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: 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: Brat Trot 5K

Brat Trot 5K

5K #52

June 1, 2019

Place: 14/131

Time: 23:43

Signed up for this one 20 minutes before the start because it was in town, near my office and also… brats.

shirt and bib

Fun shirt (despite being 100% cotton, so I’ll probably wear it twice or less) and bib, which I wound up losing later on.

Bryant loves the stroller rides now, so I wasn’t worried about him for this one. Weather was great, too. We’re really just practicing for “the big race” now — Father’s Day 4M race in Kansas City in two weeks.

We’ve got our distance down, this was time to work on speed.

But first, silly selfies…

After pushing Bryant 13.1 miles last Saturday in Manhattan, 3.1 seemed like an easy call. Strangely, this actually hurt more. Running fast hurts, you guys. And we did go fast.

We spent just about the entire race (after weaving through people in the beginning) trying to avoid letting a fast guy with a stroller passing us.

The course took us out and around a loop near my office. When we got near the building, we came to a fork in the path. The route took us left, but Bryant pointed to the right right because I’m fairly certain he recognized the building. The kid is smart, man.

I thought we had him, but when I pulled out my bib to hold up for the finish line folks to see (they suggested right before the start not to put it on your leg and I realized especially with the stroller, that was a suggestion I shouldn’t ignore), we must’ve slowed just a little and the guy with the other stroller sped up and almost got us — ALMOST.

It was a fun, furious race to the finish, at which we edged them out to be the first stroller across the finish line. Folks nearby enjoyed the show.

It took me a while to catch my breath, but we eventually made our way to the food.

brat

I had about 1.5 brats + half a banana. Bryant and Kami enjoyed some snacks, too. It was a good time.

A little bit bummed that I lost my bib, so I won’t have it to save with all my others. Must’ve left it sitting on the ground when I sat down after the finish, then walked away.

Oh well. No big deal. Good morning and a fun event.

bib on shorts

Proof that the bib existed — before I removed it from my shorts and tucked in the stroller.

Next up: Tonganoxie Library Run 10K — Saturday, June 8 — Tonganoxie, KS

 

Race report: Irish Fest 5K

Irish Fest 5K

5K #51

March 16, 2019

Place: 258/304

Time: 40:22

logo

Signed up for this one with the family. Ran with Kami and pushed Bryant in the stroller. Not a “race” for us. Just wanted to have fun in downtown Topeka, enjoying some fresh air.

Probably the first time I’ve ever gotten my packet two days before a race, but hey man, I’ve been busy.

Cool atmosphere for this one. We got downtown Saturday morning and found a parking spot a couple blocks from the start. We walked to the start line, where we waited a bit, which isn’t Bryan’t favorite. It’s not any of our favorite, really. We’re an impatient family, I suppose.

We did some people watching and took in the joys of downtown while we waited.

capitol pre race

We enjoyed the course, a two looper around downtown Topeka. We experienced some friendly folks along the way — and two less than friendly folks. One was a police officer who was barking orders as the pace biker. No worries there, just doing his job and all that — except his orders were wrong. Combine unfriendly with mistaken and you get annoying. *shrug*

The other was an elitest type woman who was very fast, but was grouchy when trying to pass on our right (that’s not a thing, lady) in the eight inch gap of space available — when there was about 12 feet of room to our left. But you know, whatever. We were enjoying ourselves.

kami running

Kami approaching the state house. She moved along a lot better than she thought she would.

downtown Topeka

Loved this view heading through the streets of downtown Topeka.

We were slow. But we stopped for a drink of water. Stopped for a bite of muffin. Stopped to look at some dogs. Stopped to cheer for the drumline — who was cheering for us. Zoomed down the hill and laughed together. Good times all around.

swag

Post race swag.

Next up: Wicked Marathon — Wamego, KS — March 30, 2019

 

 

Race report: Winter Wonderland 5K

Winter Wonderland 5K

5K #49

November 18, 2018

Place: 22/150

Time: 25:03

It’s actually hilarious how bad this thing is organized. I won’t even dwell on it because it’s a 5K and I just did it because I live nearby and it was a semi-fun way to kick off the holiday season in a festive manner.

ww5k

Recycled bibs, jacked up results, delays, etc. Oh well. Happy holidays!

Race report: Winged Foot 10K

Winged Foot 10K

September 29, 2018

Place: 2/19

Time: 47:35

shirt

Shirt design

This was my third year for this event. In 2016, I hobbled along after an ankle injury, just trying to get moving again before I attempted a 100 miler that I ultimately would DNF.

2016 Winged Foot 10K: 57:14

In 2017, I moved quite a bit better, as I was actually able to run the thing.

2017 Winged Foot 10K: 49:35

This year, I recently completed a 111-day run streak of at least 4 miles every day. That streak ended a few weeks ago, and while I haven’t done much actual running lately, I have been on my feet a ton — with coaching cross country, playing and officiating basketball and standing at work most the day.

2018 Winged Foot 10K: 47:35

I was happy to take another two minutes off my time from last year. I really enjoy this course and will continue to return when I can.

Kami and Bryant stayed home, as it was a bit chilly and the boy had been sick the night before.

selfie

Pre-race selfie

I had no plan going into this one. Just wanted to get some miles in. I wound up with about 10 on the day, including officiating some soccer games soon after the race ended.

bib 258

You know the drill.

I actually wound up with pretty decent splits, with all miles in the 7s. I ran a 7:12 first mile, assumed it wouldn’t hold, but didn’t particularly care. I honestly didn’t look at my watch during this one. Just enjoyed the miles and the course.

I had four people in front of me, but hoped at least a couple were in the 5K. I wouldn’t know for sure until we completed the first loop.

At the end of the loop, I knew for sure three people had finished. So I was in second. Or was I? Either that guy up front was done, too, and I was leading the 10K — or he was waaaaay out in front. Turns out, the latter wound up being the case. I had no prayer of catching him.

I was also quite a ways ahead of third place, so it was a nice, peaceful run, all things considered. No one passing me and no one to pass. Not mad about it.

7:12 | 7:38 | 7:34 | 7:34 | 7:44 | 7:40 | 7:16 (0.3)

finish

Thanks to Kayli Thompson for the finish line photo.

This is the last time for quite awhile that I will even attempt to run fast. I take my second crack at 100 miles in four weeks at KRT 100 in Ottawa.

After I collected my medal for winning my age group, I went with another runner and joined the last place 10K runner as he came through for his last 2/3 mile or so. It was his first 10K. His wife was so excited, hollering loud for him even well before he was even close to being in earshot range. It was a pretty cool moment. 

medal

Always fun to run at the Combat Air Museum in Topeka.

Next up: Salt City Half Marathon — Hutchinson, KS — Saturday, October 6

Race report: Run to Remember 10K

FOPA Run to Remember 10K

10K #25

August 25, 2018

Place: 5/26

Time: 48:38

I don’t get to run at Lake Shawnee much. LOL. I joke. I run there all the time. But races are another story. In the three times I’ve run the Cauldron Run 10K for the Sunflower State Games, twice it has started/finished at the lake, but left its parameters on an out-and-back course. The third time, this July, it was a super dumb six loops around Tinman Circle, so we won’t count that.

There was the Run for One 5K last year and the Winter Wonderland 5K the year before that. But this was a 10K, so I got to cover a little more ground. A few hills — though not the two biggest ones — and a super warm day made it not ideal for running. But I still had a great time.

lake, trees pre race

Lake Shawnee

lake pre race

The views don’t suck, y’all.

This one was for a good cause, too, which always helps.

I wasn’t able to run this last year, the first year I’d heard of it, due to being in Grand Island, NE for the Nebraska State Fair Marathon.

I was happy to be able to run it this year. Can’t beat driving a mile and a half to run a race.

course map

Enjoyable course

I picked up my packet the night before. Not sure why, since I live super close to the race, but hey, why not?

bib on shorts

Customary bib on shorts pic.

I knew I wasn’t there to race, since I’m in the middle — okay, near the end — of a pretty long run streak of 4-plus miles every day. My legs are feeling the weight of the streak, added to the riggors of coaching cross country this season and work stuff, dad stuff, husband stuff — you know, life.

Anyway, no real goal here. Just run some miles and have some fun.

early w Bradin

That’s Bradin in blue.

I ran with a kid that we had in track last year until his turnaround for the 5K. After wishing him good luck, I continued on my way. I thought I was in sixth or seventh place, but as it turns out — I was actually in third at the time. Ha. That wouldn’t last.

early in race

Those two guys both caught me eventually.

The shirtless guy above passed me at the turnaround, while the other, shorter fella passed me with probably a mile and change to go.

No worries. I was still running a better pace than I anticipated.

My splits were acceptable, although my fifth mile was a bit silly.

7:18 | 7:38 | 7:36 | 7:51 | 8:26 | 7:58 | 7:52 (0.23)

finish line

Shadowy finish line shot

The guy who was in first or second and way ahead of me early on, flew by me in the end. I thought he had won and doubled back to check on a friend — and was subsequently being a J-Hole by sprinting by me at the finish — beating me by a whopping two seconds.

Turns out, he had struggled, stopped to walk a few times and was legitimately not done yet. Had I known that, I might’ve had enough in the tank to edge him out and finish fourth, rather than fifth.

But I’m not mad about it. Had a great time, finished fifth overall, chatted a bit, stopped at Sonic and arrived home all before 10 a.m. Can’t beat it.

shirt, bib, medal

I don’t hate the shirts.

You know what my favorite part of the day was, though?

This kid…

Bryant and me

Me and Bryant

Next up: Sunflower Run 4-mile — Tonganoxie, KS — Saturday, September 1