:30 would have meant an average pace of 11:26 per mile. I knew we’d maintain that for 8 miles or so, but wasn’t sure after that. Figured we’d do a decent amount of walking, which was fine by me. Nice weather, lovely wife next to me; I had nothing to complain about.

Started out with a 9:58 first mile. Perfect. I kind of figured if we could hover right around that 10-minute pace for a few miles, we’d be golden. Then a 9:47. Then a 9:41. Then a 9:39. We barely walked, other than briefly through aid stations. Wife was a machine on this day. That said, I was a little nervous we wouldn’t be able keep it up. Thrilled to say I was wrong.

Our overall splits on the day:

9:58, 9:47, 9:41, 9:39, 10:31, 10:17, 9:49, 10:20, 10:08, 10:43, 10:36, 10:42, 9:45

Not a single split slower than 10:43, with six miles faster than 10-per. Fantastic. She surprised herself, and I was immensely proud. But more importantly, she was proud of herself.

We crossed the finish line on the track at Gowan’s Stadium, together — holding hands. Official time: 2:12:52.

She/we managed to only walk aid stations and maybe one other time for less than 30 seconds or so. I am still in amazement of her determination. Little miss “I’m not a competitive person” demolished what she thought she was capable of. How cool is that?

We have already signed up for another half marathon; this one on Halloween in Haviland, KS — Run for Missions, it’s called. Should be a really fun day. Then again, it always is with her.

It was a pretty crazy first year of marriage. Lots of changes in our lives, with more to come. I expect Year Two to be just as crazy. And Year Three, and Year 60, and all the years in between. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I look forward to not only running more races with her, but more importantly, being next to her wherever life takes us, and however fast it takes us there.

My shirt, bib and medal from my fourth Run for the Rocks + my ninth half marathon.

My shirt, bib and medal from my fourth Run for the Rocks + my ninth half marathon.

Kami and me after her first half marathon on our first anniversary. Love that girl.

Kami and me after her first half marathon on our first anniversary. Love that girl.