Sunday, April 25, 2010

Race Recap: Get In Gear Half Marathon

The Get In Gear Half Marathon was a pretty demanding race for me yesterday. Not only was it raining pretty hard and lightly thundering at the start, I wondered if the race was on the verge of being delayed because of a few cracks of lightening I saw while waiting in my car. It was windy on the River Road, the rain was cold, and yet 8,500 people still showed up, leading to some overcrowded streets.

The following photos are courtesy of Competitive Image because I didn't bring my camera with me, and clearly I ran the race instead of photographing it. :)
The following photos are courtesy of frequent-Twin Cities race photographer Wayne Kryduba -- I feel like I personally know him because I see him all the time!
That's pretty much what the course was like ... all 13.3 miles I ran of it.

I started out running the race in one of those 50-cent camping ponchos. I knotted it tightly around me so I wouldn't have a lot of lag from the wind, and I wasn't going to feel bad ditching the poncho if the rain lightened up or stopped altogether. I thought it was good for waiting around at the start since it acted as extra insulation. I wore it until about mile 6, when I decided that I was already pretty wet and decently warm, and the poncho wasn't doing me much good any more.
I wasn't checking Mr. Anastos any of this time because I was trying my hardest to keep him shielded from the rain. I saw a few other people wearing Garmins on the outsides of their sleeves, but I wasn't sure what the ruling was on its waterproofness. I am sure it was fine, but I chose not to risk it. I ended up having more fun monitoring my pace based on how I felt, how many people I was passing, concentrating on my form, and trying to keep the rain out of my eyes. Around mile 10 I checked my watch for the first time and noticed that I was running much slower than I thought I was going. I thought I was on pace to run a 1:52 or 1:53, but looking at my Garmin I saw I would have to speed up to even get under 2 hours. Those windy, rainy, cold conditions are deceiving!

I tried to pick it up from there on out -- but picking up what you thought was already a decent clip in wicked conditions -- and after running 10 miles -- was no small task. I averaged a rough 9:10 for the first 10 miles, then ran the last three miles at an average of 8:41. My fastest mile ended up being mile 13, with a 8:21 split. Awesome last mile!

Official finishing time: 1:59:22
Distance: 13.3 miles (half marathons are technically 13.1 miles; thanks to Don for explaining on my last post how I tacked on an additional .2 because of the course tangents)
Average Pace: 9:07
Overall Place: 440/915
Gender Place: 140/454
Age Group Place: 52/161

I ran into my coworker who switched from the half marathon to the 10k at the last moment. She cheered me on as I crossed the finish line, then I went over and stood with her, her brother-in-law, and her nieces for a few minutes while she waited for her sister to finish the half. That was definitely the worst part -- at this point it was raining the hardest I had seen all morning, it got colder, and I was starting to chafe, shiver, and get clammy from feeling relatively warm (while running) to freezing in my wet clothing (while standing).

Nonetheless, I was happy for the practice and found a few other benefits to waiting around: Free stuff!

I noticed a promotional Team Ortho booth outside the main exhibition area of the race. During the half marathon, I saw my Kona Ironman finishing friend leading the pack. (He ended up placing 7th overall!!) I went over to say hi, tell Team Ortho I enjoy their races, and wished them a good day hanging out in the rain. Apparently they had a secret code to any tent-goers: Anyone who went up to the booth and said "Team Ortho rocks" would get a prize. My (genuine) version of "I love Team Ortho" was good enough to win me the same prize: a free Minneapolis Marathon visor! This will sure come in handy during my upcoming hot summer runs.
I also got some fantastic Get In Gear waterproof gloves for signing up for the half. I didn't wear them yesterday because my hands would get too hot, but they fit nicely despite being one size fits all. The outsides look something like gardening gloves, and the soft rubber materials has a lot of grip. I bet they'll be great for fall or winter running when I'm trying to grip water bottles or open Sports Beans.
Freeeee stuffffff!

The Get In Gear crew was adequately prepared for the post-race commotion with plenty of food, beverages, and entertainment. Immediately after the race they had lots of water, orange juice, Gatorade, scones, bananas, and salted peanut rolls.

I didn't stay long since I had plans to go for a swim then head to a vegan grill-out in the afternoon, but I grabbed some Gatorade and a banana before jetting out. For being a last-minute race-goer, I felt they were able to accommodate my needs well and everything moved along smoothly. I was in and out of the packet pickup/bib number/t-shirt tent in about 5 minutes and the food dome in maybe 2 minutes.

Overall, a big kudos to Get In Gear. I'm happy to have been part of their first and second half marathons and I hope they have many more successful races in the future.

Yes, I think it actually lightened up on my drive home... :)

Get In Gear Half Marathon splits (1h 59m 22s):
1: 9:09
2: 9:17
3: 9:13
4: 9:19
5: 9:12
6: 9:09
7: 8:59
8: 8:48
9: 9:03
10: 9:02
11: 8:49
12: 8:53
13: 8:21
.3: 2:01
Air Temp: 52F, heavy rain


  1. Great job for running a half in crappy weather! Does it feel good to be able to do a spur-of-the-moment race like that? It should. BTW, sorry about the Nutella - if we come across a vegan version, we'll let you know!! Until then, we'll eat extra for you!! :-) Have a great week!

  2. great job running in such yucky weahter!

  3. Are those the pics that were sent to us VIA e-mail? There was only one picture of me and it was about 200 meters before the finish line. I look so lovely...not so much:(

    Are you running in the Lake Minnetonka half next weekend? I just looked at my racing schedule and I made a mistake. I thought that I had this weekend off. I was wrong and this will be the fourth weekend in a row of racing for me! I would love to have your 1:52 finish time:) Happy Monday!