NCRC Invitational Half Marathon Recap

ImageWake up call came early today!  3:45 am.  The second race in the new Raleigh Triple Crown Series was taking place at 7am this morning.  Those who run three half marathons in the Spring in and around Raleigh are treated to a special medal to commemorate supporting local races at 39.3 miles.  I ran the RunRaleigh Half on 4/14, the Invitational today, and am signed up to run the Midtown Race Series Lookout Capital Half on 6/1.

Today’s race was tough!  Hills, trails, and 100% humidity.  I was drenched by mile 2.  It was very draining right from the get go.  There are several challenging hills all along this course, which is mostly run in a very beautiful State Park close to home.  Umstead State Park is a great place to run, and train.  Unfortunately I have never run there, so today’s race course was a complete unknown for me.  I did look into an elevation chart, but it was completely useless.  It shouldn’t be a problem for me anyway, right?  I mean, I just ran the Blue Ridge Marathon a month ago, so this would be mole hills compared to that.  Wrong!  The weather today was tough!  Climbing those hills while sweating profusely was ridiculous.  I slowed down a bit at mile 4, and then again at mile 9.  I was aware, and tried to make up time on some of the downhills.  The important thing for me today was to stay hydrated, and I stopped at every hydration station except the last one.  Having had a heat stroke during a 10k race a few years ago, I am ultra sensitive to my hydration during longer runs.  This was not the day to skip stations, it was a day to replace my liquids that I was losing every second.  I probably lost two minutes or more, but that was ok.

About 10 miles into the race the pace runner for the 1:45 pace group passed me.  What?  I don’t think so.  It took me two miles to catch up, but I did, having a very good finishing three miles.  I sort of had a second wind, knowing that I was about to be done.  I talked with the pacer and we ran side by side about a half mile before I passed her.  My strong finish felt good.  I crossed the line in 1:45:54 gun time.  Chip time has still not been posted.  I came in 7th in my Age Group.  Overall results have not been posted yet either.  Will update this post when the final results are available.  Overall I am pleased with my run today.  Not a PR by any stretch, but happy considering the course and conditions.  Next time I run this event, I will order up cooler weather and no humidity, and also a slight breeze that can penetrate the canopy of trees in the park.  I would have done better today if the conditions were more favorable.

Next race is Lookout Capital Half on 6/1, and already looking forward to it.