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Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Chesapeake, Virginia
United States
Chesapeake Conventions & Tourism
48F / 9C
Total Time = 1h 33m 55s
Overall Rank = 82/1365
Age Group = M 35 - 39
Age Group Rank = 12/71
Pre-race routine:

Short night as I had to work late and only got 4 hours of sleep. Up at 6 am, with a stop at Starbucks for an Iced Americano and Raspberry Scone, and then the 20 minute drive to the race. I arrived about an hour early and sat in my car for a bit trying to determine what best to wear on top - short sleeve or long sleeve. I ended up with short sleeves and a throw away long sleeve shirt on top. About 30 minutes before race time, I headed towards the start and immediately bumped into one of my running friends.
Event warmup:

Did some strides with my running friend while we (mostly) walked to the starting area. I saw a bunch of other friends (including Sue), but really wanted to get towards the front of the starting area as I was concerned about congestion on the course. This was the first year of the race, so no one knew what to expect.

The course is essentially an old 2 lane highway that has been converted into a bike/running path. I actually do a lot of training on the course, so I was looking forward to the race, but I was concerned about 1,500 runners on such a cramped course.
  • 1h 33m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 10s  min/mile

The original plan was to treat the race as a fast training run for IM CdA, so there was zero taper or specific rest for the race. I haven't run a stand-alone (non-pacer) half marathon in 14 months, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect for time. I thought based on some of my marathons that sub 1:40 was possible, so that was my only real goal for the day. My plan was straight 7:30 miles until mile 10 and then take it from there. However, the cool weather, overcast skies, lack of wind, and flat course made this an easy PR opportunity.

I positioned myself closer to the front for the start than most races as I was concerned about congestion. Once the gun went off, it only took me 7 seconds to hit the start mat and we were off. Surprisingly, I find some space right from the start and settled into what I thought was a fast, but not sprint pace. I hit mile 1 at just sub 7 flat and I knew I was a little too fast. I also decided to lose the long sleeve shirt just after that time. Miles 2 - 4 were spent trying to slow down to closer to 7:30's, but I kept hitting most of the mile markers at 7:15 - 7:20. That being said, I felt very good. Given the cool weather, hydration also was not a factor so I ran through every water stop. Most miles after that were uneventful and I was just in my little zone.

When I hit the turnaround point, I still felt good and I upped my desired finish time to sub 1:38 (which is my BQ pace) to see how that felt for a half marathon. Miles 7 - 10 started to creep to just below 7:10's and I was passing other runners. When I arrived at mile 10, I realized that sub 1:35 was possible with a strong 5k. At that point, I put my head down and pushed. Miles 11 & 12 were sub 7. However, just after mile 12, I was about done. Fortunately, I started running besides a guy I kind of know from some of these races and we decided to push each other other to the finish. When we hit mile 13, I let him go and I cruised in with what little I had left as I had crushed my time goals for the day.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing - actually a perfect race considering it was never a focus of mine.

The final 5k was 21:40, which is actually a 5k PR, so I know I paced this race just right - started fast, settled in, left some for the finish.
Post race
Warm down:

Immediately walked back to my car as I had to get to my daughter's soccer game, so I missed the post-race activities.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing - good race.

Event comments:

Good first year race. Although, I am not sure how they would handle crowds any larger. I will try to do this race again as it is so close to home and a flat, fast track.

Last updated: 2007-04-09 12:00 AM
01:33:55 | 13.1 miles | 07m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 12/71
Overall: 82/1365
Performance: Good
Course: Simple out and back on Dismal Swamp trail - extremely FLAT!
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-04-15 8:01 PM

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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon

2007-04-15 8:16 PM
in reply to: #762197

South Jersey
Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon


Great race. You're gonna do awesome at IMCdA!

2007-04-15 8:49 PM
in reply to: #762197

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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
Awesome race! You rock!! Too bad you missed the post race beer; it was good.
2007-04-15 9:11 PM
in reply to: #762197

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Portland, OR
Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
Way to go! That is a killer 1/2 mary time. I'm not even gonna see you on the run at CDA you'll be so smoking
2007-04-15 9:52 PM
in reply to: #762197

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
And the trend of just getting faster and faster continues for you, my friend. Congratulations on the perfect race. Looks like you ran it perfect!
2007-04-16 12:42 AM
in reply to: #762197

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Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
Stellar run and great attitude.  Way to go for it when the going was good!

2007-04-16 11:03 AM
in reply to: #762197

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Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
Yay!  Great race, great approach to training.  You are going to do really well this weekend. 
2007-04-16 11:22 AM
in reply to: #762197

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Athens, Ga.
Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
Way to set a PR! Awesome job, Doug!
2007-04-16 7:22 PM
in reply to: #762197

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Extreme Veteran
Cary, NC
Subject: RE: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
Outstanding performance!  You should travel more.
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