Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Half-Wit Half - The Long Belated Race Report

A bit late, but some notes on Helen's and my race last week at the annual Half-Wit Half.
It was our third time at this race, and Helen and I both managed to pull off some milestones.
Helen was able to defend her crown; and for the first time, I was able to run the race without going off course.
For all of my frustration last year with the race, we actually both like the race a lot. It's a hard race, but it's also a good scene. Lots of fun hanging out afterwards, and it's always a good wanderers turnout. And this year was pretty close to ideal weather. It was hot, yes, but it was also August, and we couldn't have expected much better.

It's hard to give many of the details, and there's not a lot of point in doing so anyway. I tried to start off a little slower than last year, in the hopes of having something of a kick at the end. The course itself is odd – it's a big loop, with an add-on lollipop. Any my goal was to stay on course. I was pretty focused on just racing my race – from early on I'd found a pace I liked, and if people passed me they passed me. Not a lot did, though – even though I took it easy at a lot of spots, walked some uphills, etc., I think I spent the second half of the race in roughly the same place I wound up finishing in.

In the end, I think I came in 20th overall, which I'm quite pleased with. I finished in 1:51 something, which is far faster than either of my other times, but since I got lost the other times, it's not really apples-to-apples. But I'm still pleased with the time, pleased with the overall place, pleased with my race, pleased with my navigation, pleased with my composure. I have a hard time taking my award that seriously - 7th place in my age group? Seems like a stretch – but that doesn't take away from my overall satisfaction with my performance.

As for Helen's race – she won't me like writing this, but she was dominant. (And if she doesn't want me writing this, well, *she* can write the race report!) She won by over five minutes. And she won a pair of shoes! Courtesy of La Sportiva. She says she only butt-slid down one hill, and I belive her.

So congrats to Helen. And congrats to all the wanderers who were out there – and really, to everyone who finished. It is not. an. easy. course. to. run. Between the hills, the rocks, the decrepit staircase, and the more hills, it's among the hardest half-marathons out there. But it's also one of the most fun.

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