16 March 2014

Six Tunnels To Hoover Dam St. Patrick’s Day Run

I ran  my fourth half marathon yesterday. It was the Six Tunnels To Hoover Dam St. Patrick’s Day Run near Boulder City, NV and was put on by Mountain Man Events out of Flagstaff, AZ.  It is safe to say that there was a lot of green being worn by the 350 half marathon, 60 half marathon relay and 341 5K runners.

In November and December, I ran a decent portion of this course on 12K and half marathon events.  The big difference between this race and the 12K on Thanksgiving was that we ran uphill for just under three miles and back down the same hill on an out-and-back paved trail (part of the River Mountain Loop Trail) before running the same course for the final 12K as I ran on Thanksgiving.

Six Tunnels To Hoover Dam Finisher's Medal
Overall, I really didn't know what to expect going into this race.  As mentioned in previous posts, my back has been sore for the last two weeks and has had a definite detrimental effect on my training during that time.  When I woke up on race morning, it was still slightly sore.  I took some ibuprofen and between that and the prerace adrenaline, the lingering pain subsided.

When the race started, I took off at what felt like a decent pace (ran GPS-free) and worked the uphill and downhill paved sections. I gave a high five to my wife (running the half as a two person relay) and some coworkers shortly after the turn around.  On the way back down the hill, runners were treated to a great view of Hoover Dam and were serenaded by a bagpiper as we went through tunnel beneath the Lakeshore Road which cuts through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. After that part was done, runners turned onto the old railroad bed and headed towards the turnaround at the top of Hoover Dam parking garage.  Upon reaching the parking garage, I ran a few extra steps and got in a good view of the Hoover Dam before turning to start the uphill back to the trail.  After getting to the top of the hill, it was a push back through the tunnels to the finish.  I ended up with a 2:11:15 which was very solid considering how I felt prep-wise going into this but I wish I shaved those extra 15 seconds to get my split average under 10 minutes.

One observation from this race - It is getting borderline too warm for calf sleeves.  This popped into my mind around Mile 11.

Next race - San Diego Hot Chocolate 15K on March 23rd.

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