I ran my fifth half marathon, the Rockin Rabbit Half Marathon, this morning. It was in the Lake Mead/Boulder City area and has been my target race for a sub-2 hour time.
Packet pickup was two days ago at a local running shoe store. I was one of the first people to pick up my packet and as a result, I got my choice of pink rabbit ears or sparkly pink rabbit ears. I picked the non-sparkly set. The shirt was nice - a bright green technical shirt with a running rabbit on it.
The race was set to kick off at 7 AM at Mile Zero of the River Mountains Loop Trail which is directly behind the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino. Sarah and I got up at 5 and were on the road 5:45. 35 minutes later, we got to the parking lot and took a quick look around. It was still a little chilly as we waited for the sun to peek over the mountain and we could see a fair amount of shivering going on in the crowd. As the race time approached, I went to the starting line. As the time ticked down, the DJ announced that the race was on a 15 minute delay while we waited on another bus of runners to arrive.
The first 3.75 miles of the course were a gradual climb with a few rollers at the very beginning. I pushed out at a hard pace and hit the 1.5 mile mark in the 12-13 minute range. After that, I settled down to a more moderate pace to continue pushing up the hill. At the 3.75 mile mark, the course turned downhill. It continued downhill until turning uphill for a fairly steep section that was about a half mile long and topped out at approximately Mile 7. After that, it was downhill for the next three miles. At approximately Mile 10, the paved trail turned a hard left and the race continued straight ahead onto the dirt/gravel tunnels trail that I have raced on multiple times in recent months. My goal was to be at this point at 1:30 and my watch showed 1:28. From that point it was just over three miles of out-and-back with a slight incline on the way out and a slight decline on the way back and a turn-around just after the second tunnel. As I crossed the finish line, I knew I hit my sub-2 hr goal. A few minutes later, Sarah looked up my bib number in one of the available computers and it was official - 1:57:55. 13.1 miles were done at a 9 minute pace. As an added bonus, I finished third in my age group and got the spiffy trophy pictured below.
Next up - The Ragnar Trail Relay at Zion on April 25-26.