Oct 03

Race Report: Brooksie Way Half Marathon

Well, I ended doing a half marathon this morning.  As of my last post, I was still on the fence about whether or not to sign up.  In the end, I (we) decided to do the race because we could combine it with a visit to the in-laws.  I did this race last year so I knew what to expect – a hard, hilly course.  In other words, this would be good prep for my upcoming marathon.

Pre Race

We left on Saturday morning.  Unfortunately, we got stuck in traffic immediately after getting on the highway and sat, not moving, for nearly an hour.  This ruined our lunch plans and we ended up having to stop at Subway for a quick bite after traffic finally started moving.

We stopped at the expo for packet pickup on the way to the in-laws.  At the expo, Jennie ended up signing up for the 5k – she too was on the fence.  We quickly learned that we both need to do better advance planning so that we don’t keep paying procrastination late registration fees.  Oh well!

Jennie also found a new shirt to buy at the expo.  Now that the weather has started to cool off, she has realized that she has very little cold weather running gear.  You won’t hear her complaining about having to go shopping!  I found a couple things I liked but ended up just getting a couple Mint Chocolate Gu’s.  Haven’t tried them yet, but I have heard good things.

We finally made it to the in-laws for an afternoon of college football and a pizza dinner.  I love me some pre-race pizza!  On top of that, Notre Dame finally won their second game of the season – it was getting scary there for a minute.

Race Morning

Cold. Cold. Cold.  That sums up race morning.  It was weird having Jennie run her own race because she couldn’t be my pack mule.  So, I had to leave my long pants in the car rather than staying warm and stripping them off at the starting line.  I ended up running in a pair of shorts with a layered short sleeve and long sleeve shirt combo.  I thought I would be too warm with the long sleeve shirt, but it ended being perfect for the weather.


Now, my one major complaint about this race.  All of the race information stated that the race started at 8:00AM.  No problem there.  Well, I was lined up for the start when my stomach grumbled.  Oh no.  Not again.  Last year was a GI disaster before the race.  I toyed with the idea of running to the port-a-potty for one last quick visit, but with only 10 minutes, I knew that I wouldn’t make it through the line and back by 8:00.  So, I stood, and shivered at the starting line.  8:00 rolls around and apparently, the 8:00 “start time” meant that is when they would start doing the National Anthem and all the other pre-race speeches.  So, the half marathon didn’t actually start until 8:15AM.  Ugh. 

On a happy note, marathon legend Frank Shorter helped start off the race.  He was doing the 5k after going in for his “160,000 mile maintenance” (aka a hip replacement).  This was everyone’s chance to beat Frank Shorter he said.

The gun (and by gun, I mean guy yelling “Runners set.  Runners go.”) finally went off at 8:15.  I started off a pretty good clip.  I was determined to run by feel and not look at my watch at all.  However, at the first mile I heard someone say they passed at 7:10.  Not a bad start.  I figured I would have to slow down a bit though.

The Brooksie Way Half Marathon 10-3-2010, Elevation - Time

The first 5 miles of the course is downhill with some of it on a crushed gravel path.  After that, the course turns upward with some killer hills in the next five miles (Known as the “Hills of Tienken”).  The final three miles is a net downhill, but there are a couple of up hills thrown in for good measure. 

The Brooksie Way Half Marathon 10-3-2010, Pace

I felt awesome through the first 6 miles and pretty good through mile 9.  After that, I started to deteriorate mentally.  The hills really wore me out and I just wanted to be done.  Mile 10 is a hard mile because it is on a dirt road that looks flat, but is really rutted and pitted with potholes and is a real trip hazard.  At mile 11, my stomach, which had been doing fairly well all run flipped upside down on me.  I slowed down a bit out of fear of needing a bathroom.  Thankfully, the GI issues passed without incident and I was able to finish strong.


I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:34:58 (7:15 pace) for a new half marathon PR earning me 10th out of 107 in my age group!  My previous PR of 1:37:33 was set at this course last year.

IMG_8175 IMG_8174

Jennie had a great race herself.  Another PR!  I only wish I could have seen her run.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a belated Saturday Survey and a wrap-up from last week’s survey.

Official Results

Total Time: 1:34:58
Overall Place: 128/3622
Gender Place: 115/1668
Age Group Place: 10/107
Run Pace: 7:15 min/mile

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2010/10/03/race-report-brooksie-way-half-marathon-2


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  1. Jeff

    Nice Race Kevin — that is fast man — you smoked that half! Well Done!

  2. Krista@CommitmentisLiberating

    Great race and congrats on a PR! Imagine how fast you could go on a course that wasn’t full of hills?!

  3. Lisa

    Congratulations to both of you!

  4. Matt Oravec

    Nice JOB! Heck of a pace buddy!

    You really killed the race. I hear you on the stomach issues… when I push the pace is when my stomach turns. When I run at my target HR no problems at all. Weird.

    My comment on your script run never posted 🙁 Pretty much I told you that you did an awesome job scripting it out. Cursive to boot haha, upping the ante my friend!

    Keep up the awesome work. Make sure you get a couple weeks of light training for recovery, been reading a lot lately that you have to take like 2 weeks to allow your body to heal/recover from the season. I think I am going to take it after our marathon. Want to have a great year next year!

  5. Jon

    Amazing! SO fast! Congrats on another PR to you and the wife!

  6. lindsay

    cute picture of you two. i liked the minor complaining about not having jennie available to be your pack mule, haha. i’m sure she loved that one. as for the race fees – i’ve learned that i’d rather pay extra on race day than sign up and end up not-running and therefore be out the full amount of money instead of $10 or so. congrats to you and jennie on your pr’s! now we have the same half-pr. 🙂

    additionally, i’ll probably be in the detroit area in feb for a wedding… i can’t remember where you are exactly, but maybe you can take me on a run! well, if you don’t mind my slow pace of course.

  7. Mandy

    Awesome last minute decision!! Congrats on a blazing time. Love the picture of you guys.

  8. Viper

    Nicely done. It’s always nice to PR even when you feel like crap at the end. Cheers!

  9. Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)

    Mint chocolate gu is awesome! It’s one of my favorites!
    You are so fast…wow! Congrats to both you and Jenny for new PRs!

  10. Morgan

    Great job on the PR! It was COLD that morning and Spike was not happy at the “start” time either! Ugh! Glad you were able to run thru the GI issues, that is never fun. We should all try to meet up this weekend at G.R.! Are you guys hitting up the expo Saturday?

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