It. was. hot. Seriously hot. Although 77 degrees doesn't sound that bad at the start of a race, it was also 84% humidity according to a runner who checked the weather station on his dock minutes before the race started (apparently people have weather stations on their docks in Red Wing). This same runner ran with me for part of the Minneapolis Marathon. He was planning on running with me the first half of the Red Wing 1/2 Marathon and then taking off. Unfortunately that wasn't in the cards for him.
The running conditions at the River City Ramble 1/2 Marathon were far from ideal. The humidity was high, it was very sunny, and there wasn't a breeze to speak of. When there were breaks from the hot sun in the trees it was often even more humid--it was so humid I had to take my sunglasses off because they were fogging up.
I started with a pretty good-sized pace group with around 15 runners looking to run a 1:35. I usually plan on losing a fair amount of runners 8-10 miles into a half marathon but this one was so hot and humid that I lost the initial group at the mile 4 water stop. Only one runner was with me at that point--the one planning on taking off halfway through.
It was nice having him to run with as I'm amazed at his ability at 60+ years old to run the kind of times he runs. Around mile 8 he started hurting and I dropped him around mile 10. After that I picked up a couple stragglers beat down by the heat and humidity but they too eventually fell back. I felt bad for everyone going for a good time or a PR as it just wasn't the day for it. I finally motivated one gentleman as I passed him with about 1/2 a mile to go. He caught back up and ran past me to the finish line.
I came in officially at 1:35:04 though I thought I was closer to 1:35:00 according to my watch--still a pretty solid pacing time.
I was a little sick to my stomach after finishing and forgot to grab the camera to catch Laura's big 2 minute PR in the 1/2 marathon. I was a little worried she wouldn't set a PR with the poor running conditions but she came through with good pacing and a tough effort to finish over a minute ahead of her pacer. I'm so proud of her--I can't imagine many people set a PR on a day like that.
Laura and I after the race:
Pacer Adam from Maple Awesome, Minnesota right before we enjoyed his traditional post-race beverage--PBR:
An update on the 10 mile streak:
I've made it nine days in a row while covering 101 miles. I'm not sure how much longer I want to do this--10 days of 10 mile+ runs sounds pretty good but I don't really have a good reason to stop the streak. I actually feel pretty decent and it's not like I'm short on time. What do you think?