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Race Report: South Pfalz Half-Marathon

With the dust barely having settled from the 50K race on May 1 and my next marathon less than two weeks away (May 24), most would probably not get the idea to sign up for a half-marathon. As we entered the second week of beautiful, sunny spring weather, I couldn’t think of a better thing to do on a three day weekend (Monday was Whit Monday, a holiday).

I have run the South Pfalz 10K and HM before and knew it was a flat, forested course, with mostly smooth (a few tree roots), dirt trails. The half-marathon normally only draws a couple hundred runners, so it never gets too crowded, other than at the start. The other advantage is that we have a good friend that lives in Rulzheim, where the race is held, so my wife can enjoy some company while waiting for me.

We arrived about an hour before the race and, as my wife waited for her friend Eva, I picked up my race number and took my place in line at the bathrooms. The latter is about the only negative thing I can say about the race – they just do not have adequate facilities for all the runners!

I talked with Eva for awhile, then with one from my running club that was also running the half. Finally about 15 minutes before the start of the race I warmed up for a few minutes, then took my place in the middle of the pack.

The sun was shining and the temperature was already in the mid-sixties (F). The beautiful weather drew a lot of last minute entries. I later read that 427 ran the 10K and 319 the half. The 10K runners started the race at 9:00, the half at 9:20. The course was the same for both races, the half-marathon was two rounds plus.

I really didn’t have any goal for the race, I hadn’t done any speed work, and really didn’t want to destroy my legs with a marathon 11 days away. So when the starting shot went off I decided to just run at a comfortable pace and see what happens.

rulzheim_hm_2008_1.jpg

It was a bit crowded at the start as we surged forward, but soon thinned out and I fell into around a 5:00/km (8:00/mile) pace. The pace felt good and I cruised around the first loop without slowing.

rulzheim_hm_2008_2.jpg

I managed to keep up the pace for about half of the second loop, but as the outside temperature rose and the last weeks high mileage took its toll I felt myself slowing. I decided not to fight it too much and cruised to the finish line. Apparently I didn’t slow much more after than, as I still crossed the finished line in 1:48:20, my third fastest half-marathon time!

I was totally satisfied with my finish time, at least until I figured out that my second best HM time (and course record) was only 8 seconds faster – then I kicked myself in the head for not sprinting to the finish ;-)

After showering, I rejoined the ladies and we watched the awards ceremony before heading home. All in all it was a good run and a great day, I look forward to doing it again next year.

Comments

Nice.

Great job!! That's an awesome HM time!

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