Gina, Carolyn, Wendy and I left Sarasota just before 7am race day to drive up to the Hillsborough River Park. We got up there after about an hour, picked up our packets and then hung out for a while. Race start wasn't until 9 am. Very late for a half marathon. You would think the temps might have been cool, considering it's mid December, but no, we had a warm front on top of us. It was sunny, warm and humid. Just before 9, we wondered over to the race start area. After getting some course direction from Kip, the race organizer, we lined up and were off!
Miles 1 through 7 - 8:36, 9:12, 9:24, 9:12, 9:15, 9:36, 9:49
After we left this part of the trail, we were back on the wide dirt road. The 6 mile racers were on the other side of the road, heading back. This was my least favorite part of the course. For some reason that hard packed dirt road was hard on my legs. I slowed down a bit on this stretch. Not sure how long this stretch was, a mile or two, before we turned off the road onto a single track trail along the river. This spot was beautiful and I pretty much had it to myself. I was able to peek over at the river every so often, but I still had to keep my eyes on the trail in front of me. Lots of roots and uneven terrain. After a while, we left this trail, and entered another road that was pretty much all grass. By now, it was getting pretty hot and there was no shade here. I was still pretty much on my own. A couple of women passed me at one point and I passed a guy, before we left the grassy trail and ended up back on the hard packet dirt road. I got to the last water station, grabbed a cup and walked for about a minute or so before continuing on. I ended up running a bit with a guy who left the water stop at the same time. We talked for a while, which helped distract me from the heat. Soon, we were back on the paved road, and I knew it wasn't much further to the finish. Our pace picked back up while we ran on the pavement. I think it helped running with this guy. I might have finished slower if I hadn't had him there pushing the pace! We came up to the last little bit of trail section off of the main road. He pulled ahead of me here. The ground was very uneven, so I slowed down and watched where I was stepping. We ran along the river again for a short bit before we turned toward the right and through the finish.
Miles 8 through 13 - 9:42, 10:29, 10:35, 11:10, 11:06
Finish time: 2:05
|Gina, me, Wendy and Carolyn|