***copied from my journal, but with pictures***
Up at 6:30. Groggy. My back is sore. (still feeling good after yesterday's first place finish on our company 5K) Repeated yesterday’s routine, minus the shower. Not quite as nervous, since I’m not competitive in half marathons. Out by 7:00. Drove to 146th and up into Suncrest above Draper. Competing in the Suncrest Mountain Half Marathon today. It’s a brutal road and trail course with constant elevation change.
The course begins at 6100’, goes up and down for 6 miles, drops to 5300’ feet by mile 7, it’s lowest point, and then climbs to 6350’ for the next 5 miles. The last mile is downhill. There are zero flat sections on this course. You are either going up or coming down. Since the declines are so steep, it seems like you spend most of the time climbing. It’s a knee busting race, but mine held together pretty well.
Race began at 8:00 after the sun was already up and things were warming up. The heat proved to be the most difficult part of the race, after the constant uphill. There were 4 aid stations, and I dumped water on myself at each one of them, trying to cool myself down. I opted not to carry water.
Around mile 1.5 on single track
The trail was a bit clogged at the beginning, as they had the 5K runners start with us. They broke off after 2 miles. I was surprised at the level of difficulty some of the single track had. Many sections were overgrown, covered in roots and rocks, and held sudden sharp turns. I loved these parts, but hated the surface streets through neighborhoods. Great views of both Utah Valley and Salt Lake Valley at different points.
Rounding the corner to the finish line
Here are my split times:
Mile1 7:32 (Can’t help starting out fast)
Mile 2 9:08
Mile 3 8:38
Mile 4 7:53
Mile 5 8:45
Mile 6 8:24
Mile 7 6:28 (Incredibly steep downhill in parts)
Mile 8 11:13 (The 5 mile climb begins)
Mile 9 10:57
Mile 10 15:04 (having to walk sections of really steep uphill)
Mile 11 10:03
Mile 12 10:17
Mile 13 7:13
In case, like me, you've always wondered what I look like from behind.
There were 92 finishers in the half marathon. My final time was 2:00:54, a 9:13 min/mile pace. I came in 15th overall, 14th male. My age group was really competitive. I was 9th in the 30-39 year olds, despite being the 14th male. No medals today. We did have coupons for a free slice of Pier 49 pizza and a Tropical Sno cone immediately following the race though. Ate while watching the live band Mama’s Boys play classic rock tunes.