Monday, March 12, 2007


Shamrock'N Half Marathon - Race Report
The Setup
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)

The Plan
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.


Anonymous said...

hi alan ..thought you had postponed all goals after doing 1.38 at the Kaiser.
this is fast!!! - now i can no longer identify with your pace..!!

Michael Weingartner said...

I never could identify with your pace.

It's great to see you are not only continuing but improving on your running goals. Great job Alan.

You need to do another charity run soon. Giving to a charity through your marathons is about as close as I am going to get to doing a marathon.