Monday, September 14, 2015

City of Lakes - Half Marathon - 2015 - Race Recap

I came to know about City of Lakes - Half Marathon  in the RunMinnesota magazine lying in my office reception where I spent lot of wait times in the first week :) And since Lake Calhoun and Harriet are my usual long run route, I knew I had to try a race in this place.

I arrived half-hour early at the Tennis courts at Lake Harriet. Hubby dropped me closeby. It's residential area and cars were lined up on all streets. The crowds were all serious runners and very young age group. Since this was MRDA backed, I imagined they used this for pure running exercise . It was indeed non-frilly race. Practically no family kind spectators.

I was intimidated, but I wanted to see the semi-elite perform. I haven't attended any race coaching or group runs. I self-learn from internet and I train alone. I wanted to see, how the 8 pace & 7 pace looks like ? And I did get to see it, thanks to the way the route was laid out.

Race started at 8 am towards East. After a loop of Lake Harriet, we moved through the William Berry Parkway towards Lake Calhoun. And at this point, I saw the Lead runners on their way back for the 2nd loop of Lake Harriet. My mind was blown. I totally disoriented about what the route loops were ?? Took me a long time, to do the math that it was half-way, but yes they were Fastttt !

Then the route went around Calhoun towards East. I saw a Timer screen and sprinted to shave as many seconds as I could :) So my 5K time was 36 minutes. And then it was the usual run-walk-wobble around Lake Calhoun. Towards the end of West Parkway, the lead runners overtook us again. I swear I could feel the whoosh. Spectators cheered them "Half a mile more ! Keep going !" And after a pause, "Halfway there, keep going !" Gave them a thumbs up, coz I knew that was for me :) Those lead runners were a sight to see. The elite ones from Africa and the local serious ones - back straight, hands paddling their body, legs running at the consistent pace, and breathing without effort. One of them wheezed loudly all along, but it did not change his posture or showed any pain. I breath better than before. I should do that with increased pace and lesser walk breaks.

When I reached the Lake Harriet bandshell, which is the finish point, here the first Woman crossed the line. That was exciting. Time flew in my second loop of lake Harriet. Second half of any race is always better. Runners had thinned as usual. I did try to save time where I could. I think I did not look at the lake waters at all; which is my usual distraction. Could be because we were on road and not on the trail, which is closer to the water. In summer runs, I save time, because I have no pocket to store my iPod and so I don't stop to take any pictures. But that also means I don't have many summer run pictures.

The route was lined with trees and very little sun. And thankfully it was not windy that morning. My outfit was just right again. No overheating or cold chills.

  1. ASICS Women's GT-2000 3 Running Shoes - which I had trained in. 
  2. Single Technical Tee and capri pants
  3. Cap to shade from the sun and prevent my hair from flying away.
  4. Chap-stick - lips get dry & burn because of wind, sun and sticky powerade

The 2nd loop of Lake Calhoun started well. The 10 mile Timer showed up and I sprinted again to shaved few seconds off 2:09 hours. And I did not chat with anyone. There was a runner dressed in all black - long pants, full jackets and black cap. I felt hot just looking at him. He was jovial, "I will run slow. I have to work tomorrow. I can't break my knees." :) I so agreed with him. By now, there were very few runners. Yet I did not bother to look back. Didn't want to be disappointed being the last runner, so early in the route. Non-race runners had started running and biking on the route; it was that deserted. I distracted by trying to figure out which ones ahead of me, were racers and which were not. 2-3 miles before finish, I spotted a guy in Blue jacket and cap. I never saw him before in the course. So I thought he was a Bandit. 'No one would wear jacket for this long".

Water stops were just right and evenly spaced. I did not over-drink like usual, nor was I thirsty. At the last water-stop, I was sobbing when I took the cups. I was just happy I was going to finish. It was a pleasant day as well at 60F.

Meanwhile, the Guy in Blue proceeded to finish line. I never saw his face. And then the announcers said, he was Thomas Huberty, 64 and he had Finished the CityofLakes Half every single time since it started in 1975 !!! Wow ! Talk about judging by book-cover. And like in every race, a Senior taught me humility at the finish line.

My finish time was 2:53:03 . Definitely better than the previous races this year and with usual minimal training through the summer. I was happy.
54 62 W35 Prithi Shetty  2:09:17 38.36% 3:04:49 2:53:03 13:12

My cheerful family relaxed at the play-area, Band-shell and then we left for the Lake Centennial Art Fair (Fall in the Arts). I knew once I go home, I would never be able to come out all day. It would be lunch & bed, that's all. This Sunday being the last day of the Art Fair, I could not miss it. It was a good day indeed.
Swag was a cool heavy glittery Medal, Glass and snacks. No T-shirts for me, as they were for winners of every category.

This race was a rich experience watching the Lead runners, middle packer and experience runners, thanks to the way the route is shaped (infinity :).