Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Race Report - Heatbreaker Indoor Half Marathon

Last summer, right after the Rock 'n Sole Half Marathon debacle, we were meeting with Chris when he came up with the idea of holding a half marathon during the summer at the Pettit Center indoors.  We already host the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon in January but now we were going to put one on in the summer.  Why?

It is almost perfect running weather inside the Pettit Center, 55F and no humidity and no wind.  And with the super hot summer we are having, it proved perfect for getting out of the heat and being able to run fast.  Thus was the beginning of the Heatbreaker Indoor Half Marathon, the Hottest Race in the Coolest Place!

I woke up around 4:00AM to get ready for the Heatbreaker and was at Pettit by 5:30 helping set up.  We were going to put on 4 heats of the half marathon with the first starting at 7:00AM.  The first heat was the money heat where the top 3 males and females were splitting $1000.  They were pretty fast, not outstanding however.  The winner finished in 1:11 and the next 2 were in 1:14.

The 10:00AM heat had the most runners in it, sometime like 55.  That is not a lot at all as registration was low for the first year.  I was able to do some announcing during the race and I would let runners know how many laps they had left and when they were on the final lap.

Amy and I early in the race.  Not even sweating yet. 
Photo by Bill Flaws at Running In The USA.

I was going to run the 1:00PM heat as there were not too many runners in it.  My friend Amy from Running is Cheaper Than Therapy was going to run with me in the heat as well.  Dana who also help with the race was in the heat as well.  Amy and I planned to run together trying to get a time of 1:45 if possible.  This equated to a time of 1:12 per lap average.  The gun went off and Amy and I began along with Dana for the first few laps.  Our first lap was very slow at 2:27 and lap 2 was around 2:20.  We were picking it up but it felt really fast.  I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to maintain the pace.

Amy and Dana on lap 12.  I am lagging behind after my 30 second break.
Photo by Bill Flaws at Running In The USA.

With only 24 in the heat, there was plenty of room to move around and have Amy and I run side by side.  We talked and the laps counted off.  I took at 30 second break at 10 laps and then it took me a full 5 laps to catch back up to Amy and she was running with Dana.  It seemed like as soon as I caught up, I was ready to take my next 30 second walk break at lap 20.  I was starting to feel better and able to maintain the speed but I hit the half way point about 1:45 off pace to break 1:45:00, or so I thought.

There is something cool about this picture of Amy and I.  Maybe the unusual angle?
Photo by Bill Flaws at Running In The USA.

After 25 laps, Amy suddenly got a really bad side ache or cramp and had to slow down her pace.  I kept up my pace wondering of it was a good idea to keep going fast since I do have a full marathon planned only 1 week later.  I decided that since the ET Full Moon Marathon was not going to be a fast or raced marathon, why not keep going.  With 10 laps to go, I found myself doing some math to see what I needed to do to break 1:45.  I think I figured about 2:05 per lap and I was maintaining about 2:08 so I needed to pick it up.  With 5 laps to go, I needed to run 2:00 per lap and just wasn't doing it.

Here I have only 7 or so laps to go.
Photo by Bill Flaws at Running In The USA.

Then I got a surprise.  With 4 1/2 laps to go, the announcer says I only have 3 1/2 laps to go.  What?  Really?!?!  I hit my lap button on my watch on every lap so thought I had more to go.   So I asked on the next lap and he says only 2 1/2 laps to go.  I pick it up more for my final 2 laps and finish fast in a time of 1:42:46.  I was extremely pleased with this time.  As I reviewed my splits on my watch, turns out I missed a lap right at 20.  My split there was 4:30.

My legs were tired for the next couple days but not too bad.  It is tough running at Pettit but so nice with the perfect weather, especially in the hot summer heat.  There were a few runners who ran more than 1 heat of the race.  They called this the 2 or 3 alarm challenge.  Then there was 2 really awesome (crazy??) runners who ran all 4 heats of the half marathon.  Mary and Hans both race over 180 laps and 52.4 miles.  Wow!!!

I am happy with my race and my time.  I wish we could have had more runners but this was the first year and when word gets out on how much fun this race is, I am sure more will want in.

Not much time to rest now.  Only 4 more days until the ET Full Moon Marathon in Nevada.  I am really looking forward to this one.  Should be a blast.

Keep on Running!!!

Dana has such a smooth stride.  No wonder he can run so fast.
Photo by Bill Flaws at Running In The USA.

Chris Ponteri, the Race Director, ran just under 1:30 in the 4th heat.  Behind Chris is Mary who was the 2nd female finisher in heat 1.  Here she is in heat 4, somewhere over 40 miles so far for the day.
Photo by Bill Flaws at Running In The USA.

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