A.M. St. George Half Marathon. 1:14:26 officially, 1:14:29 on my watch. 5th place.
The course was great. It was measured properly for the first time in the history of the race since I can remember. The race director sent an email out saying it was certified. It was marked like a certified course as well - every mile and every 5 K, and every one of my splits made sense. From that I learned exactly how short the course was last year, and now everything falls into place. I thought it was rather odd that people ran so fast on the last year's course with as much as it rolls. I figure it was about 2:30 shorter last year, not 55 seconds we assumed from GPS readings. GPS consensus is not a substitute for course certification.
The race was a good opportunity to do a hard long tempo run in warmer weather on dry roads (although Hayden managed to take a spill on the icy bridge).
Splits by the mile according to the race mile markers except the first, which I got off Dave's GPS because we were on the wrong side of the road at mile 1:
5:40, 5:35, 5:20, 5:20, 5:44, 5:34,5:41,5:37,5:55,5:41,5:55,5:57, 6:30 for the last 1.11, 5:51 pace.
By 5 K: 17:10, 17:14, 17:51,18:16, last 1.0975 K in 3:58, on pace for 18:04 5 K.
By 10 K: 34:24, 36:07
Warmed up with Jeff.
Good group at the start. Pretty soon the group dwindled to Jeff, Dave, Hayden, Paul, Kyle Moffet, and a guy I did not recongize. Jeff controlled the pace start to finish, the rest of us hoped for mercy. We got lots in the first mile, less in the second, even less with each subsequent mile, and none after 8.
Interestingly enough, the contact with Jeff was being lost in the reverse order of placing with the exception of Hayden who lost it for reasons not related to fitness. And he fixed the order quickly, in less than a mile. Which was another confirmation of my hypothesis - for distances up to the half marathon if runner A and runner B have equal aerobic conditioning and both are racing anywhere close to 100%, both are running without a pack, and if runner A gaps runner B as early as 30% of the race distance, runner A will beat runner B. This might be true for the marathon as well if both runners are fit to run 2:09 or faster.
Or in other words, at a high level of aerobic fitness it becomes physically next to impossible to run the first 30% of your race too fast.
I lost contact with the pack around 4.5 on an uphill. But I was happy about my 5 K split, and a mid-race 2 miler in 10:40. I was also happy about 5 miles in 27:39, and 10 K in 34:24 on rolling hills. I did pay for it later with neural fatigue. Not very severe at first, but it kept getting worse, and the Bloomington loop set the seal on it to the point that I ran a 5:57 mile honestly trying.
I saw that Dave Holt was struggling and tried to reel him it. The problem was I was struggling just as much. His stride looked like he and I had the exact same problem - loss of zip in the legs. Which I explain as the brain being weaker than the lungs and heart. Not to be confused with the lack of willpower.
I made it to the finish saved by the chute from Kyle's powerful kick. Final times (official): Jeff 1:10:59, Paul 1:11:31, Hayden 1:12:41, Kyle 1:14:34 (I think).
Found Jeff, and we went to pace Mary Ann. She surprised me. I was expecting 1:24 at the very best. She ended up with 1:20:41 - a 3 minute PR with the last PR being from Hobble Creek. This is more like an 8 minute PR for her. Living up to her last name she showered her competition with a load of hammers. I think she is beginning to realize that 2:34 marathon for her is not as crazy as it sounds. Another confirmation of my hypothesis - a runner with initial world-class Quality X, even aerobically underdeveloped, is much more easily shaped into a world-class marathoner than a runner without initial world-class Quality X.
Then took Benjamin and Jenny and ran a mile out with them in the opposite direction of the racing skipping the final loop of the course. Found a runner named Jill from Spanish Fork, and pace her to the finish including the loop. Benjamin and Jenny were having so much fun with pacing that they agreed to run the loop even though it was beyond their call-of-duty mileage. Jill finished in 1:53:04.
P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 10:08.