Let me just say that I have many opinions about this race… some good, some bad. I had a great time, I PR’ed, and given the chance, I would do this race again. I would definitely be more prepared though… I have never done a HUGE race like this, so take the negative with a grain of salt.
Pros: Support throughout the course. The fly-overs. The course itself.
Cons: Parking. Walkers. Pace groups.
I can’t really remember everything mile-per-mile… everything just kind of blends together for me. The start of the race was very frustrating – walkers lined up waaaay to close to the start, and dodging them was a nightmare. I, as well as many others, had to run on off on the road just to get around them. There was a manageable hill at mile 2, but nothing crazy. From there, we went to a quick mile along the farmland right off base. This is also where the leader of the marathon FLEW by us. While he was led by a ‘convoy’, people still weren’t paying attention and about ran into the cyclists leading him.
Miles 3-8 were the easiest for me; as they were held on base. It felt very comforting, knowing where I was going, thinking “I’ve done this hundreds of times” and going into auto-pilot mode. Right as mile 8 started, we went over a huge overpass – and that was killer. I had to stop and walk for about 30 seconds, and looking back the break wasn’t really necessary. This is also were the half & full marathon joined for about a mile – I can only imagine the frustration the marathoners felt, trying to get around us.
Mile 8 is also where I noticed a lot of pace group ‘leaders’. One had a “2:00” marker, the other few “2:10” – very weird, if you are a pacer, aren’t you obligated to make sure you meet your goal time? If you see yourself losing pace, wouldn’t you at least remove the sign that indicates you’re a pacer? My annoyance with pace groups also stemmed from the cluster they formed, about 10-15 people per group – taking up the entire road. I don’t know how many times I had to dodge these groups…
A few more hills in miles 11/12, but nothing significant. The mile markers were dead on, up until mile 13 – at that point it doesn’t really matter though, right?? I could see the finish line about a half mile out, and it was about that time where I definitely felt my legs finally grow tired. The finish was pretty cool, they had Generals and Colonels handing out medals; and they took the time to shake your hand and tell you how much they appreciated your effort and participation.
I don’t have my splits right now, I’m having computer issues… long story. I finished in 2:05, about a 9:36 pace. This race was challenging for me, but recovery was a snap and I feel confident that with the right training I can hit a sub-2 at the Dallas White Rock Half.