Valley of Fire Half-Marathon (Read 574 times)

    This was the last long (13m+) race of the season, until January 13 when it all starts again for 2007. Valley of Fire is a grind of a run, with lots of hills. The killer is from mile 11 to 12. It starts gentle enough, then the last quarter-mile it just takes off with a 100' climb. Doesn't sound like much, but after 11 1/2 miles, a 100' climb in a quarter mile is felt by this old body. Anyway--it was a beautiful day for a run. Clear, sunny, about 50 at the start. I love running on cool, sunny days! Oh--and not a breeze to be found. Cool At the halfway point, I was told I was in 11th overall, and started to pick up the pace. Of course, so did the runners ahead of me Cry. I felt fairly confident I could pick off the one directly in front of me, and managed to pass him about a mile later. Next were two young guys in the 15-19 age group. They were running together, and keeping a pretty good pace (ok, at least it was a pretty good pace for my age Wink). They kept up the pace until we'd hit a hill, then I would gain on or pass them. Once the climb was over, they'd run right by me. Every time. Until about mile 9. At that point, I passed them and only one of them made the move with me. He and I dropped his buddy. However, I also knew the killer hill was coming and, based on our past cat-and-mouse routine, I was pretty sure I could put some distance between us. Ah yes--the inexperience of youth. That's what I was counting on--that he didn't have the experience to run a strategically better race. So, at mile 10 I pressed, and he dropped back a little. When I hit mile 11, I was pretty sure I had him. At the top of the hill, I kicked it in for the last stretch, and he finished about 45 seconds behind me. What is it they say? Something about age and cunning triumphing over youth and ability. No question he is probably a better runner than I am. If he knew a little bit more about pacing, timing, and how to run hills, he would have beat me. But, on this day, it was what it was. Final stats: I finished 9th overall (about 200 runners), 1st in my age group (50-59), with a time of 1:33:20. I was happy with the time, because this is not a course to PR on. At least, not for me. My splits: Mile 1 - 7:22 (Start off with a climb the first mile) Mile 2 - 7:05 Mile 3 - 7:22 Mile 4 - 7:28 Mile 5 - 7:33 Mile 6 - 7:54 (a good long hill for the last mile and a half--two miles) Mile 7 - 7:09 (finally some flat running) Mile 8 - 6:51 Mile 9 - 6:52 Mile 10 - 6:56 Mile 11 - 7:00 (here comes the hill) Mile 12 - 7:50 (I could definitely feel this hill. It was like climbing stairs Dead) Mile 13 - 6:44 Next race is next Thursday--the Catch the Gobbler 5K. Man, I hate 5K's. Roll eyes
    My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
      Way to go, Don! Big grin

      Roads were made for journeys...

      Princess Cancer Pants

        Next race is next Thursday--the Catch the Gobbler 5K. Man, I hate 5K's. Roll eyes
        Me too...the only ones I will do next year are for charity and the experience. Takes me 2 miles just to warm up. Sounds like you had a great race! I love hills...they are the place where this former sprinter with big ol' thighs takes some skinny young'uns every time! Big grin k

        '17 Goals:

        • Chemo

        • Chemo-Radiation

        • Surgery

        • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


        She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

        ~ Unknown

          1st in my age group (50-59), with a time of 1:33:20.
          Wha? Huh? Shocked 50-59? (expletive deleted) You old farts are making me feel slow and wimpy. Cut it out, please. I thought you were like 30. (another expletive deleted) (Note to Eric: could you start a "swearing welcome" sub-board? Or put in a profanity filter? Sometimes "golly gee whiz" just doesn't cut it.) Pron8r (who still has the best screen name on the board): nice race. Congrats! Did you get a shiny trophy or something? Take a picture and show it off, if you did. I can enjoy it vicariously. Smile
          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com

            Nicely done! The way you close races is really impressive--you could give a clinic on executing a smart race.

            Runners run.

            You'll ruin your knees!

              Wow, Don! Congrats on the hardware...great race. It's always nice to outsmart a youngster. Lynn B

              ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                Great race. I've heard of this course, and it is not fast. Way to go--you were rollin'! It was a good weekend for the RA board!

                  Pron8r, I'm in your age group but I will never be in your league! I'm deeply impressed with a non-PR 1:33:20. bas

                  52° 21' North, 4° 52' East

                    Thanks for your kind comments--they are most appreciated. But man, do I feel humble when I look at the Flying Monkey elevation chart, and the time that Jeff ran. Wow.
                    My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48