Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Bedford Half Marathon

The New Bedford Half Marathon played host to the USATF New England Championship. The weather was great, mid 40's, partly sunny, and a breeze that was fair when we needed at our backs (last three miles). I did not pin a goal out there but thought 5:40 pace was obtainable which I raced for 10 miles last month in Foxboro. After rolling out with an opening 5:30 mile, I settled into a group that including Jonathan May (Somerville Road Runners) and Mark Reeder (Greater Lowell Road Runners) around 3.5 miles. I've had the luxury of running track intervals with Jonathan this winter with SRR at Tufts. Mark and I have had plenty of battles over the years as we were teammates at GBTC in the late 90's. I just finished ahead of him in a 5K last week. Thus I was in good, responsible company for the miles ahead. I had a stretch of miles around 5:30 pace that put me through 28:15 at five miles while dumping my gloves and hat off with Kristen who was taking photos. My group slowly reeled in the 2nd female, Diana Bowser from the BAA. Our group got as big as eight runners slicing the wind along the water. I was hanging on the back of this group. Then I saw a 5:54 split from 8 to 9 miles and was shocked. I picked up the pace at mile 10, passed in 56:30, as I could see two flags ahead that showed the wind coming off the ocean and eventually into our backs. I figured that I could break the pack up a bit and try to reel some guys in ahead. Mark Reeder followed and pulled ahead of me staying about 15 feet ahead. I kept Mark in my sights and I felt pretty strong heading into the last climb around 11.5 miles. I caught Mark and put a few strides on him at the top of the hill and was ready to roll into the last 1000 meters. Jonathan May pulled along side a turn later (see photo) on a downgrade. I recall passing Krissy here taking more action shots. I made the last right hand turn and put in my best effort toward the finish line. I was racing the clock hoping to keep it in the 1:13:XX range but crossed the line at 1:14:01. I ran 5:39 pace for an official 1:14:00.5 chip time, 1:14:01.7 gun time, and 61st overall. The race had 2358 finishers.

530 530
540 1111
545 1656
546 2243
531 2815 5 miles
530 3345
534 3920
530 4451
554 5045
544 5630 10 miles
534 1:02:04
missed mile 12 and 13, 11:56 for the last 2.1 miles,
1:14:01 overall