Shamrock Sportsfest Half marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
United States
62F / 17C
Total Time = 1h 17m 18s
Overall Rank = 33/2006
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 7/312
Pre-race routine:

I decided to try something a bit new for this race. I woke up at 4:30am and went for a very short "shakedown" run. I read about it in Running Times and it seems to make sense, especially since I typically don't do my run training first thing in the morning. Also, I had a really good race a few weeks back at Colonial and that was an late day start so I was awake for many hours before race time. The concept is to just get out and jog easy for 10-15min to help get all the systems working. Nothing more than an easy jog required...formal warm-up comes later. So I had my O'dark-thirty trot and then relaxed a bit with some coffee and a bit of breakfast before heading for the race.
Event warmup:

After finding a place to park and popping my 400mg of caffeine I set out for my warm-up. Started with about 20min of easy running (including a stop at a port-o-pot I found at a construction site...lines were 50+ long at the start). Gradually building pace to a steady run with some quick strides. Back at the start I went through a few of my usual drills to get the legs moving fast, sucked down my pre-race gel and claimed my spot on the starting line (literally ON the starting line).
  • 1h 17m 18s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 05m 54s  min/mile

What a run! Absolutely perfect pacing...started out comfortable and finished with a small negative split. the pace off the line felt very easy but I saw Billy Edwards just ahead of me so I hung back...I knew he was going to run 5-10 faster than me overall. So I just sat tight to the first mile marker and logged a 5:50...maybe a little fast but it felt comfortable so I just held steady and paced with a girl who seemed to be about my pace. As long as we were clicking off 6min/mile or better I was going to hang with her. At mile #3 my lap time was 6:25...oh shit, did we really dog that mile? It felt like a steady pace. Mile #4 was 5:22. The second half of the marathon uses the 1/2 course and the got the #3 from the 1/2 and ##16 from the full mixed up. The average of those 2 miles comes out to 5:59...perfect. Heading up Shore Drive I hooked on with a guy that appeared to be pacing a girl and they were cruising just under 6min pace so I tucked in behind and went along for the ride. Another group of 5 guys pulled up on us and joined in the fun. This was perfect because we had a slight headwind at this point and I just sat in the draft and logged my consistent 5:50-6min miles. Soon after making the turn into Ft. Story we got a tail wind combined with a slight downhill and the pack broke up. I stuck with the guy and girl. I figured they were shooting for sub 1:20 but apparently they wanted something closer to 1:18. With about 3 miles left I was feeling relatively strong and confident so I pushed ahead and went it alone. Turns out I didn't run any faster but the guy and girl fell off the pace. My last 3 miles were damn near the same pace as my first 3. I remember easing off slightly for about 3 min somewhere the end because I knew I was going to easily beat my sub 1:20 goal and I just wanted to enjoy it for a bit. Coming down the boardwalk I decided to give whatever I had left and passed a couple guys before coasting the final 50m. I hadn't really looked at my total time in a few miles so I was blown away to see 1:17:xx on the clock as I crossed the line.
What would you do differently?:

Absolutely nothing. I didn't have the best attitude in the week or so leading up to this race because of getting off my plan while on vacation and then not feeling all that prepared in the final days. Turns out that everything came together anyway and I had an awesome race. Sometimes you just don't know what to expect. I decided to start the day with a positive attitude and give it my best effort...that's all I could do.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked back to the car and got my MT. Bike, then pedaled a few miles back up the course to hang with the Hashers who were working an aid station. Once Katie made her way through I headed back towards the finish, locked up the bike and jogged in the last mile with her...just like last year. I was really proud of her for walking the 1/2 even though her knee is still screwey and she can't run. Most people would have just bailed and drank beer with the Hashers.

Event comments:

Jerry and Amy do a fantastic job with this event. It's so much more than a entire sportsfest weekend with good expo, 8K on Saturday, half and full marathon on Sunday, concerts, beer, irish stew all in a big tent on the beach at the end. I've got nothing to complain about other than the wind later in the day but I guess they can't plan everything :)

Last updated: 2006-11-26 12:00 AM
01:17:18 | 13.1 miles | 05m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/312
Overall: 33/2006
Performance: Good
Mile splits - 5:50, 5:58, 6:00, 5:56, 5:58, 5:57, 5:53, 5:50, 5:52, 5:56, 5:44, 6:01, 5:50, :35 HRavg = HRmax =
Course: The course is a simple out and back with a big loop. It starts on Atlantic Ave and heads out towards Ft. Story and up Shore Drive then loops through Ft. Story and back down Atlantic before hopping on the boardwalk for the final mile. There is a slight gradual uphill for a couple miles up Shore Drive and then a slight gradual downhill through Ft. Story. Overall this course is about as flat as you'll ever see.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 5