Columbia had a half marathon just a couple of miles from the house, and two of my high school buddies were going to be there. There’s no way I was going to miss this one. My friend Ron was finally getting back into running, and Marc was driving down from New York State to participate. It would be like high school all over again, except that the two of them are married with kids now.
Before the Race
I had a hell of a time waking Cara up. In the end, I just got ready on my own and then took Dublin from her. With the loss of her small, snoring, personal heating device, she was forced to get out of bed and prepare for the 4-mile walk with Ron’s wife Amy. We had a little coffee and drove maybe two miles to a parking garage near the Starting Line. It was open all day and free to use… a good start to the day.
It didn’t take long to find the guys. Marc looked the same as ever, Amy had the baby in a stroller, and Ron… well, just take a look at Ron and judge for yourself.
It was a cold morning, so we found ourselves in a familiar position. After a mile, the cold morning would feel pretty comfortable. So should we freeze before the race, or burn during the race. Ron had his trash bag and Marc was stuck with his vest. For my part, I was planning to tie my Puma jacket around my waist.
Fortunately, Amy (pictured on the right in the photo above) suggested that we stash our layers in the pockets of their stroller. We were able to keep warm until it was time to start.
The Race Itself
The course was fun and pretty, with one exception. The last half-mile was up one of the steeper hills in the downtown area. (Holy crap, what kind of evil jerk made that decision?) You can get a pretty good play-by-play in the captions from my Flickr set at the bottom of this page.
Over all, I did pretty well. I hadn’t trained up very much, so I was expecting a 2-hour finish. Instead, I kept my pace around 8:35 for the entire race! I went just above 9 minutes for about a half-mile, but otherwise I was well below the line. I finished within two minutes of my PR!
And I wasn’t the only one who did well. Marc expected a time of 1:47:00, but instead finished at 1:40:48. Ron predicted a 3-hour finish or possibly a heart attack, but finished the race very much alive with a time of 2:42:14. Good results all around!
Cara was there to meet me at the Finish Line with a bottle of water. She had gotten separated from Amy during the walk, and didn’t know where anyone was. We were both getting cold and Cara had to work, so we just decided to go home. I would connect with everyone later over lunch.
This was a nice event. I’ll definitely do it next year. Even better, Cara is talking about training up for her own half marathon! Now, if I could only convince her to let me take her picture and post it on the internet…