Shamrock'N Half Marathon - Race Report
Advertised as a fast, mostly flat course. Run thru a bunch of Sacramento neighborhoods (some not very pleasant...), ending up in Raley Field (Home of the Sacramento River Cats - whoever they are). Weather was perfect, 46 to start, 56 to finish, sunny, practically no wind. About 2,100 runners (plus another 1,000 for a 5k)
I had 3 Goals:
1) Beat 1:40 - this was the comfortable goal (7:38 pace)
2) Beat 1:38:54 - current PR. (7:33 pace)
This was from the "downhill" Kaiser Half run 5 weeks ago. Wanted to show I could also run flat courses too!
3) Beat 1:35 - this is my 2007 half marathon goal (7:15 pace)
The First Bit
Started early (8am, but on first day of daylight savings so felt like 7). Lots of people, absolutely zero discipline lining up. Gun goes off, and I swear I see people walking immediately, people running 10 min miles, all lined up at the front. Takes me a good quarter mile to get into open space - pace at 8:16 for the first quarter - so I wasted about 15 seconds. Then I settle down into a relatively fast pace (7:20) thru the first 4 mile loop on the east of the river. If I can hold this, I should easily get under my PR.....
The Second Bit
Miles 5,6,& 7 go well, a few little up and downs but nothing to worry about. Pace still fast (7:23). Feeling good. Still on track to comfortably beat 1:38:54....
The Middle Bit
About mile 7 an older guy runs up next to me, wearing exactly the same shirt. Well I'm not going to let him pass, so we start speeding up. Get down to 7:05 pace and cross the 8 mile point at 58:49 (Average pace 7:20) - According to my handy dandy time sheet, I'm on track for just over 1:36 if I keep on pace. Looking good.....
The Bit Before The End Bit
Miles 9, 10 go by fast, at 7:15 pace. I'm now thinking that 1:35 is within reach. Doing the math I realise I need to shave off about 30 seconds over the last 3 miles, which means running around 7:05. First half mile was 7:06, Second one was back to 7:15. Realised that 1:35 was probably not gonna happen, but barring disaster I should still beat 1:36....
The End Bit
Mile 12 was the toughest one for sure. My legs were dead and I was definitely feeling the effects of some of those fast miles. First half mile was 7:23 pace and then my slowest half mile (except the start) at 7:32. Realised 1:36 was at risk if I keep this up so I kicked it in for the last 1.1m Got back to 7:14 pace (which hurt like hell) and somehow found enough to cover the final 200 yards at 6:17 pace in front of the crowd. Crossed the line at 1:35:22 (7:17 pace), feeling like I had absolutely nothing left.
Beat my PR by 3:32! Ran a pretty steady pace with negative splits! Also set a new PR for a 10K by over a minute! (Guess I need to go run a 10k properly sometime). If I hadn't been bogged down at the start I could have maybe broken 1:35 but I guess I now have to prove that on the next race.
Finished 127th overall out of 2137 which I was very happy with. In my age group (M40-44) I was 24th out of 149.
Next up is Santa Cruz Half on April 22nd. Haven't seen a course profile, but I hear it's hilly. Not sure what the goal is gonna be, but I doubt it'll be a PR.