Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Santa Cruz Half Marathon

Going out hard!
I'm a few weeks late posting this report, but better late than never I suppose. I was waiting for the race photos to be posted online. But after waiting for weeks, we runners were informed that the official race photographer never showed up on race day. WTF!

So... here's my late and abridged race report with no photos. Super exciting, I know.

My buddy Joe Bistrain was supposed to meet me at the start area before the race to warm up. But Joe apparently overslept, or spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom dealing with an over fibrous breakfast, or was too cheap to pay for parking in downtown Santa Cruz and had parked several miles away in a residential neighborhood. Whatever the excuse, he showed up at the starting line a minute after the race start. Luckily for Joe, the race was delayed a few minutes while police were clearing the course.

John and Joe post race
Once the race got started, I went out hard, but not overly aggressive. After a few miles I tried picking up the pace a bit to see how my legs were feeling. The answer, unfortunately, was not great. My legs just felt dead and unresponsive. Perhaps I wasn't fully recovered from the hard marathon I had run in Oakland two weeks before (were I broke my marathon PR by 8 minutes). Or perhaps my legs were still feeling the effects of the hard track workout I had done earlier in the week.

In any case I decided to back off the pace and just cruise along at a tempo run pace. I let a few people pass me around mile 7 or 8, but for the most part I ran pretty steadily and strong. As I approached the finish line on the beach I threw in a desperate sprint trying to finish in under 1:25, just missing and coming in 21st place at 1:25:11. While not as fast as I hoped to run, I still managed to take over 2 minutes off my half marathon PR. So I probably shouldn't complain!

Afterwards I met up with my buddy Joe (who ran a 1:28:01) and grabbed some coffee and breakfast  nearby restaurant on the pier by the beach. Not a bad way to start a great day!