On 6/1/13 I completed the newest adventure in the Raleigh running community. Local race directors from three separate Half Marathons this Spring got together to offer a special award for completing all three events. The result? The additional bling you see below. Very sweet!
The Lookout Capital Half also includes a 5k and 10k option for those looking to run shorter races in the Raleigh heat. I have never run this race before, so I was looking forward to it. Most of it run on green ways on the northwest side of the city. Very pretty run. The temperature outside when I got up at 3:45am was already 70 degrees. Yikes! Thankfully the humidity was fairly low, unlike the NCRC race a few weeks ago.
The race started at 7am. Parking and racer accommodations were fantastic. I found a parking spot so close, it was almost a sin. As I stated before, this race primarily is run on the green ways of the outskirts of the city of Raleigh. The start of the race is located in the parking lot of North Hills Mall. It proceeds down Lassiter Mill Road, at a quick pace at the start. This quick start led me to a very unrealistic pace as I hit the green way. Mile 1 ticked by, and I was at 6:50, and I kept up that pace, rounding out at 6:54 at mile 3. Wow! This could quite possibly be the fastest Half Marathon yet, I said to myself. I kept going, and began to get warmer and warmer. My pace was slowing, and I was starting to feel the effects of the warm day. Not to worry, I told myself, stay steady. Soon I saw the leader, heading back my direction from the first turn around point. I cheered him on quietly. Then I started looking for others, and no one was even close. He was a man alone, and way in front of the pack.
Soon I approached the first turn around point, about 6.5 miles in. The green way passed several ponds, and the trees provided much needed shade as the temperatures started to rise. There was also a nice breeze from time to time, and that helped a lot. I kept my eyes on several runners around my pace, and we jockeyed back and forth, exchanging positions on the course several times. Water stations were plentiful, but didn’t seem to be in the places that I needed them the most. When I felt like I needed water, it wasn’t there. When I felt good, a water station approached.
I soon started to feel the effects of the heat more and more, and started thinking about how I needed a break from long distance running. My heart was sinking, and with it, my pace. It was almost depressing! I felt myself getting slower and slower, and really got into my head about it. Needless to say, this was not good. I kept pushing forward though. Soon that amazing downhill start was about to turn into the nightmare uphill finish, as we hit the course in reverse for the finish line. The last 3/4 mile was a tough uphill, relentless finish. I pushed it as hard as I could in the end, but I had lost a lot of time. I finished in 1:46:22. Not what I wanted, but good enough. I finished 80th overall, out of about 800 runners. Top 10%, I’ll take it. I finished 9th in my age group out of 69. I recommend this Half, for sure. Just wish they would move it to a cooler weather month.