Beginners and Beyond

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My No. 5: USRA Columbia Half Marathon RR (Read 289 times)


Anomalous

    This is just a review on my final race for the year. Excuse any grammatical errors and such. I wasn't really looking to make this a true RR. 

     

    I ran my 5th HM the USRA Columbia Half Marathon in the capital city of South Carolina on Saturday. This was also my 10th and final race for 2012. I had a difficult time early on finding someone who actually ran the race in previous years. It wasn’t until around Halloween that I started getting feedback on the organization (Reinke Sports Group) that actually conducts these half marathon race events. The info wasn’t pretty. A lot of runners have chosen to ban/boycott these events for various reasons. It’s understandable, but I haven’t had any personal experience with some of what had allegedly transpired with other folks, and so I decided to give the race a chance. Besides, this was it’s fourth year in Columbia, SC and despite some typical complaints, there weren’t any major issues to steer me in another direction. Plus, one of the major running clubs in the area was sponsoring the event, so I felt a bit more assured about my decision to run this race, especially without any real expectations on how I would complete it. 


    Race Tidbits: 

     

    Number of participants: 260 total runners for the Half Marathon (not sure about the 5K)

     

    Time limit: 4 hours (walker friendly)

     

    Course: Downtown Columbia/Cayce 

     

    Temps: 39 degrees at the start. Don’t think it warmed up much at the finish due to the overcast.

     

    Swag: Nice tech shirt and medal - No Expo


    Volunteers: Yeah right! Glad I brought my Amphipod with me. Three of the water/gatorade stations were self-serve. 

     

    Race Synopsis:

     

    • The race started at 7:30. I arrived at about 6:45 at Brookland-Cayce High School where the race will begin and end. It was evident when I got there that this was going to a very small event. Clue? Lots of available parking.
    • Met two fellow Half Fanatics that decided to run this event about a week ago. One of the highlights of the day.
    • We all piled up in one vehicle to drive to a nearby gas station to use the facilities after discovering that the restrooms in the football stadium where locked. Someone forgot to unlock the doors. 
    • We lined up next to the stadium to start. No timing pad here. Just some red duct tape.The announcer says a few more words, and then yells “GO” and we’re off. Eh, I’ve experienced that before in a 5K this past summer. 

     

    Miles 1 - 4: Columbia, SC is full of hills; especially near the State Capital/USC area. You really can’t get around it. So we had to suck it up early and push through. But, you get used to the terrain if you race and train in this area. 

     

    Miles 5 - 10: This was both the most peaceful and confusing part of the course. The Riverwalk Park has a great route that runs along the Congaree River. Portions of it starts as a trail near the reservoir, turns into a paved course and then ends up as a winding walkway behind apartment buildings in the local area. It covers a good distance if you run it in it’s entirety. It became confusing for those of us in the back of the pack, because people began to get out of your line of sight at this point. We couldn’t exactly figure out which direction we needed to go once we got near the apartments. It's a very scenic area so it is easy to get sidetracked along the way. Focusing on where to go basically compromised your pace for this portion of the course. Searching for the small signs with the directional arrows really didn't help either. 

     

    Miles 11 - Finish: We emerged from the park near the neighborhood where the school is located. We ran one mile on an adjacent street before making our way around to where we started the race and then back into the stadium where we finished on the track. I paused my Garmin at 13.08. It’s possible this course was a bit short, but I’m not going to worry about that at this point.

     

    Honestly, this was the only shabby race I’ve had this year. Being that it was so small, there was nothing exciting about it. I’m sure the controversy surrounding the organization that puts on this series was a factor in the matter. No crowd support, lack of volunteers, etc. It was so depressing. If it wasn’t for the other runners, the police department, and a few morning joggers, I wouldn’t have believed I was participating in an official event. Just on another friendly weekend distance run with the local running club. Along the way, I just decided to truly treat this as a training run and not even bother to push it for a time goal. I finished it about a minute short of what I ran for my first half marathon.


    Statistics

    Time: 2:41:48

    First HM time: 2:42:39

    PB: 2:28:54


    Oh well. We all get those crappy races/training runs on occasion and so I just decided to accept it as such. I wouldn’t participate in this one again in the near future, unless I just needed something to do in December and I couldn’t make it to another event. This is definitely a last resort race for anyone who may be interested in participating. I really wouldn't use it as a way to set a new PB.

     

    Anywho...my 2012 race season is officially over and I’m pretty damn happy with what I have accomplished and look forward to the bigger challenges I’ve outlined for 2013!

     

     

     

    ON TO THE NEXT!

     

    Merry Christmas and Happy Running!

     

    Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

    "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi


    Bad Ass

      Great job, Fanatic!  I read downtown Columbia and all I can picture are those hills!

       

      Sorry the race was not what you wanted it to be.  Still, you've had a great 2012.  Plus I'm glad you're lurking less and posting more!

       

      BTW, I should be back there next year...be prepared to laugh a lot. Big grin

      Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

      Next:  RnR Country Music Half Marathon

      Blog

      "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


      Anomalous

        Thank you, Damaris! Yes! You've had your share of those hills! lol! I look forward to seeing you again soon Smile

        Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

        "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi

        kristin10185


        I race in SparkleSkirts

          Sounds like you made the best of a less than ideal racing situation. This is the first RR of yours I've read I think....were all 5 HMs in 2012?!

          PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:21:47 (10/12/13)

           

          I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to


          Anomalous

            Sounds like you made the best of a less than ideal racing situation. This is the first RR of yours I've read I think....were all 5 HMs in 2012?!

             

            This is my first time posting an RR on RA. I posted one on RW a few months ago for the first time. I mostly write them for my personal blog. Yes, all 5 HMs were this year. 

            Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

            "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi

            kristin10185


            I race in SparkleSkirts

              This is my first time posting an RR on RA. I posted one on RW a few months ago for the first time. I mostly write them for my personal blog. Yes, all 5 HMs were this year. 

               

              That's pretty awesome!

              PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:21:47 (10/12/13)

               

              I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to


              Anomalous

                Thank you! Smile

                Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

                "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi

                  Wow,  you're pretty fanatical about those HM's aren't you LOL, way to go!

                  Little Blue


                  Grand Master for a day

                    Nice job, pulling off a good time on a less than inspirational course.  The lackluster races make us appreciate the good ones!

                    scottydawg


                    Barking Mad To Run

                      39 degrees! Shocked  BRRRR!  And here I thought Coumbia SC was a "warm-weather city" like San Antonio, and you'd have temps in the winter in the 60s and 70s like we do.  Joking  

                       

                      Congrats on your half!    Glad you avoided any controversy with Reinke, I was reading a bit about them earlier, crazy stuff.

                      "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt


                      Anomalous

                        Thanks everyone!

                        John, I'm waiting on you to join me... lol! Shocked

                        Scotty, the weather here gets weird between Halloween and Christmas. One day 39 the next 70. LOL

                        Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

                        "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi


                        SheCan

                          Congratulations on your final race of 2012!  I don't blame you for not worrying about your time on this race.  Glad you had a good time despite how poorly organized it was (can't believe they even forgot to unlock the restrooms! UGH!)  At least by treating it as a training run you've got something out of it.  Sounds like you race a lot, and I look forward to seeing more of your RRs.  Love the pic!

                          Cherie

                                  Don’t work harder than you can breathe,
                          and you’ll never get out of breath.-- Johnny Nuguyen

                          Luke79


                            Hills can make for a rough race, but it looks like you did just fine anyway.  Grats on completing another half, and gl on getting even faster in 2013.

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                              Congrats on making the best of a less-than-ideal race.

                               

                              Hoping your next one is well organized.

                              runmomto3boys


                                Congratulations on doing the best you could under the circumstances.  It sounds like a tough race early on, particularly those hills.  What a great year of racing, all told, though.  Bravo!

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