Monday, December 10, 2007

Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon

Dear Mr. Race Director,

Please let me take this time to thank you. It was a wonderful day for a race. The skies were overcast, but not a drop of rain fell during your half marathon. The volunteers on the course were friendly. We had plenty of water, GU2O and assorted GU flavors. The course was flat for the most part and Scottsdale always has plenty of sites to see.

My race went well too. The first few miles I ran with my Earlham College sweatshirt. Around mile 3 I dropped it off in the bushes along Scottsdale road. I hoped to pick it up later, but it was gone. If you have a lost and found and it's there, please let me know. If I never see it again, that's ok - it needed to be replaced anyway.

I ran along side two women at the start of the race. They passed me and were about 10 yards ahead until around mile 5. I passed them, they passed me, I passed them and so forth throughout the entire race. Around mile 7 I passed a guy that had a garmin that would beep every 30 feet or so. I would think it was my garmin, so I would check my wrist every time his garmin beeped. I got tired of the HR beep alert and the distance beep alert on my garmin a long time ago, so mine only beeps on the mile. I had to distance myself from him so I didn't have to hear his. But, of course, he and I would leap frog each other for miles. I passed one lady, she must have weighed 90 lbs and she was walking. I asked how it was going and she said she was hurtin' a bit. I told her to hang in there. A couple miles later, she passed me by.

Here's a picture. It looks like a sky cake with a wedge cut out.

But, it's really a building with the Arizona sky above. We've been cloudy alot lately.

My first mile was done in 9:54. I knew this wasn't going to last. I wanted to do as many 11 minute miles as I could. So, I got in to a good groove of doing 10:50 splits while I was running. My walking added to the time.

My splits:

As you can see, my splits slowly creaped up. But, for the most part I ran well. The last two times I ran I had a sharp pain in my left knee. Runner's knee. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to run today and would end up not finishing. I used my knee strap that I had bought months ago and it worked great. I did not have a single knee issue the entire day.

I loved this race because they gave out finisher's medals and the coolest tee. This is the race associated with the football bowl game. The football players may get better swag (I think they get a Wii), but I love my medal and tee.

But, the neatest thing about this race is that I set a PERSONAL RECORD for a half marathon. I ran this one in about 2:27:41. My previous PR was 2:37:21 at the Casa Grande half back in October. That's about 10 minutes faster.

After the race, I ate an apple, went to the john and headed back out onto the course. I wanted to get another 5 miles in. I ran the course backwards and got to see and encourage the extreme back of the packers. I ran out about 2 miles, saw the last runner with the sweep cyclist and saw the volunteers taken the course down. I ended up having to wait at street signals, so I turned around, caught up with the last runner and ran in with them. I almost got an extra four miles in. My legs were dead. Check out the map below. We covered a lot of Scottsdale in one big loop. When I was adding extra miles on, a cop pointed out that I was running the wrong way. It was a loop course with the start and finish near each other, but I told the cop I parked near the start and needed to go back. About 10 seconds later a confused cop yelled, "I thought the start was near the finish?"

Again, I'd like to thank you Ms. Race Director and all the volunteers of this years Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon.