Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Prague 1/2 Marathon Pace Report

As much rain as we dealt with during the Brainerd Marathon, the New Prague 1/2 Marathon made up for it. Driving from Eagan to New Prague it looked like it might rain, but it turned out to be a pleasant morning for a run. It was sunny, a little breezy, and an all-round nice day to be running.

My job was to pace the 1:40 group--7:38 miles from start to finish. Once again, I had a smaller group of about 10 runners at the start of the race. One runner, Adam, who I hadn't met before, runs with the MN Running Wild and we were both familiar with each other's names, though we'd never met. It was cool having someone I sort of knew in my pace group again.

After the first few miles my pace group started to thin out with several going ahead of me and several getting dropped back. By mile 10 there was only one other person running with me and after we crossed the timing mat he said, "Ten miles is the farthest I've ever ran in my life."

"Awesome," I said. "You're looking strong. You shooting for 1:40?"

"Actually my goal is 1:45," he said.

I was pretty impressed that he was able to stay with me for 10 miles when he was shooting for a time 5 minutes slower than what I was pacing. He hung on with me a couple more miles but since I never caught his name I wasn't able to check the results and see how he finished.

I ended up passing quite a few people between miles 8 and 13. It wasn't really that warm--probably in the mid 60s by the end of the race--but for us Minnesotans it was quite a bit warmer than what we've been running in all winter. I'm guessing that's why there were a good amount of people not able to hold onto the pace they were hoping for.

Considering how warm it was I was a little surprised to see so many long sleeve tops and running tights. One gal in my pace group early on had on long black tights and a gray long sleeve top with a hood. Whew, I would've been baking in that thing. Kudos to her though, she tied the gray thing around her waist and after she went ahead of me around mile 6 or 8 (one of those water stops) I never caught back up to her.

It was another fun race for pacing. I got to run with some nice people and many expressed thanks to me at the finish. One guy told me I'd run the first mile too fast, saying I'd run it at 7:15. I don't know if he started he watch wrong or was mistakenly following the 1:35 pacer, but I couldn't resist showing him the lap splits on my Garmin. First mile--7:43.

All the pacers, once again, were pretty solid with their pacing. So far I've really enjoyed being part of the Minnesota Pacers. I was pretty happy with my pacing at new Prague--I was within 10 seconds every mile and finished at 1:39:41 after being right on pace at mile 10. I slowed down quite a bit the last 400m or so, but I think the course was a little short. It measured 13.11 on my Garmin and I guarantee I didn't run the tangents perfectly. Another pacer had 13.09 on his Garmin.

Laura got to run the 5k and she did awesome, setting a new PR. She's planning on running the Twin Cities Marathon again this year--her second time. She's also doing a 1/2 marathon in July so she's gearing up her training this month. I've been doing some running with her which has been nice. She also let me write a training plan for her which was a dream come true--I love writing training plans.

This next weekend I'm pacing the Northern Lakes 30k in White Bear Lake. I'm pretty pumped as the route looks nice and my pace--8 minute miles--should make for a very pleasant long run.

Some shots from New Prague--

Here I come, nice and slow--gotta hit that 1:39:59:

Pacers comparing who was the most "spot on:"

Pace sign and trophy wife, fresh from a 5k PR:

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