Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Olathe Half Marathon

Billed as the "Wickedly Fast Half Marathon" due to a new "flatter" course this year, the only thing wicked out there was the wind. Fast was not in my vocabulary this day.

And, I'm a little remiss about writing the race report. Partly, because I wasn't that excited about the race (I was just really, really spent). But, also, I kept waiting for official results (April 16, 2011, bib #1275) to be posted and then pictures. You'll see that I was 8th female overall (503 female finishers), and first in my age division. My official time was: 1:43:41.

I'd written up a few quick notes about the race to my running group, and I think it probably expresses my experience the best without my typical long, drawn out story. Mostly, I just remember the wind. In my face. On my body. Making me feel like I was walking. Or, better yet, running--yet not actually moving.

Positive things:
* The starting BOOM of the cannon (not even Boston does it better than that!)
* This was my first marathon back on March 31, 2007, so, I have fond memories. I ran a 4:17:00 that year, and was hooked
* I finally found the finish line and it ended
* I managed to qualify for NY again, despite the aggravating factors, mentioned below (so I validated myself a little after RTP, which did seem a bit unreal)
* Cool TShirt, I liked the Oz theme

Negative things:
* This race has been around since 2004, so, they should know how to put on a good race with the number of volunteers and participants they have. Shame on them.
* There were 15 porta-sans at the starting line. Are you kidding me? I entered the line, pretty desperate, at 6:25 AM. I exited the porta-sans with many people still waiting at 6:56 AM. The race started at 7:00 AM. I BARELY made it before the cannon went off. I have to wonder, what did all the other people do?
* The wind was terrible, steady 24-27 mph winds NNW, with gusts over 40 mph. This wore me down, and even my neck ached the next day from fighting the wind. I really struggled, and never felt good.
* There were 37 turns (this was a new course this year). For a small field, this requires a lot of volunteers to ensure that runners know where to go. I was running alone for a good bit of the race, esp. towards the end, I had no one in sight. As a result, I actually missed the last turn, where there was no visible sign, no cones and no people. After a bit, some volunteers ran towards me and turned me around and put me back to the turn I had missed. When I drove through later, they had two people, a pick-up truck and a barricade at the straight away (where I went through), so I must not have been the only person to make this mistake. The course was simply too complex overall. 37 turns in a half marathon is ridiculous.
* Crappy, cheap medals. Now, I admit, I didn't run it for the medal, but coming off of Rock The Parkway, Oz was definitely outclassed by RTP (on all counts), which is only in its SECOND year!


  1. Still an awesome time and an awesome picture. I hate wind too. Heat and humidity are the only worse conditions.

    I wanted to ask you mind if I link to your BQ story from the "Inspiring BQ Stories" page on my blog? I actually already did, but in retrospect I should've asked. Let me know if it's as problem and I can take it down. Yours is still my favorite story.

  2. Terzah, Thanks so much! I've decided it was all worth it for the picture--they always seem to get me at the most awkward point possible in my stride... or, my stride is really that awkward all the time, not sure which ;) For once, my stride looks nice! Which is actually funny, this photo was very late in the race, and I was feeling so dead, I thought I was only slightly above walking when they took this.

    Of course you may link to my story, and now I'll have to go back and re-read it. Looking forward to YOUR inspiring BQ story here in the not-too-distant future :) --Alex

  3. Wow - what conditions. Good job battling through! Photo is great!

  4. Lorraine, Thanks :) It was definitely a battle. Did a trail run in the wind yesterday and laughed.. "this is NOTHING compared to a week ago!" Hope you are doing well! --Alex

  5. Alex,

    I vote "hot" on the race picture. Great picture, captured in full stride. You look like you're just cruising along floating. Love that feeling.

    37 turns for a 1/2 marathon, that's nuts? Boston only has 3 turns, plus Cleveland Circle.

    Take care, and stay healthy.

  6. Phil, LOL! I'm definitely keeping the picture :) Just can't believe the 9,999 ugly ones it took to get that one, hah!

    I bet you also didn't struggle with worrying about missing those three turns in Boston, either! I think i have now officially lived out all my "pre-race nightmares," finally "getting lost" has been checked off. --Alex

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