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Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, April 7, 2008

Results from Great Bay 1/2 Marathon

I ran the Great Bay 1/2 marathon yesterday in Newmarket, NH on a cold and windy day. It was my first real test of endurance for 2008 and I was pleased with the results. I finished right dab in the middle of my goal window (listed below), with a chip time of 1:27:05 (6:39 avg).

The race overall was well organized, plenty of signs for parking, registration, course directions, aid stations and mile markers and good food at the finish (pizza, soup, chowder, etc.). It is also well supported, with lots of spectators, musical bands and even a group of belly dancers at mile 10 (now THAT'S different).

I was surprised how challenging the course turned out to be, however. I remember scanning the course map and envisioning a fairly flat course but it was anything but flat. Although there were no big ups or downs there were lots of short steep quad-banging descents and short steep quad (and lung) burning ascents.

Right from the start I knew it would be tough. The wind had the flags blowing straight out and the course headed out into the wind. For the first 3+ miles I ran behind a group of runners trying to get them to block the wind as much as possible. We then headed onto a dirt road for the next 2-3 miles. It turned out to be much slower going on the dirt, with pot holes and puddles everywhere. The wind was not much of a factor during this stretch so that was encouraging. After we left the dirt road we headed back out on pavement along Great Bay for the next 2-3 miles, which provided some outstanding scenery but also some challenging hills. It was very similar to running along Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton....scenic winding roads but steep short hills. Around mile 9 we did an out and back loop down into a nice neighborhood which allowed us to see the lead pack for the first time (and the belly dancers). At least this stretch was flat and I was running with a guy who was pushing the pace a little so I tried to stick with him as long as I could. It was also at this time (around mile 10.5) that I saw Mark Wimmer for the first time since the start (Mark and I drove over together). He was about 200 yds ahead and it looked like I was catching him. I now had a new goal: catch Mark. My pace (and effort) for the last 3 miles definitely increased and it was a little easier going and much flatter, but a TON of turns. I finally caught and passed Mark around mile 12.5 but that seemed to get him motivated again (bad for me). By mile 13 he had passed me again and that's the way we finished.

STATS for the race:
1,111 finishers
33rd overall
8/81 in the 40-44 division

Mile 1 6:31
Mile 2 6:32
Mile 3 6:44
Mile 4 6:47
Mile 5 6:43
Mile 6 6:43
Mile 7 6:28
Mile 8 6:50
Mile 9 6:39
Mile 10 6:43
Mile 11 6:36
Mile 12 6:37
Mile 13 6:35
Finish 1:27:05 (6:39 avg)

1 comment:

Jim Hansen said...

A very impressive early season race. It looks like you are going to have a good racing year!