Provo River Trail Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Provo, Utah
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 41m 51s
Overall Rank = 194/1427
Age Group = 25-29 M
Age Group Rank = 18/66
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 12 am to a crazy thunderstorm. My wife and I looked at each other thinking "sure, it figures that THIS would happen the night we actually need to get sleep!" My wife and I woke up at 4 am to the annoying radio alarm clock. We got dressed, ate some bananas & bagels and hopped in the car. Took the 40 min. drive to Provo for the race start. Picked up our numbers, and chose a bus to ride up. By this time my wifey was really starting to get nervous! We ran into some guys that live near us doing the race also (other members of the "fat boy [ice cream] racing" team - we were sporting our free/sponsored race tees) and rode the bus up with them. The ride up was long... about half way up, my wife says, "Oh, is this the start? I can run that far...", but to her dismay we kept going up, and she said "uh oh, that's FAR!" She was actually starting to get excited! We got up there and BS'd for about an hour or so waiting for the race start. Ben Noffsinger (a comrade from work) showed up and chatted with us at the start.
  • 1h 41m 51s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 46s  min/mile

My wife headed to the toilet lines and I lost track of her. We had agreed to each run our own pace and I'd see her at the finish line. The gun went off and the race started. Ben was next to me and said he was going to keep up as long as he could. We were right smack in the middle of the crowd so we waited for about a minute to actually start running, creeping to the start. Even after starting, we were stuck in the thick of the herd, so we were tip-toeing at an annoying 10 min/mi pace for the first mile (had we been more toward the front, we probably could have shaved 3 minutes off of our race time!!) Ben and I paced at about a 7:30/mi pace together for the first four miles. At that point, Ben fell back and I was running solo. I decided to "cheat" and break out the headphones to tune out. I made my first waterstop at about mile 6, walking for about 10 seconds. Started up again, and miles kept flying by, one after the other. Even the uphill seemed short! I was out of the canyon before I knew it. Then I was running the flats. I thought maybe I was already into mile 12 so I start pushing it a bit, but then 5 minutes later, the mile 12 sign shows up and I'm thinking OH NO!! I've still got a MILE?? My legs were KILLING me!!! The lactate buildup was pure torture, and my legs were seriously cramping. The mental challenge was beginning, and I was having to tell myself "just a bit further- you're doing awesome!" I stopped for a few seconds to massage my legs and stretch, but started right back up and caught back up with the guy I was trailing previously (and then passed him and a couple guys too!!) Then I realized I was near the finish. I could hear the spectators cheering on the finishers. I crossed the 13 mile marker, and it was so close I could taste it. I kicked it into high gear and sprinted the last tenth at a super-speedy pace (probably sub 6 min/mile) and finished.

Watched for all of my buddies to come in, high-fiving each one as they crossed (yeah, I was ahead of ALL of em!) and went and enjoyed the fruit/food and events. Then I headed back over to watch for my wife about 1/2 mile back from the finish. As soon as she was in sight, I began cheering her and she picked up her pace to a run. I ran the last part in with her, telling her I was SOOO proud of her... AWESOME!! We crossed the finish line together, and she was fighting to hold back her tears... She kept saying "I just did a HALF MARATHON!!" She met up with some gals who'd given her support during the run and hugged and thanked them, and then we sat on the grass stretching and discussing how neat the experience was. She was amazed at how much fun she had- she never thought 13.1 miles of torture could be so fun!
What would you do differently?:

Get at least one 12/13 miler in before the race, and stretch better and more often (I never do it like I should). I'd also make sure I was starting toward the front of the pack so I don't get slowed up at the beginning. I prefer chip-timed races for that reason too (this one wasn't).
Post race
Event comments:

A very fun event, although the race is getting big enough that they should start to consider making it more official (i.e, use timing chips, fancy up the start/finish line, etc.) It feels very unorganized at the beginning (the race just starts "whenever") and the mile markers are just hap-hazardly located, and some even missing... I found myself just guessing as to where I was alot of the time (although you could argue that that very thing helped me have a great race). Still, such a beautiful and fun course that I'd have a hard time choosing not to do it again.

Last updated: 2006-07-09 12:00 AM
01:41:51 | 13.1 miles | 07m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/66
Overall: 194/1427
Performance: Good
Course: Fairly steep downhill for the first four miles with a few flat spots. Switchback up the canyon at about 6 for about a mile or so, and back down for the remaining three miles of the canyon. The last two miles are flat as you enter the Provo valley- the last section winds around a business park (way too much and drives you nuts) and finally finishes off with a straight 1/2 mile followed by a turn that takes you back toward the finish line.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4