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:
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* 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:
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* 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!

8 comments:

  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....do 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.

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  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

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

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  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

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  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.

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  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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