Hospital Hill Half Marathon – Done!
I was really happy with this race as opposed to Rock the Parkway HM. I know I never got to a race report for RtP but it wasn’t good. I PR’d there but missed my goal by 17 seconds. Basically I went out way too fast and the wheels fell off the bus around mile 10. This wasn’t good for a fairly flat course. I was not going to let that happen at Hospital Hill.
All in all everything went right that morning. At 6 am it 55 degrees and stayed there until about 9. I was really worried about the weather because it was hot by the middle of May and last year it was 80 by 7am at the race. Today the weather was just absolutely perfect. I was feeling pretty good for the race. That morning I ate a bannana, pop tart and some green tea. I picked up my running partner and we arrived about 30 minutes before start. I did about a half mile warm up and then headed to the starting line. They were trying something different this year and had starting corrals. We were lined in in Corral B with the 1:50 pace group. Our stratagy was to stay right in front of them for the first 10 miles and see what we had left after that.
This race is not flat by any means: There are 3 significant hills. The first hill comes in at mile 1.5 and climbs 180 feet over the next mile. The good thing about the corrals is that is spread everyone out and I didn’t get caught up in the bobbing and weaving to pass people. This helped at the first hill. We came out fairly conservatively at about 8:20/mile. By the time we hit mile 4 we noticed we were actually ahead of the 1:45 pace group. The next hill was at mile 5 and gained 100 feet over a half mile. At this point the 1:45 pacers sneaked out ahead of us but we were feeling good so we just zoned in and hung out just behind their group. I started developing a hot spot in the arch of my right foot. I was pretty irratated with this because the Saucony’s I was wearing already had about 70 miles on them and I have taken them up to 12 miles. I never had this problem before…oh well…c’est la vie. Miles 5 -8 were little rollers through the UMKC campus and old tree-lined neighborhood called Brookside. This was probably my favorite part of the race. At mile 8 it is downhill for two miles and that is where we cooked it. We were hitting about 7:45-7:50 minutes per mile here but we knew what needed to happend before mile 10. Miles 10 -12 are a constant drudging climb back up to downtown KC. No more trees just buildings, Sun, and running. I don’t remember much during these two miles and we didn’t talk much. We just looked forward and pushed. Around 12 you crest the hill and just for torture the race organizers put this short super steep little hill right at 12.3. Luckily this is where most the people were and you got a nice cheering group up that hill. The rest of the way to the finish is all down hill. I guess it is the high school sprinter in me but I can’t finish a race without pushing it as hard is I can for the finish.
I finished 20 seconds ahead of my friend but we both were able to qualify for Corral C at Chicago this year. I came in at 1:45:24 and beat my previous PR at RtP by 6 minutes. We are now 18 weeks out from Chicago so marathon training has officially started and I am already behind 🙂