Road Run race 1:40:55  13.1 mi (7:42 / mi)
shoes: Hoka SpeedGoat 2
Rehoboth Seashore Half Marathon - Awoke around 3:00 am, turned on the heat in the hotel room (which had only 2 settings - ON or OFF). Wasn't able to get back to sleep so just rested until 5:00 am when we got up, ate a quick breakfast and downed some coffee. Then we drove over to Rehoboth Avenue and were able to snag a parking space only a block from the Finish party tent.
We walked up the street to the Start area which is at the east end of Rehoboth Ave.and the boardwalk. It was still dark and pretty chilly - 26 deg. While we were stretching, I noticed I had put my running tights on backwards. Oh well, I was probably going to experience some chafing.
About 6:45 I did a warm-up run heading south on the boardwalk. There was a spectacular crimson sunrise to my left over the Atlantic. There weren't a lot of people around the boardwalk so I took the opportunity to duck into a condo parking garage and put my tights on the right way. As I was re-tieing my shoes, I looked up and saw a security camera pointing right down at me.
I headed over to the Start area and lined up just in front of the 1:40 pace group. My only goals for the race were to break 100 minutes and hopefully finish top ten in my age class. The gun sounded and we were off, heading west down Rehoboth Ave before doubling back and going east to Surf Ave. and Ocean Dr. At mile 3 at the Gordon Pond / North Beach parking area, we made a turn and then backtracked into town. I looked for my brother as I passed the runners going the other direction but didn't see him. I was feeling pretty good at this point and was keeping up a steady pace.
Around mile 4, the 1:40 pace group slipped past me. I kept them in my sights for most of the rest of the race, hoping I would be able to reel them in again later on. I took my first gu around mile 5. We crossed the canal and then headed north to pick up the Junction-Breakwater Rail Trail. The rail trail was my favorite part of the race. It is a packed pea gravel surface which provided a nice break from the pavement. Around mile 8.5 was a vexillologist's dream - flags from all the states and countries represented in the race were suspended above the trail and they had an aid station with music.
At mile 9, I took another gu and made the turn to backtrack along the rail trail towards town. I saw my brother still on the outbound track and he told me he had pulled a muscle at mile 2 - ouch!. He still looked to be moving ok though. I wanted to pick up my pace a bit and did so briefly but as I executed a pass, I felt my left hamstring tightening so I didn't push too hard. Once we returned to the pavement, I passed a guy who had stopped to walk. He then resumed running hard and passed me. A little further ahead, he started walking again. At first I thought he was fighting off an injury, but this happened about 5 times. I think he was actually doing the race using the Galloway Run-Walk method.
I took my 3rd and final gu a bit before mile 12. We re-crossed the canal and the Galloway guy passed me again. I resolved that the next time he stopped to walk, I was passing him for good. I summoned a little more speed and passed him and several other people, crossing the finish line in 1:40:55. A bit above my goal time but I did manage to finish top ten in my age class (7th). Given my spotty training and the couple naggy injury issues I had leading up to the race, I guess this is about as good as I could have expected. But I'm a little irked that I didn't break 100 mins on a flat course. I think the cold weather probably slowed me a bit and the 5 miles or so on the rail trail, while enjoyable, makes for less efficient striding.
My brother finished in 2:09, only a little behind his goal time so the injury did not hobble him too badly. He follows a 9 mile marathon training program developed by Marlies Kort. It sounds questionable to me but has worked ok for him. I think his lack of warm-up this morning (he stretched but did no running warm-up) contributed to his injury.
There is a nice party in a big tent after the race-good food and more Dogfish beer. This is a well run race and I wouldn't mind doing it again. Its relatively small size (~2500 runners combined for the full and half marathon) makes for friendly logistics. Having problems getting my GPS to download right now - hopefully will get it to work later.