I didn’t trip on something running in the dark. I didn’t quit. I didn’t get lost. In fact… I crossed the finish line of my 5th “half-marathon”, feeling strong, in a time of 1:33:15!
Endorphin-high/“PR” smile :)
I was amazed that I had beat my previous PR (ran in March) by an entire 6 minutes. I couldn’t believe it… and I shouldn’t have. As I was shaking out my legs after the race, a man who had told me to “relax my breathing” before Mile 1, approached me afterwards and we started chatting. This is when I learned that the race course was nearly 1 mile short! A rush of disappointment immediately flashed through my body. My endorphin high was murdered on the spot.
faking a smile (with my gal, Kendra, a 5K-finisher) after getting the news
I felt cheated… and I was. After studying the course map, I think the error was somewhere between miles 5 and 7. I don’t remember passing a Mile 4 sign either, but I will assure you I didn’t run off course. The unfortunate reality that the race was only 12.2 miles was confirmed by at least 5 other frustrated half-marathon participants.
Now I do not feel as if I’ve honestly completed 5 half-marathons. Was the race worthy of 26 dedicated training workouts, a $48 race fee, and 4 hours of travelling? Possibly. Seeing that this was not a new race, and there was an ample amount of volunteers, I still don’t find this excusable – 12.2 miles is not worthy of the painful blisters that are decorating my feet… rant over.
Despite the major disappointment, I thoroughly enjoyed the race. The course was flat, as expected, and twisted in and out of neighborhood parks, vineyards, and a handful of tunnels. The sun was shining brightly for the first half of the race (glad I decided to wear my – bent – hat, but wishing I had a pair of sunglasses); though, the temperature wasn’t unbearable and didn’t seem to affect my pace a considerable amount.
I passed Mile 1 @ 7:00 minutes
Mile 2 @ 14:00 minutes
Mile 8 @ 52ish minutes
Mile 9 @ 59ish minutes
This where I started questioning myself. I was expecting to pass Mile 8 in roughly 60 minutes (as I did for Half #4). How could I be running a full mile ahead of pace!? Obviously, I didn’t stop to figure out the puzzle, so I finished the final “4 miles” telling myself untrue affirmations that I was some running superstar, haha.
Mile 10 @ 67ish minutes – yeah, right!
13.1 12.2: 1:33:15 [7:39 pace]
What I momentarily thought was a 6-minute PR transformed into no PR at all.
Despite my complaining and disappointment, I am pleased with the results:
20-24 (female) age group: 5th place/70
overall: 74th place/949
Conclusion: I need to register for an accurate Half #5, and I need the Nike+ SportWatch GPS.
Poolside R & R today…
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Has a similar racing incident happened to you?
Would you be upset? Am I overreacting?
Would you still count it as running a half-marathon?
Would you complain to the race organization?