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Marine Corps Half Marathon - 18 May 2008 (Read 534 times)


Dave

    This was the first time that the USMC HM was run in Fredericksburg, VA. Very nice old town down along the Rappahannock River about 50 miles south of Washington DC. Unfortunately, the start and finish of the race was up on the plateau, 240 feet above the river so it turned out to be hillier than I expected. The big hill started at Mile 11 and continued up through the start of mile 13. I had an injury in early April and almost didn't get to the starting line of this one so I wasn't looking for a PR. With the hills though, this wasn't the kind of race you could really run easy. This was the elevation profile. Got up around 5:00 AM. Met my running partner, Jim, at my house and we drove down together from there, left around 5:30 and got to the race pretty early, about 40 minutes before the start. I followed what is now my regular pre-race routine. A banana, one cup of coffee and some gatorade. We started in the 1:45 - 1:59 corral but as the race got near, everyone pushed up to the start putting us right near the front of it. Our goal pace was around 1:55 but we planned to see how things went to see if we'd stay together the whole way. I had the Garmin so I was helping Jim to pace his first HM. Perfect weather, about 60F at the start. Mile 1 - 8:41 (HR 147) Mile 2 - 8:23 (HR 154) Mile 3 - 8:15 (HR 163) First couple of miles are mostly gentle downhill. In the middle of mile 3, I had to take a nature break and Jim ran ahead promising to go slow until I caught up. He didn't exactly slow down so I had to really push it early to catch back up with him. Pushed my HR up to 175, way higher than I wanted. Ended up with a pretty severe stitch and managed to hold pace as we hit some unexpectedly steep short hills into mile 4. Mile 4 - 8:32 (HR 157) Mile 5 - 8:29 (HR 156) By the end of mile 5, I had recovered from the sprint to catch up with Jim. Miles 5 through 9 were through old town, along the river, very flat. My lack of miles was starting to catch up with me though and my HR continued to climb. I ignored it for the most part. Consistent pacing. Mile 6 - 8:34 (HR 160) Mile 7 - 8:25 (HR 161) Mile 8 - 8:24 (HR 162) Mile 9 - 8:30 (HR 165) Mile 10 - 8:26 (HR 167) Reaching 90% HR Max Hills started at Mile 11. Steep and long. Quite a few walkers. I pulled away from Jim at this point after holding him back for the first part of the race. Mile 11 - 8:43 (HR 171) Mile 12 - 8:47 (HR 173) By the start of Mile 13, it becomes flat with a very modest incline. Mile 13 - 7:55 (HR 177) Final garmin time - 1:50:48 Jim finished about 2 minutes behind, well faster than his 1:55 goal. Here's the pace/HR graph. You can see the obvious potty break in Mile 3 and then pushing down to nearly a 6:30 pace to catch back up:
    I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

    dgb2n@yahoo.com
    rkeddie


      Very solid race! Excellent pacing, especially up the hospital hill. Nicely done! If you haven't already, compare your elevation profile vs the one on their site. Theirs is totally misleading! Good job!


      Dave

        Very solid race! Excellent pacing, especially up the hospital hill. Nicely done! If you haven't already, compare your elevation profile vs the one on their site. Theirs is totally misleading! Good job!
        Thanks, you weren't kidding about the profile. They sort of "smoothed" it out Tongue
        I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

        dgb2n@yahoo.com


        RIP, Henry, my soul mate

          Hi Dave, I was there too. This was my first half and wow, what a blast. Your time was excellent! Way to go! I agree, the hills at miles 11 and 12 were killers - a lot of people bonked at this point and I was weaving in and out of walkers. There was a great guy (a spectator) at the mile 12 hill coming up over the I-95 bridge who really kept me going. He shouted encouragement (commands? lol) to me the whole time and absolutely refused to let me walk. He must have been able to tell I was strongly considering it. My time was 2:10:31. I dreamed about sub-2:00 and planned for 2:20, so I'm very happy. This event was well run, and I'm very thankful to the Marines and other volunteers who made this such a great race. I'd encourage anyone looking for a half to consider this one. I plan to be there again next year. Anne


          Another Passion

            Well done, Dave! Nice report and graphics too. Big grin Congratulations.

            Rick
            "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." - Juma Ikangaa
            "I wanna go fast." Ricky Bobby
            runningforcassy.blogspot.com

              Great race!!! I took it really easy, since I was nursing a knee injury and just wanted to finish pain-free. Those hills in the beginning took me by surprise. I especially recall one big uphill through all those nice houses. But my easy pace actually made those hills at the end cake and I finished really strong. One issue, though - the cop at the road just past the water stop after Mile 10 actually STOPPED runners to let traffic go through. I heard him say, "Just 5 minutes, guys, these folks have been waiting 25 minutes and are hospital personnel." Unbelievable. He actually expected a couple hundred runners (we started to really pack up there) to stop the race for 5 minutes. After about a minute or so, someone darted through the traffic and that was it. The officer lost control and the runners won out. I don't know whether to blame the hospital or the race director's team, but those employees should have known that road would be closed there for quite a while Sunday morning. Other than that, though, I loved it. The medal was nice, too, with "Inaugural" engraved on the back. And it's always nice receiving it from a cute Marine. Smile