Running warm up/down (Mixed Road/Grass) 15:37  1.76 mi (8:52 / mi)
ahr:134 max:142 shoes: Brooks Glycerin 4
50s, clear, wind - 7:30a, warm up run near the AF Museum at WPAFB, after watching the fly-over and marathon start.
Running race (Road) 1:20:46  13.1 mi (6:10 / mi)
ahr:173 max:189 shoes: Brooks Glycerin 4
USAF Half Marathon - Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.
A very chilly day (compared to recent standards) with temps in the low 50s at the start. My body was a little shocked by this at first, but after a brief warm up, it was fine. Aside from the constant light wind, the conditions are absolutely perfect for the race.
The course takes you through different parts of WPAFB. It's relatively flat, with some gently rolling hills, plus a couple of longer/steeper climbs. The marathoners get to run around the larger airfield, while the halfers turn around before reaching the airfield for an out-n-back route. I started near the front (top 25), running with the lead group of women through the first mile. Then came a mile-long hill, where I stayed with the first female until about mile 4. The plan was to go out at ~6:30/mi for 3mi, then reevaluate, pick up pace if possible to average 6:20/mi. I was pretty close to target, still feeling good, I used the downhill at 4 to pick up the pace.
By now, I had past the lead woman, and focused my attention on the next target - guy (cadet?) in grey shirt 200m ahead. He would become my battle all the way till the end of the race. Every time there's a downhill, he'd run away from me, but then I'd close the gap on the uphills. Lucky for me I gained more on the ups than I lost on the downs. So by mile 11, I was maybe 10s behind. Next up was the mile-long hill, only this time we're going down. I tried to pick up my pace and get the legs turn over as quickly as possible. GPS tells me I'm running sub 5:40/mi pace, and yet guy in grey shirt is still running away from me! Knowing the last mile+ to the finish is all flat, I began to sense the battle was lost. That's when I caught a huge break - a stiff headwind picked up! This essentially turned the last flat mile into more of an uphill run. :) Being shorter and smaller myself, I generally don't feel the effects of a strong headwind as much as others. So I inched my way closer, until finally overtaking him with about 3/4 mile to go. That boosted my morale, and I quickly turned my attention to the next target, who was probably <50m up ahead. Maybe he was slowing down, or I found some rocket-booster to put on my feet, I ran by him with under 1/2 mi to go. Coming down the final straight away, I kicked it in hard, but with a smile on my smile because I knew I had run well. It was a very cool finish, running down the airstrip with vintage aircrafts lined up on both sides, along with a nice cheering crowd greeting you. It truly was a picture perfect day!
Splits: (1) 6:26, (2) 6:33, (3)? - I hit stop instead of lap on my watch!, 6:09 (4) 5:57, (5) 6:05, (6) 6:12, (7) 6:01, (8) 5:51, (9) 6:15, (10) 6:12, (11) 5:57, (12) 5:42, (13) 6:23, (F) 1:02
Some of the mile markers were off, esp. the last couple - (13) was 1.12mi, and (F) was 0.2mi. Anyhow, since I messed up my watch, I had no clue as to what my official time and placement was. On the posted prelim results, my name/time was nowhere to be found. Later, Don somehow found out for me it was 1:20:46, which means 11th overall and 5th in my age group (using the prelim results)!!! Since 2 of the overall top 3 were also in my age group, I got excited about possibly receiving the 3rd place age-group award. So we stood and waited, and waited, for nothing! The announced 3rd place winner had a time of 1:20:06, so I was just outside. Looking at the official results now, nobody ran a time of 1:20:06! There's a 1:21:06, but he's not even in my age group. Not that this is a big deal, as it's not the first time I've finished just outside of awards. Regardless, it's a great day. I performed well beyond my expectations, as did many of my friends who also made the trip to Dayton. All the flyovers (C-5, C-17, ......) were really awesome to watch as well.