Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ronde van Great Bay: Great Bay Half Marathon (4/11/10)

Race: Great Bay Half Marathon, Newmarket, NH
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Goal Time: 1:45:00
Real Time: 1:43:43

At about 12 and a half miles we made a sweeping turn back toward the town of Newmarket only to be faced with a hill about a block long and probably greater than a 10% grade. The guy in front of me says: "Fuck, not another fucking one!" Sure enough before we could finish this race we had to run up one more damn hill. Pretty much the whole half marathon was like the Ronde van Vlaanderen - short steep hills.

It was a fantastically organized race. We were directed to parking and then vans shuttled us to the registration and we took the same van back to our car. And the shirt, a short leve high quality wicking shirt was up to Felix's standards (apparently his number one concern of a race is that you get a good shirt).

Despite all the steep hills, it was a beautiful course. The loop took us out through the woods on the Durham line. Parts of it were on a cool winding dirt road with the short steep hills. I was able to maintain a comfortable pace and didn't feel pressured or have my usual "heavy legs." Turning off the dirt road, we were on the loop back toward Newmarket. Throughout the ride people were out in force. People were playing music in front of their house and local high school track teams and others were manning the water stations.

Coming over the last hill and back into town, the last 100 meters were straight down the main drag with even more people lining the finishing stretch. Me and another guy sprinted each other down that last bit. He nosed me out, but I'm sure each of us cut ten seconds trying to beat each other. As I stopped my watch I realized the great time. While it was 1 minute slower than my Portland run in October, I think I ran better considering that this was that much more difficult of a course.

If you are not doing Boston next year, the Great Bay Half Marathon should be your April 2011 race!

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