Having run it every year, I am a plankholder to this race and feel obligated to run it. But I really like it too. It always has a good crowd, and the course is my home course. One of my favorite runs is a 10.1 miler around the lake (including the short section from my house).
I don’t have much to report. As usual, the expo was quick and easy to get the bib. The vendors and lack of schwag is no surprise, given the size of the race and the price. And that is fine with me. But there was one significant exception: Ameriana Bank gave out vouchers for a $20 Runner’s Forum card. They are a local bank, locally owned, and a major race sponsor. I stopped by their branch to pick up the $20 card, and they have large pictures in branches of local customers – pretty cool. A local bank with local customers that somehow didn’t get swallowed up by big banking.
On race day, there is easy parking and quick shuttles. I woke up early and had my normal pre-race meal of oatmeal, a small bagel, peanut butter, and coffee. I arrived 30 min before the start, and got to the starting corral 10 min before start. The only issue/not issue I experienced was the bus driver gave erroneous information by saying he thought the race start got pushed to 7:15. This was not the case, but I had time to spare. The National Anthem was performed well, and I didn’t notice any idiots failing to remove hats or continue walking. While not a big deal as a spectator, there was a glitch with the airplane formation, as it did not arrive at the conclusion of the anthem (as it normally would), but a minute later.
The race started and we were off. As I crossed the timing mat I saw a running shoe but could not even get close to grab it. I then saw the poor owner trying to somehow get it by travelling upstream. Anyway, I didn’t push my pace too hard. I started easy and did not worry about speed and passing. I had good room and just took it easy. My heart rate was in a reasonable place the entire race. I felt good, just not fast. My weight is higher than it should be for racing, but I am not concerned with it. I was just out to have fun. I ran intervals on Wednesday, which isn’t exactly a good prescription for a PR. And I had no intent to even try. I wasn’t trained enough for a fast half. I ran a steady race and grabbed water at just a few stations. I was targeting a 1:45 finish, which is okay but needs to be closer to 1:35. I kicked it during the last two miles, trying to pass and crush a guy in the last mile. To my chagrin I looked over my shoulder and he sped up to stay with me. I was running a pace I could not sustain. I tried to shake him and as we started the bridge approach he started to drop back. I told him to hang on so we could finish fast, and then he ended up passing me, finishing 50m ahead. My final time was 1:45:29. Not bad, but not fast. I should actually train for these things. I might actually get to that 1:30 range…