Monday, April 28, 2014

Pace Report: Earth Day 1/2 Marathon

My Easter weekend started on Good Friday afternoon when I caught a ride up to St. Cloud with Pacer Trevor. It was nice to get off work a little early on Friday--teaching 5th and 6th graders has been keeping me busy, and there's nothing like work to get in the way of my running.

The Earth Day 1/2 Marathon folks put on a nice expo, but it sure was loud. After spending a couple hours at the expo, I asked Trevor to drive me to the hotel so I could change and go for a little jog. I wanted to practice my pace of 7:38 / mile before the race. I also wanted to leave because a band had set up next to the pacer booth. It wasn't that the music was bad, but the blaring music from the band competing with the music on the other side of the field house at the kids' activity area was combining to give me a headache.

My three mile jog of 7:38 / mile went well. I then ate a mediocre pasta dish from Green Mill (the salad and bread were good), watched half of Forrest Gump, and had a night of halfway decent sleep, interrupted briefly when Laura arrived at the hotel room at 10 PM. We slept in to the late hour of 6 AM, so we had a little time to lounge around the hotel, watch a little TV, and do a little schoolwork.

The 1:40 pacer and his trophy wife

We arrived at the St. Cloud State campus at 7:30 to meet up with the pace team and get a team photo taken. Then, Pacer Captain Dave (newly minted by Pacer Sam), led us out to the start line to be 20 minutes early for the 8:30 AM start.

The fearless pace team
The start line was cold-as-heck. The wind was blowing through the wind tunnel of the starting area, so I was grateful for the large contingent of runners crowded around the start line.
<Image Credit>
The race itself was just like I remembered it from 2012. Though it was really windy at times, the rain held off and the air temperature was high enough that I was comfortable in shorts, a long-sleeve, and a running cap.

It was a big race, and for most of it I had a large group of people around me. About six miles in I got to chatting with a middle school social studies teacher from Edina Public Schools. We had a great chat about education and his coaching of middle school track and cross country, so the four-ish miles I spent with him really flew by.

The social studies teacher picked up the pace after 10 miles, so I spent the rest of the race shouting encouragement at my pacees and giving high-fives to kids along the course. With about half-a-mile left, I challenged one of the gals in my pace group to beat me to the finish since I was going to be a little slower than 1:40:00.

Unfortunately, she did not pass me, but she and several other members of my pace group offered kind words of gratitude, even though I finished at 1:40:11. It wasn't my best performance, but I did have a blast chatting with runners. St. Cloud State has really put together a fun event for runners, kids, and spectators.

Laura also ran the half marathon, and she had a blast as well. After the race, we packed up, had some Green Mill pizza (delicious), and went down to Rochester to celebrate Easter with her side of the family.

Happy Running!

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