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Detroit Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Detroit, Michigan
United States
Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank
45F / 7C
Total Time = 1h 48m 55s
Overall Rank = 714/5976
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 79/404
Pre-race routine:

Got up at dark o thirty, had some coffee and breakfast and drove up Detroit.
Parked at the Cobo garage. Debated about what to wear. Decided to go with shorts, gloves, and windbreaker. Knew I would not need the windbreaker once the race started, but figured I would be miserable without it while waiting in the corral.
Event warmup:

Not much. Walked from Cobo to the start. Hopped around in the start corral for about 20 minutes while desperately trying to stay warm. Talked to the 1:50:00 pace leader and told her my goals. She thought I should stay with her for the first 10 or so miles and if I was feeling good step it up for the last 5k.
  • 1h 48m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 19s  min/mile

For some bizzare reason (probably because of the construction of the Ambassador bridge), they started the half marathon five minutes after the marathon. In the first mile, you had the normal congestion of a marathon start, but instead of being around people going basically the same speed, you had half marathon runners trying to go 8min/mile trying to get by marathon runners going 12min/mile.

Our pace leader did an awesome job navigating us through the crowds. We made it through the first mile only about 20 seconds behind pace. We easily made that up in the next three miles. By around mile four we were about 10 seconds ahead of pace. Then, we hit the Ambassador bridge area which is undergoing MAJOR construction. There were 1000's of runners trying to get through that area and for about a half mile we were only allowed to use one lane. To make matters worse, because of the staggered start, we were intermixed with marathon runners trying to run around a 10min/mile pace.

Eventually, made the climb up the bridge and was rewarded with a spectacular sunrise (well worth the price of admission). Unfortunately, you could not fly down the other side of the bridge because of the construction. At the bottom of the bridge, you had to funnel back into one lane, and for a split second the race came a complete stop; I honestly thought they were making us clear Canadian customs.

At mile five we were about 90 seconds behind pace. Our pace leader decided we would try to make up 20 seconds per mile. Right then, I knew all of the tempo runs I had done were about to pay off. I started enjoying the race at this point and was having no problems handling the faster pace.

Next five miles were very uneventful. Didn't even mind running through the Windsor tunnel (it was hot and smelled funky but it was not as humid as it was last year). When we re-entered the USA we were only 10 seconds behind schedule and by mile 10 we were back on it. Our pace leader, Tammy, was just awesome.

Wasn't feeling bad here but wasn't feeling great either so I decided to wait to step it up. As we approached the last water stop (just before mile 11), I decided it was now or never and dropped the hammer. Used my footpod to keep the pace about 7:50/mile. It hurt, but I wasn't dying. With a half mile to go, the half marathon splits off from the full marathon. I knew that sub 1:50:00 was in the bag and the new goal was to go 1:49:00. Used passing people as my inspiration to keep up the pace. When I could see the finish, I knew it would be close so I gave it a sprint finish (at least it was what I call sprinting) and came in at 1:48:55 a PR by 80 seconds!!!

What would you do differently?:

Should have stepped it up around mile 10 instead of waiting until mile 11. I had a little bit left in the tank at the end. My main goal was to break 1:50:00, my everything goes good goal was 1:49:00, and my dream goal was 1:48:00. Hit 2 out 3 of the goals, and am pretty sure I could have made the third on a less crowded course so I am real happy with the day.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed some food and Gatorade. Walked back to the car.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The congestion near the Ambassador bridge. Lost a lot time there and had to burn significant energy making the time up.

Event comments:

Starting the half marathon 5 minutes after the marathon was a terrible decision by the race organizers.

Last updated: 2008-06-30 12:00 AM
01:48:55 | 13.1 miles | 08m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 79/404
Overall: 714/5976
Performance: Good
Course: Through the streets of Detroit and Windsor. Pretty much flat except for the climb onto the Ambassador bridge to enter Canada and the climb up the Windsor Tunnel to re-enter the United States.
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2008-10-21 8:03 AM

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Ida, Michigan
Subject: Detroit Half Marathon

2008-10-21 10:41 AM
in reply to: #1755941

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Subject: RE: Detroit Half Marathon
I have to agree with all of your comments.  Great job on the race!
2008-10-21 11:59 AM
in reply to: #1755941

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Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Detroit Half Marathon
Awesome job!  I want to be able to race like you!!   Maybe next year.
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