Saturday, April 14, 2012

Martian Half Marathon, 14th April 2012

So this was it, my longest race to date, it would be only my second > 10 mile run since before Christmas. I had been cranking out the miles, but not too many long ones. I wasn't sure if I had bitten off more than I could chew, but I had a plan and a goal, all I needed was the legs to go with it.

Packet pickup was the previous day, very close to my office. I got a nice black tech shirt with Space Invaders themed design (going completely against any chances of intergalactic detente), the kids shirts were regular t-shirt material.

I set the alarm for my usual 6:15am start, I ended up pressing the snooze button a couple of times before starting. Today was going to a little different from usual as Bren wasn't coming down for the start, which I fully understand as I wouldn't particularly relish waiting a couple of hours for me to decide to drag myself across a finish line on what potentially looked like could be a very crappy day indeed, according to the Weather Channel. Getting into Dearborn wasn't very pleasant, parking wasn't much fun either, but I achieved both and got to the starting line about 20 minutes before the start. I had fueled up before leaving home, with my usual banana, water and some cereal. This was going to be the first race that I would have to carry fuel for as I'm still not completely convinced that GU will keep me going as I haven't had it enough and the runners rule is nothing new on race day, ie, same old shoes, clothes & sustenance, etc.

The starting line is mobbed with almost 1,800 people competing in this years race, I decide to try and slot myself in around half way. The horn sounds and we are off, which sounds way more intense than it actually is, as all we do is kind of shuffle, as a group toward the starting line, as the people in front get going. The timer is a chip in the numbered bib, so no concerns about how long it takes to cross the starting line, I also monitor my time using my Garmin watch, so I'll know exactly what my pace looks like and how I'm doing via my virtual partner. Of course, us usual, the first half mile or so is spent trying to pass walkers, etc, and it is as annoying, as usual.

The course is a lollipop, that is it goes out and back along the same road, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to feel about that. The first mile came in a little slow, but that is to be expected due to all the messing around you have to do to get away from all the walkers, etc. The the course ended up being quite pleasant, the day stayed grey, with a little very light rain around mile 8. The course rolled a bit but the hills weren't all that bad, but as you get near the end, any hill sucks and there were a few wee ones that almost had me walking. Walking for short periods were all part of my plan, but I just didn't get around to doing them, I kept promising myself a short walk after the next mile and just kinda kept on going, by the time I got to mile 10, I wanted to see if I could do the whole thing without stopping. I took advantage of water at the aid stations, either for a small sip, or to throw over my back.I didn't take the GU though, more relying on Cadbury's Mini Eggs, commandeered from the kids Easter Baskets on the way out of the house. The past part of the run involved running through the grounds of UoM Dearborn, going over two bridges which were moving up and down along with the runners which jarred my legs with each step, it was surprisingly nasty. Eventually the finish line was in site and I saw Bren about 100m beforehand. Medals & snacks distribution was well organised. The skies decided to open, just after I crossed the line, the temperature dropped and we got nicely wet...

How Endomondo saw it -

How my Garmin saw it -

Final results 1:54:33.9 which was ~9 minute improvement, 52 out of 121 in my age group, 536 out of 1791 overall, all in all, I'm very chuffed.

My kids were also finishing up their Kids Marathon and had to do their final 1.2 miles after doing a total of 25 miles prior to race day, I ran with them, which was very cool, but damn sore on the legs, but I wouldn't have done it any other way.
Gordon, Iona & Liam (l to r)


  1. Great Job David! I just ran my first half in October, 2011 at Detroit... Such an amazing experience! You had an amazing finish time.

  2. Did you notice that you now need to set new goals for yourself since you have completed all of the ones you set on this page. So proud of you and what you have achieved to date. Love Bren