Thursday, September 29, 2011

DSE Lake Merced Half Marathon Race Report: New Half Marathon PR! Event date: September 18, 2011

I set my Half Marathon distance PR a few years ago during the 2009 Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA with a Chip:  2:30:45.  It was my third half marathon ever.

Fast forward to my 31st half marathon, the Dolphin South End Runners (DSE) Lake Merced Half Marathon on September 18, 2011.  I wasn't expecting a PR this day, but I PR'd!

DSE organized the Lake Merced Half Marathon and many other low key, no frills running events.

While on my way to my 31st half marathon ever, mentally, I was iffy on the Lake Merced Half Marathon.  My wallet was very happy that my event registration fee was just $8.  But, when the gun or the start is announced, I wasn't sure if mentally I can take the event seriously.

The Big Question:  Given the low registration fee, will my legs even want to run?

When I arrived, bib pickup was smooth.

Despite the low registration fee, there were a few extra porta potties.  There were no lines when I got there.

While on my way over, I kept thinking that for such low reg. fees, I might have to make use of some bushes instead.  The bushes were safe today.

The starting line was a chalk drawn line in the parking lot.  There were no fancy banner overhead saying, "The Start."

Everyone lined up behind the chalk line, and the race eventually started.

The first mile was totally congested as the multi-use path around Lake Merced isn't very wide.

During the second mile, the faster folks were pulling away, and I started weaving in and out trying to get ahead.

I got into a nice zone during the third mile and just kept going only taking several walk breaks while downing some gels, downing some drinks or to briefly stretch.

It was an uneventful race until Mile 10 happened.

Mile 10:  The mouthpiece on my running pack broke, trapping all my fluids inside my pack.

Fortunately, the next aid station was about a mile away.

I ran over to the next aid station and drank quickly before running off.

I kept running on the multi-use path until I reached a path made by some cones, signaling it was time to the turn off and head thru the parking lot to the Finish.

When I saw the Finish ahead, I sprinted towards it.  (Note:  I took this pic after I had finished.)

 After I crossed the Finish, I stopped my clock and looked down.  I was stunned!
New Half Marathon PR:  2:25:29

I was stunned enough that I went over to the folks working the finish area and asked if their clock was accurate.  They said that it was.

Wow!!!  I PR'd.

A couple of firsts for me:
  1. A sub-2:30 half marathon finish
  2. A sub-11:00 minute/mile average pace during a half marathon

Official time and new PR:  2:25:26

My treasured bib and finisher's ribbon from the event which got me a new PR.

Post-race, there were lots of orange slices, some potato chips, some bananas and lots of cookies.

So, the answer to the Big Question:  Given the low registration fee, will my legs even want to run? is that yes, my legs will not only run but can run for a PR.

For more info. on the Surf City Marathon events, click here.
For more info. on the DSE Running Club, click here.

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