2005 Columbia Half Marathon

Ok, I’m going to do things a little backwards and start out with a report of my most recent race, the Columbia Half Marathon.

Had I taken the time to review my training prior to signing up, I probably wouldn’t have entered. Especially considering my longest run leading up to the half was only 8 or 9 miles in the past several months and my weekly mileage was only around 20 miles a week. However, the race organizers had contracted with Ultramax to use our finish line and race supplies so I had to be there to set things up. Since I had to be there anyways, I figured I might as well run…

I arrived at race site at 6am and spent the next hour and a half unloading traffic cones, setting up barricades, and other miscellaneous tasks. Thirty minutes out from the start, I changed shoes and quickly readied myself for the race. Even though I knew I wasn’t in peak form for a half marathon, I also knew that a lot of the best distance runners in Columbia wouldn’t be there. I even thought there was a slight chance I could win it. That thought was dashed at the starting line when I saw Christian Reed. Christian was the obvious choice to win it all. Steve Taylor was also there. Steve had always been faster than me in prior runs and there was no reason for me to think this one would be any different.

At eight o’clock the race started and we were off. Ted Zderic (doing the relay) shot out like a cannon ball and Christian Reed wasn’t too far behind. I decided to pace off Menash who was doing the relay. We were going a little faster than I would have liked, but I had my reasons for wanting to be with the front runners, at least for the first ¾ of a mile.

After my brief foray in the front, I decided to slow up a little or risk blowing up by mile four. I pulled in the reins some and was joined by Steve Taylor. My initial thought was to continue to slow down and let Steve go off by himself, but I decided I would run with him for a while and see how things felt. We crossed the first mile marker at 6:20. My original plan had been to do easy 6:40’s for the first half, oh well…

When Steve and I first started running together, we talked about who was ahead of us. I had told him that Ted and Menash were both doing the relay, but there was also a girl ahead of us that neither of us knew anything about. I said that she was obviously either doing the relay or that we would see her in a few miles when she slowed up because she had gone out way to fast, her first mile was under six minute pace. We decided that Christian Reed would probably take first and I told Steve that he would take second; I didn’t think that I could beat him. We covered mile two in 6:15 and mile three in 6:25, but still no mystery girl…

Mile four included a long steep climb up Campus View Street and resulted in a slow 4th mile, 7:17. Steve and I were still running together and he pointed out that while the mile was slow, we probably would have hurt ourselves more by trying to run it too fast and then paying for it later. Somewhere around four and a half miles, we passed the first relay exchange point. Steve and I looked, but we couldn’t see the mystery girl anywhere, was she still ahead of us?

The next 4 miles were more of the same, Steve and I running together. Every time we passed a mile marker I would call out the splits, 6:44, 6:37, 6:25, and 6:24. After running together for about the first 8 miles, Steve began pulling away from me going down Old Hwy 63. By the time we turned off the road onto the Grindstone Rec Trail, he had a 10 to 20 second lead on me. Initially I tried to pick up my pace and pull him back, but I decided to run my own pace and just let things fall where they fell.

Once on the trail, Steve stopped pulling away. The 9th mile marker wasn’t on the trail, but somewhere around where it should have been, I started making time back up on Steve. Mile’s 9 and 10 I covered at a 6:33 average pace and by the 10th mile marker I was back up with Steve. Once back with Steve we saw Nate Smith and Andy Stewart who were out on their mtn. bikes. They were more than happy to tell us that the mystery girl had come by about five minutes ahead of us… They also seemed to take pleasure in saying that I looked slower and looked like I was hurting more than Steve.

Steve with me 10" back...

Steve with me around 10″ back…

As is typical for me, at the tenth mile marker I checked my watch to see where I was at time wise. My watch read 1:05:27. With some quick and easy math in my head, I realized with a nineteen minute final 5k, I could run a PR. However, I also realized the final 3.1 miles also included a jaunt back up the UMC Rec trail, a rather long drawn out hill. But I figured what the heck, I’ll pick up the pace and go for it, who knows, maybe I’ll drop Steve in the process. While I wasn’t really expecting that, it’s what ended up happening. By the top of the Rec trail, I could no longer see him behind me. My eleventh mile was covered in 6:44, but that included a difficult hill.

After the 11th mile marker, I could see a relay team runner ahead of me. I can usually push myself harder when there is someone ahead of me so for the next mile I concentrated on catching him. The 12th mile I covered in 6:23 and passed the relay runner shortly afterwards. The final 1.1 miles were probably the toughest for me, my legs were dying and I didn’t have any more “carrots” ahead of me. Mile 13 took 6:40 and the final point one took :42 for a final time of 1:25:59.

I didn’t run a PR; my PR is 1:24:45 from the 2003 Drake Relays Half Marathon. But it was my second fastest half ever and on a very challenging course. I did get beat by a girl, Serena Ramsey, but she also happens to be one of Mizzou’s top cross country runners. Besides, on any given day there are plenty of female runners out there that could annihilate me (and most guys) in a run… Second male overall is the highest I’ve placed in a half marathon and with probably the least amount of run specific training; it was a good day.

posted at 09:11:23 on 10/06/05 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports


trish wrote:

Another fine performance, but where was your cape? you are a running stud- proper training or not. you will always be my “carrot”….
10/06/05 15:53:17