This morning Clay, Neil, Dave and I drove to Bakersfield to compete in their 2 halves make a whole, half marathon. They hold the race twice a year: In February heading northwest on the Kern River bike path and in November heading Southeast on the same path. They offer medals, which fit together so that the two half marathon medals make a whole medal!
It has been 3 weeks since the surf city marathon and I feel pretty much recovered so I thought I would put in a pretty good race. My main goal was to make official an unofficial half-marathon PR I set with Clay and Karl on New Years Day. That day we ran a half on the aquaduct in 1:37:50. It was not a race, but it was faster than any half marathons I had done so far.
With 1:37 in mind, I set my Garmin 305 virtual training buddy to run the half at a 7:25 per mile pace. I helped Clay to set his at 7:28 as he did not want to race the half, but to use it as a training run.
1st Half: At times I was a little worried. I was told by Dave before the race that the course was going to be going downriver, so I was expecting a slight downhill going out. Most of the time, however, I felt like it was a slight uphill. It was probably just the slightest of headwinds that I was feeling instead as the course had very gentle ups and downs with very little if any overall loss of elevation. During the first or second mile I pulled ahead of Clay and settled in. After the initial surge, I had noticed that nobody was catching me or passing me. One by one I was consistently catching and passing others out on the course. My Garmin showed me always within 50ft of being on pace. Sometimes I was ahead and sometimes I fell behind. Around 4 miles or so, I heard the sound of someone catching me – It was Clay, he decided to catch me and run with me for the first 10 miles or so. As we neared the turnaround we started counting the runners ahead of us. We saw Niel in 9th place (I think), and sometime later we saw Dave. We counted 33 ahead of us at the turn.
SPLITS: Miles 1-6: 7:23, 7:27, 7:25, 7:27, 7:24,7:21 1st HALF – 48:54
Immediately after the turn around we caught a few more runners. Miles 7-10 were pretty evenly paced. Somewhere in this stretch one guy did catch and pass us which disappointed me a little. I kept my eye on him, however, and he did not pull too far ahead. As we finished mile 10 – only a 5k to go, I decided to pick it up just a little. At the end of 11 Clay said for me to go for it, and that he would hang back to finish his on an even pace. For the 12th I picked it up some more catching and passing that one guy who had passed us. Their were one or two others I passed during this stretch. The last mile I picked it up some more, but was then slowed a little at the end when they took the course of the pavement and onto a dirt path to the finish. I still finished with my fastest mile being number 13.
SPLITS: Miles 7 – 13: 7:23, 7:34, 7:21, 7:24, 7:17, 6:56, 6:52
2nd Half Split: 47:36
My Official finishing time was 1:36:30 for a new Personal Record!
I placed 26th overall out of 238 runners and 3rd out of 19 in my division! (Thanks Clay for not racing me!)
Neil Small won his division and placed around 5th overall in 1:21:46.
Dave Hoglund finished in 1:33:14 and took 2nd in his division – 18th overall.
Clay Patten finished in 1:37:27 right as he had planned – 5th in division and 29th overall. It turned out that one of the 2 guys I passed in that 12th mile was in our age division…
Overall it was a great morning and the Bakersfield Track Club runs a very good race!