This pace report is best summed up with the following sentence: It was hot and I was tired.
Yeah, there's more to it but that's the short version. The slightly longer version started at 4:30 AM when I awoke to make some coffee and oatmeal. Unfortunately the coffee filter got folded over and got grounds in my coffee. It all went downhill from there (I guess besides all the uphills I had to run).
I got the catch a ride with some fellow MN Running Wild Eaganites at the fresh hour of 5:30 AM. The beginning of the race was pretty uneventful besides pep talks from the race director and from Don, the almighty organizer of Team Ortho pace groups.
After chatting with some other pacers and with several people who planned on running in my pace group it was off to the races... er.... race. There was about 15 people in my group and they all hung with me for around 10 miles. Most of them dropped back at that point, although a couple were running the 1/2 so they just turned around and finished. It was a pretty fun group--a couple guys were pretty entertaining. One guy was 61 and looking to run a 3:15. He didn't quite make it but he looked strong for 17 miles and checking the results it looks like he won his age group.
At 17 miles I had about 5 people with me. Then, we went up a ridiculous hill out of Fort Snelling. One guy, Lance, actually went up the hill ahead of me and looked pretty good after we finished it. He was pretty entertaining the first 15 miles--he had a shirt on that said, "running sucks."
He stayed with me until 22 and after that I was flying solo. I looked back to see how he was doing and he yelled, "just go on!" I went by one guy who said he'd try to stay with me for awhile but after about 10 steps he said, "guess not."
After 22 I was feeling it pretty good, and by that I mean I was feeling pretty bad. I definitely wouldn't say 7:27 / mile was easy for me with the sun shining, the heat index around 80, and absolutely zero breeze. I pulled it together, though, with the encouragement of a couple friends and I stayed on pace. Another MN Running Wild member offered me a beer which was really nice. If it had been 65 degrees and cloudy I'd have been all over it. Instead I still wasn't certain I was going to make it in 3:15 so I had to decline.
The race overall wasn't too bad. It had some nice sections through Fort Snelling state park, downtown Minneapolis, and along the Mississippi. The last few miles though were very hilly and hot. I don't think I've ever been so relieved to see a finish line. I came through all by my lonesome in 3:14:59.
Interestingly enough I managed to finish 20th overall and 6th in my age group while pacing. My wife asked me if I could've gone any faster if I wasn't pacing. At the time I told her maybe I could have gone 2 or 3 minutes faster. I wonder though, because had I gone out faster it could've gotten ugly at the end. Oh well, good thing I was pacing.
Here's some shots my lovely wife took:
Before everything started to suck:
Now it sucked:
Don't know what was funny here but glad to be done: