Gopher to Badger is one of my favorite half marathons. I especially enjoy the novelty of running from Minnesota into Wisconsin. I know there's people who try to run a marathon in every state, so if anyone's trying to run a half marathon in every state, this would be a good one.
My PR half marathon was set on this course back in 2012, but this year I'm back to pacing after racing the Minnesota Half Marathon the week before. Laura came with me this week again. She really enjoys using half marathons as part of her long runs, and part of why I pace these things is for the same reason. It's nice to get a decent length run in without having to worry about finding water or sports drinks.
I led the 1:35 group this time, and I had quite a few people chat with me before the race. It's always fun listening to people talk about their goals and answering whatever questions I can about the course or about how I plan to pace.
For most of the race I had about 15 people in my group. Some people ran ahead after a few miles, and unfortunately a lot of people dropped off the pace after about 8 miles. I still had a decent size group with a couple of miles to go, and after we crossed over the I-94 bridge from Minnesota to Wisconsin I let them know it was mostly downhill from there and they should pick up the pace.
From there I caught about three more runners. Two of them were able to speed up and finish with me, but one runner couldn't quite stay with me. I felt bad because he looked pretty frustrated that he got passed by the 1:35 group.
When I finished my watch had me at 1:34:59, and the official results had me at 1:35:01. I was pretty happy with my effort--I wonder if there's a way I could make a living off pacing.