Temperature was 66F and humidity 81% which was thankfully less than last year and had cooled off quite a bit since we were in the mid-70s yesterday morning. I positioned myself near the front next to Phil and Sam. I started at a pace that felt good and first mile was 7:06. It seemed like quite a few runners ahead of me and a few passing me in the first few miles. Just after mile 4 I caught up to a guy and we ended up running together for quite a few miles which helped pass the time and he was keeping a good pace. At 4 miles I was around a 7 min pace average which we closely maintained all the way to the half.
I wasn't sure how to attack Easley hill (near top is mile 13.1). Sometimes I have run it and sometimes walked. He ran up and I followed, but by the top I was a little ahead of him. They called out my half split at the time which I think was 1:34 something. He caught me a bit later and another guy also passed us looking strong. I picked up the pace again and didn't see him again until he finished.
I took a gel at 45 min, 90 min, and 135 min. Took water at all stations this year to play it safe. Before Pierpont around mile 17 I passed 6 or 7 runners up the hill which kind of surprised me to pass that many at once. I was still feeling good and running strong and seemed like better than the first half. The first half I had 7 sub 7 miles and had 10 sub 7s in the second half. The hill at mile 20 which I consider to be one of the worst since it comes later in the race didn't seem so bad this year.
The stretch down Providence Rd which is over 3 miles seems to go on forever. There is a long gradual hill near the end of this stretch which I was glad to get over and then had 2 miles to go. I didn't see anyone behind me when I turned the corner. Pace slowed just slightly to 7:04 at mile 25. I passed a guy that started walking some on College Ave. The final 0.4 mile stretch goes down Broadway, the main street in downtown Columbia. GPS had 26.54 miles and last 0.54 ran at 6:19 pace so finished strong. Time was 3:04:34.
Up until mile 21, I didn't feel any pain. From 21 on, all leg muscles felt sore and had to work harder to keep the pace. Breathing felt good the whole race. 10 HOAs completed and this one was my 4th fastest time. Placed 1 of 28 in the 40 - 44 age group (next closest guy was 3:11) and 10th overall (same as last year) out of 237 finishers. Last year there were 212 finishers and 2 under 3 hours. This year we had 7 runners under 3 hours.
Hugh had a much better race than last year finishing in 4:13 so took 31 minutes off his time from last year. The weather definitely helped some of the times today.
At the finish, we had Hot Box cookies, fruit, and pretzels (contributed by Andy & Hugh). Also, had Gatorade G2 and soda.
After we attended the pizza party and awards ceremony at Shakespeare's Pizza and then went home to nap.
Race Director's Report
|Race shirt, number, medal, and award|
|Andy & Phil with their 1st place age group awards|