06 February 2016

Mardi Gras Masquerade Half Marathon

This morning saw me running BBCS's Mardi Gras Masquerade half marathon.  It started at Equestrian Park in Henderson, NV and used the River Mountain Loop Trail for most of the race.

Packet pickup - Race packets could be picked up at McGhie's bike shop in Henderson for a three hour period on Friday or for an hour prior to race start at Equestrian Park.  My wife was in the pickup area yesterday afternoon and was able to pick it up which meant that I didn't have to make a trip down there specifically for the packets and I didn't have to scramble to get to the race early to pick it up. The tech shirt was a welcome change from BBSC's normal shirt material and there was a copy of the book "Oola: Finding Balance In An Unbalanced World" in the packet.

Course Map
Course -  The course utilized three miles of the River Mountain Loop Trail and a mile of connector trail between the trail and Equestrian Park.  This meant the entire 13.1 miles were done on a four mile section of trail. This meant that we had multiple turn around spots as seen on the map. The first 3.5ish miles were all uphill with the first mile climbing east directily into the early sunrise which made visibility difficult despite wearing my normal Rudy cycling/running sunglasses and a visor definitely would have helped here.  After topping out the climb, there was a short rolling descent to the first turnaround. After waving to my wife who was working the aid station, I went over the electronic timer, turned around,and retraced my steps back to the next turnaround station which was at the 6.5 mile mark.  At that one, I high-fived one of our triathlon club members who was working that aid station and began the climb back to the Mile 4/9 aid station for the final turnaround. This second time up the hill was a pace killer that unfortunately took me off my planned pace for the the race.  On the plus side, shortly after making the final turnaround, the course was downhill until the final tenth of a mile.

Elevation Chart
Aid stations - As noted on the map, the aid stations were plentiful and stocked with water and Gatorade.  In addition to the listed aid stations, there was one at the 5K turnaround/half turnaround #2.

Medals - The finisher medals were nicely done and captured the Mardi Gras theme with the colors and the mask on them.

Post race - Gatorade and water were plentiful.  Food was also plentiful with bananas, Cajun Jambalaya and King Cake.  The awards ceremony started promptly at 9:30 as advertised and the overall 1st man and woman received crowns to go along with the Mardi Gras theme. BBSC also has a nice electronic system that allows everybody to look at their times and overall/gender/age group placement as soon as they cross the finish line which is a very nice feature.

So how did I do?  Overall, I finished with a time of 2:13:13.  I trained through the race with a normal training load this week and went into this one with no really specific goals in mind.  A sub-2:11 would have been nice to have with the accompanying sub-10 minute pace but I slipped off that on the uphill section after the second turnaround and could not make it back up on the downhill section after the final turnaround.

This marks my 13th half marathon and it feels great to be running healthy with only some minor post-race pain in my right heel. Also, this is the first time that I have ever stopped in a race for a picture as I paused for a picture with my wife at the Mile 9 turnaround.

pausing for a photo op

Next up - Hot Chocolate 15K - Las Vegas on Feb 28th.

No comments: