Archive for the ‘seattle half-marathon’ Category

Official Seattle half marathon results

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Today I got a magazine formatted result booklet made of newsprint of all the results for the 2008 Seattle Marathon which of course held my official results. In my age bracket (40-44) I came in 354th out of 408 runners with an official time of 2:31:15 and a chip time of 2:24:32, lame but that is ok, good to set your personal record low anyway so you can easily beat it next time. I am actually glad I ran it slow considering my ankle, though mostly it was the humidity that killed me. I have to say I am glad I finished, next time I go for under 2 hours.

The best time in my age group was a Canadian at 1:20:07. Fastest overall mens half marathon time was 1:11:48 from local runner Steve Dekoker. Kristi Houk finished the womens at 1:23:03. Mens Marathon finished at 2:33:57 from Beaverton’s Stuart Burton and womens by Annie Theissen at 3:02:04.

The total number of runners was 15535. The majority of runners – 8194 – ran in the half. The Chi running coach I met at Powells , Keith McConnell, PhD of Eugene,finished the full marathon walk at 5:31:53.

Unofficial time

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I just got my UNofficial time, a disappointing chip time of 2:24:32. But like I said considering the humidity and my ankle, I am happy.

I didn’t know this but apparently my registered time is based on the actual gun start and not chip time.

*All results are based on Official, gun start, time in accordance with USATF rules for scoring road races (a complete listing of the rules may be found at Chip Times have been provided for your information. Please note that due to the very high density at the start line, some Chip Times are not available.

That is sort of lame, I wonder why?

Seattle half marathon

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I am back home today and resting my legs and feet. On a good and surprising note I had no trouble with my ankle at all. I am not totally positive on my time, but I know it is around 2:20, about twenty minutes slower than I was shooting for. Good thing I have my ankle as an excuse!

My morning started at 5:00 when the alarm clock went off at my buddy Paul’s house. Strange alarm clocks are always weird, but the wake you up quick! The weather was a bit unclear so I brought a cold outfit, a medium cold outfit, a warm outfit and a wet outfit. So the first order of business was a peak outside. It was a bit chilly but not bad. I decided to forgo the tights, and chose my long sleeve shirt. It was misting outside so I took my running/rain jacket along as well. I went through my loosening routine (which I had earlier promised to go through and will do so again, soon I say). I had all my gels, bloks and sport beans. Water was ready, watch, chip, bib, hat and gloves. I actually ended up with everything I needed and forgot nothing!

The cab got me to the race a hour early, so I walked around the Seattle Center to get a lay of the land. I did a bit of warm-up jogging to test the ankle and loosen up. I met a few people and chatted. I took care of my bathroom need with the exception of privacy, my latch was broken and I was walked in on, I hoped that wasn’t a bad omen. The weather seemed great as I walked around, cool, no wind, perfect for running. I would soon change my mind about that!

Despite all the recon of the area, I made a fatal (ok, not fatal) mistake and thought the line up was on the wrong end (I wasn’t alone, oh my, was I NOT alone!) With five minutes to go, the half-marathon walkers got off to a late start, so I breathed a sigh of relief about not being in the right area. As I made my way to the starting line, I had to wade through the over 12000 runners and their 24000 supporters including baby strollers (not allowed in the starting area) dogs (not allowed) and bikes (not allowed). When the starting horn sounded I was nowhere near teh line, and I was not alone. I finally made it to the street and crossed the start seven minutes behind, but I had a timing chip so no worries. The starts of marathons are always so much fun because there are so many runners AND you get to pass a bunch of people. It is really hard to pace yourself at the start so you don’t get off to too fast of a start. You get runners in front of you that are moving just a little bit slower than you, so you speed up to get past them only to find another runner that is running just a bit slower than you. Oddly they send the walkers out first, so you have to pass all of them as well. The walkers are especially frustrating as you get large groups of friends who line up all across the road and you have to figure out a good way to break through them without clobbering anyone. But all in all it is an amazing experience at the start.

The race started near the Space Needle and went through downtown Seattle. After a mile or so I started to realize that what I initial thought of as perfect running weather was actually unseasonably warm. Another half mile or so and I was once again reminded of what 100% humidity was. I wasn’t even out of downtown before I had to veer off and remove my jacket and hat. After two miles I was completely soaked in sweat and I started to get a little worried about hydration. But I was ready, I had my water bottle, my gels and electrolite replacement candies, so I wasn’t too worried. At about mile 3 I was exhausted and began to feel really glad I wasn’t doing the entire 26.2.

The runners were amazing to see in the giant mobs. This race was 1.5 times as large as Portland and at one point as we were heading some interstate bridge, you could see this huge mas of runners all up the bridge and curving around into the distance, another advantage of the late start. Amazing!

After 4 miles or so, my passing of runners began to slow down a bit. I had made it past most of the walkers and the people taking the run slowly. I was still passing a number of folks, especially those slowing down for the aid stations. I hit up a few of them for refills on my bottle and I took another gel. The aid stations were numerous enough in Seattle, but they didn’t have as many goody stations as Portland. I never saw one station where I could grab gels despite the fact that Gu was a major sponsor. Portland also had lots of bands even though it doesn’t call itself a “rock and roll” marathon. I saw one bluegrass band the entire race. Also there were not as many spectators for Seattle though I tried to slap high fives with as many kids as I could find.

We entered a quarter mile tunnel which was sort of interesting. I was really sweating and pulled off to grab my bandanna. As I neared the wall of the tunnel I sort of fell into it. I really needed to be aware of the hydration issue in this humidity. I righted myself before anyone came over to see if I was ok. And I was, just a little dizzy and tired. I was surprised I was feeling this way so early in the race.

At mile 5 we turned off our road we had been on and started along the shores of Lake Washington. I saw my bridge extending out into the fog that I wanted to run on, but I was AGAIN glad I wasn’t doing the 26.2 and thought I don’t need no stinkin’ bridge! At this point the race really stared to even out as we all settled into our paces. This is another really fun part of the race as you begin to see the same people over and over again. You pass them, they pass you. All of these unspoken mini races begin to form. My participants were an older man in American flag shorts, a woman in a purple outfit, another woman in a red shirt, a couple of ladies who gesticulated wildly (my first mission, get past them before they poke me in the eye). We all would pass each other back and forth. It is really odd that you never (at least me anyway) talk, but I know we are all aware of each other. I think I was the guy with the orange jacket tied around my waste.

About mile 6 or so I started to feel a little woozy and started to feel a soreness in the hips. I couldn’t believe it had only been 6 miles, still 7 to go! I began to get concerned about the hydration again. I had been drinking a lot of water, but the wooziness made me think that maybe it wasn’t enough. I started in on the elctrolite candy. The sport beans were the perfect size, but the bloks (about a half inch square blocks of gummy bears) were a little much. I ate a third gel and continued on my way.

At mile seven we turned off of Lake Washington and started on our hills. People were really reacting poorly to the humidity and were dropping to a walking pace left and right. Fortunately for me I kick butt on the hills so I got to experience the thrill of passing more runners along with the pain. The hills at this part just kept going and going into this neighborhood. You get to a turn and think they were going to stop and nope there was more. So on we went.

After a mile or so of neighborhood, cheers and high fives we entered the arboretum. This was a really nice change back into nature and fall colors, but no relief from the hills. At around mile 9 or so I really started to feel pooped. I noticed I was tensing up my neck and starting to feel really sore. I started concentrating on relaxing which really helped my neck. I thought to myself this is why they offer massage at the end! I

On we went, another couple of miles of hills and beautiful scenery. As we left the Arboretum I took my final gel. There weren’t any trash cans around and I really didn’t want to litter. I spied a can coming up in a little urban park under a freeway, so I veered off and tossed my wrapper away. As I was coming back up the stairs to the race route, I was getting stares from other runners as if I had taken a shortcut! Well I hadn’t so who cares. I had other things to worry about. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! After the gel I felt better though the mile 11 sign was not as much of a relief as I thought it would be. 2 damn miles to go, and don’t forget the .1 (I’d really find out about that later!) I began to notice I was really slowing down. Lots of people were passing me. I still was passing other runner too though as well as a bunch of people who had resorted to walking. I didn’t have a hill moment line I did in Portland where I passed so many people, but I did enjoy passing a couple of muscle-bound jocks who were really struggling. Take that muscle head!

I listened to my Ipod the whole time. I started with Buckethead on a friend’s recommendation, listened to Stop Making Sense by the talking Heads for the middle (my favorite running music) and ended with Teddy Bears (the perfect beat to get me to pick it up and finish). As we came back into the city I could see the stadium in the distance, the promised land! The Space Needle looked really cool in the fog, all you could see was the base.

Mile 12 and people were really struggling and I started to see ambulances. At 12.5 there was a huge medical scene where a guy had fallen and passed out against a wall. They had a stretcher, but it was one of the cloth ones with poles and they decided to wait for the paramedics to get him in case of head injury? It was really creepy and we still had over a half mile to go. I felt really bad for the guy. As we neared the stadium, I saw more ambulances and a lot of other wisely walking to avoid them. My energy picked up, and so did my pace until that last .1. It was all hill up to the stadium, but we endured.

One of the girls I was pacing with was right in front of me. I passed her on the hill up to the stadum and he picked it up. We went back and forth as we neared the finish line. Neck and neck I leaned over to her and said “Hey,lets go in tied.” She looked over at me and a huge smile broke out on her face. For some reason I have a hard time with finish lines and I thought it was 50 meters before the official one, so I slowed down after crossing. She looked back at me as if to say “let’s go” when I realized my mistake. With all the people cheering in the stadium though I had no problem with my final kick to go in side by side with my racing partner. We cheered and high fived and congratulated each other. I hope we see each other in the future sometime.

2:20 or there abouts. I’ll get the official time at some point. 20 minutes off my goal, but considering dealing with my ankle and the humidity, I was happy. And I made it before any of teh full marathoners got there! I received my medal, which was pretty cool (I wasn’t sure if they gave one or not), it was a bit more artistic than the Portland medal. I moved over to the side and called my mom and then Ruthann. Lastly I called my buddy Paul to see where he was. I felt bad for him as he was stuck in the huge crowds for 40 minutes do to my late start and slow pace. I stumbled around looking for him. My legs were really wobbly. Way more than the full marathon in Portland two years ago. I think the humidity really took its toll. We eventually found each other and I greedily started guzzling my replacement drink I had prepared that he brought along with him.

Phew, I was done. Time for a shower (the necessity of which really became apparent as we drove back to his house). I felt my face and it was covered in salt crystals. I wonder how much water weight I lost. I love running!

Seattle PI


Three days to go

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Today I am not running in order to rest my ankle more. Bums me out because I love to run on thanksgiving for some reason. My ankle still hurts and I am a little worried about it. Not much I can do other than what I am (or not) doing. I feels a bit better, I just wish it felt a LOT better.

I am going through with my pre-marathon eating plans and getting stuff ready for the trip to Seattle. Last night I got all my running candy out, Sport Beans, Gels and Clif Blocks. It looks like Halloween instead of thanksgiving on my desk! Regardless of how my ankle feels, I will have snacks!

On Friday after I arrive in Seattle I go to pick up my chip and bib. The chip allows you to start at any time by triggering your timer when you cross the start and stopping at the finish. Two years ago I got stuck in the bathroom lines and got a 5 minute late start, but my chip allowed me to get an accurate measurement of my time. My bib is my number, unfortunately they don’t let you customize it like Portland, so no “Besaro” this year. I loved hearing people yell out “Go Besaro!” but that’s ok, I’ll settle for “Go 8734” or whatever I am.

Rain break

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Well I guess it was a rain break, certainly wasn’t as wet as it was yesterday which kept me indoors and in bed late. Today was the third 6.5 mile run I have done this week, I’ll probably do at least one more if not two. I have been keeping some good times and paces really close to Monday when I ran fast. It hasn’t seemed like it, but apparently I was pretty close to 8.5 minute miles all three runs.

I filled out my entry form for Seattle, now I just have to mail it. Part of me keeps waiting so I don’t curse myself. But it didn’t happen for the Portland Marathon, so I am sure it won’t happen here either.

My friend Paul, who I am staying with in Seattle, the one who HAD to go see Sea and Cake called me with bad news yesterday. We won’t be able to make the concert afterall, as it turns out he has an engagement he HAS to go to. He went on and on about how it would be better for me to get some sleep and that the show would be really late and that the venue wasn’t very good (very different from his previous advice of “it won’t be so bad to run on little sleep” and “the show won’t go that late” and “what a great place to see Sea and Cake this will be”). So reluctantly I agreed to stay at his place while they go out and get a good night’s sleep before I do 13.1 miles. Gosh I would have loved to stay out really late and run on 2-3 hours of fitful sleep. Whatever will I do! I was so glad I even offered to babysit their kid.