Masters Running


Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon (long) (Read 239 times)

    I promise that this is the last race report from me for a while!  Skip to the end for results.


    My Story: On June 18th I quit drinking alcohol once and for all and decided that I also needed another goal in my life.   I decided to run the local 10K in September and then this race two weeks later.  Up until July 1st I had only run 100 miles for the year so I knew I had my work cut out for me.  My training started on July 9th using Hal Higdon’s HM plan.  I struggled with the 6 mile long run in the July heat, but gradually got up to 12 miles.  I had fallen in early June while running the dogs and grandson in a stroller.  My hip hurt for a week or so after that but no lasting injury thank goodness.


    We always take a fall camping trip so planned a week in Yellowstone National Park prior to the race.  I live at 1591’ and the race elevation reaches 6094’ so was worried about that.  I figured being at Yellowstone would help acclimate to the altitude.  


    We got to Rapid City early the day before the race and shopped a bit at Cabela’s and then checked into our little cabin. The pasta feed was at the restaurant at the Crazy Horse Memorial.  It wasn’t really fun and was not well attended, kind of disappointing.  I did want to see the race course, but it wasn’t marked yet.  I knew that we ran on the entrance road and around the memorial before heading to the Mickelson trail after mile 3.  This is Mount Crazy Horse:


    The race profile:


    Weather:  High 40’s at the start and near 70° at the finish.  Partly sunny and beautiful!

    My Goals:

    1. To enjoy the whole race from beginning to end.
    2. To take in the scenery.
    3. To finish strong
    4. To finish under 2:45:00

    The Race: 

    This was the 3rd Run Crazy Horse race held near Hill City, SD in the Black Hills.  Checking last year’s results, my goal would put me in the top 25% of my age group.  I decided 12:35 would be a doable pace.  McMillan’s calculator said 12:24 so that was my secret goal.


    MrStarr drove me to the start so I didn’t have to ride the bus.  We stopped at the Mile 5 aid station and I ran there on the trail to warm up and even had my choice of porta potties there At the start of the race I talked to a few people while waiting around but I didn’t know anyone there at all.  I was wishing that Aamos still lived in the area and could be there.


    I lined up with the 12:00 pace runners since that was as high as the signs went. Once again I listened to DaveinAAMix (1, 2 & 3) which was just the right variety of songs and upbeat tempo.  I didn’t hear a gun go off, but they had big drums beating, kinda cool sounding.  I remembered to start my Garmin but none of my miles matched the markers.   MrStarr was really good about trying to find me on the trail where he could get to a spot on the highway to pull over.  It was fun to see him along the way.


    The first half mile is down and up this big hill. (Photo from their website)


     At the the top we turned off the paved road onto a gravel road that circled around near the Crazy Horse Memorial.  It was up and up and up with a little down.  I felt defeated that I had to walk so much right away but I sure wasn’t the only one.  The footing was a little tricky with big rocks on the road.  This was my slowest mile at 14:07.  I was so glad when we finally got onto the trail.  What a wonderful running place.  I zoned out just taking in all the scenery.  My heart rate kept dropping and my pace was around 11:40 for several miles.  I figured I’d keep the pace as long as I was feeling so good.  I like this picture because I look small compared to the horses, and I'm beating them!


    I was back with the run/walkers which was a bit annoying to get passed, then I’d pass them back.  The aid stations were every 2 or 3 miles and I switched to water after the first 2 of Powerade. I did walk through the aid stations but ran pretty much the whole trail part of the race. There wasn’t a lot of crowd support, but I waved to those who did come out.


    One thing that was a bit difficult was the numerous bridges to run over.  The uneven planks (and wearing no eyeglasses) made it feel like I might trip! I was pretty cautious.  At mile 12 I was able to pick up the pace a bit but then there was another  hill to get from the trail to the finish line on the street.  I wasn’t up to running uphill at that point so walked once again.  From there to the end it was downhill and I did finish strong except a lady in front of me was nearly stopped and someone came to help her cross the finish.  I didn’t know what to do so did go around her.  I missed looking at the clock and the photographer.  I guess I’ll have to do this again sometime!  MrStarr missed it too but took a picture of the clock once he got there.  I guess the arch deflated earlier and they had to go get another generator to inflate it again.  Now that would have been disappointing.



    Here’s me and my cool medal!  It was a great first Half Marathon for me.



    overall place:

    456 out of 613

    division place:

    14 out of 28

    gender place:

    271 out of 396




    My splits and HR:

    Mile 1 – 12:08 (147)

    Mile 2 - 14:07 (146)

    Mile 3 - 11:32 (144)

    Mile 4 - 11:48 (145)

    Mile 5 - 11:41 (140)

    Mile 6 – 12:03 (137)

    Mile 7 – 11:36 (138)

    Mile 8 – 12:37 (140)

    Mile 9 – 12:03 (141)

    Mile 10 – 12:12 (144)

    Mile 11 – 12:19 (148)

    Mile 12 – 12:06 (148)

    Mile 13 – 12:38 (150)

    Last .1  - (8:59 pace) (154)


    Thanks for reading!


      Congrats, Starr. Beautiful pix and a good race for a first HM. The scenery alone was worth the effort.

        Nothing like killing your goal -- CONGRATULATIONS!!!

        And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx



          You picked a really nice race for your first HM.  Way to beat your goal, and you managed to train pretty quickly for this one, impressive.

          "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."

            "I love it when a plan comes together". Racing in that location would be close to heaven. Your post race picture confirms it. Well done. Thanks for the RR.


            Top 'O the World!

              Good Job! Congratulations!! Smile

              Remember that doing anything well is going to take longer than you think!! ~ Masters Group

                I promise that this is the last race report from me for a while!  Skip to the end for results.






                 I missed looking at the clock and the photographer.  I guess I’ll have to do this again sometime!  

                Here’s me and my cool medal!  It was a great first Half Marathon for me.



                 Starrunner, I have reserved to read your race report for a day when I needed some lifting up. Today was one of those days and I am so blessed I waited this long to read your report!

                First of all, congrats on your decision to stop drinking alcohol and most importantly glad that you found a substitution!!

                Second, you did a great job running this half mari.

                Third, you are running so well. I wings smell other HM in your future!!!


                Good job!!!



                "Champions are everywhereall you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard

                  Good for you, Starr, excellent job on this race. And thanks for the delightful race report with pictures! It had better not be your last for awhile!!

                    Great racing, Starr.  I really enjoyed your report and pictures.



                      What a wonderful experience, thanks for sharing ...


                      Congratulations on meeting your goals, keep up the great work and enjoy the ride!!! 


                      As for the pasta dinner light crowd , I guess Crazy Horse was not known for his pasta makingJoking

                      Courage ! Do one brave thing today...then run like hell.

                      Mr. Chip & Mizz Rizzo

                        Hi Starr!   what a great report with pictures!!    I love that you picked a destination for your first 1/2 marathon.   A huge congratulations on all your great acheivements recently.    You look great and you killed your goal time!    This had better not be your last race report - you've got more in you ....maybe a marathon??  Big grin


                        Good job!


                        "My sunshine doesn't come from the skies,
                        It comes from the love in my dog's eyes."



                        MM #5616

                          Starr,  congrats on beating your goal, especially since you just started training in July!    You did really well in your AG, too!  Well done.   I suspect we'll be seeing more RRs from you!

                          I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.

                          Bushrat Runner

                            Just had a chance to catch up and read through...great job and thanks for the photos...some of us read mostly the me...

                            Marathon Maniac #957

                              Starr - what a great report!  Congratulations on giving up drinking and what better substitute than a healthy habit.  This looks like a lovely race - great choice for your first HM, and you did awesome - GREAT JOB!

                              Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."

                              Back on Stride

                                Great first HM, Starr! I like that mostly downhill profile, too. And good that you made your goal.


                                I last saw Crazy Horse when I was out there in 1976. It's definitely take a lot more shape over the intervening 35 years, but I guess I'd have to go back there a couple of centuries from now to see it completed!

                                Doug, Runnin' in Rochester, MI