Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Detroit-Rock City: Detroit International Half Marathon, Halftoberfest, Part 3 (10/21/12)

Race: Detroit International Half Marathon
Location: Detroit, Michigan & Windsor, Ontario
Goal Time: 1:27:00
Actual Time: 1:30:55 (10th in my Age Group and 104th Overall)

So I went to Detroit to celebrate Scotchtoberfest.  But then I found out there’s no such thing as Scotchtoberfest:


So, instead I continued Halftoberfest and ran the Detroit International Half Marathon.  My goal had been to run a 1:27 flat.  While I trained for this to be my A race of the season, I haven’t been taking the fall too seriously.  The real reason for the race was Urvi.  This was her first Marathon since she didn’t complete Chicago last year and her first Marathon that wasn’t New York.

We stayed in town at the Marriot Renaissance Center.  In the morning we only had to go ½ mile to the start line.  That was great.  I figured we’d leave at 6:15 and still have 20 minutes to do a couple of miles of warm up before the race started. 

This is where I lost my race.  The last corral was Corral “L”; I was in Corral B.  I said goodbye and good luck to Urvi as she left for gear check.  I then spent my 20 minutes fighting from Corral L to Corral B.  I got to the corral with 2 minutes to spare.  No chance for a warm up.

2 minutes after the wheelchairs and hand bikes went, combined Corrals A (like 5 guys) and Corral B were sent off westward into the morning darkness.  I ran down Fort at steady 6:30 miles.  The end of mile two begins the first tough bit of the race. 

The road wraps around as it joins the on ramp to the Ambassador Bridge.  The Bridge heads SOUTH to Windsor, Canada from Detroit.  It is a slow going more than mile climb of 152 feet to the 5k point.  I kept this steady.  Finished it right around 21 flat.

Down the bridge I kept my head trying not to go too fast (avoiding the edges of the bridge since there are no guard rails.  At mile 4 you leave the bridge and run through the customs booths (where someone with a mike was welcoming us to Canada – CANADA!)


Once we are off the ramp, we were there – CANADA!  The colours of the sunrise were disbursing on the river; but, it was still dark.  Despite the darkness, Canadiens lined the road sitting in chairs cheering runners from all over the world (including every state AND every province).  There were three miles in Canada, including the first relay hand off and the 10k point.  I was still doing well at 10k – 41:30. 

You left the waterfront with a left toward the tunnel and at mile 7, we were heading to El Norte again via the underwater mile.  Miles 7-8 are in the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel with its harsh slope down and gentle up back into Detroit.  Half way through the tunnel there is the border and they have place a line with flags in the wall tiles.  The guy next to me commented that he thought people got immediately ruder…
We came out of the tunnel next to the Renaissance Center.  The sun was fully up and the few angiosperms I saw were filled with their autumnal colors.  Across the road there was a sign that welcomed you back to the United States.


We ran down West down Jefferson and Civic Center Drive toward Joe Louis Arena.  We passed the 15k mark on 6th Street – 1:02:40, which would have been my 15k PR!  This is where the no warm ups really caught up with me.  By mile 10, I had a tight left hamstring and both hips with pains.  @#$&$%!!

While, I probably would not have run my PR, I knew I couldn’t now.  I figured at this point I would just enjoy the rest of the run.  This was of course depressing; I just hurt badly and everyone around me was now passing me as they built up speed to finish strong and all I could do was virtually limp.  I crossed 20k at 1:26:20 – losing 45 seconds a mile in that 5k. 

The 20k saw the Half/ Full Split.   I gained my composure briefly.  I put everything I had into the last kilometer.  Sprinting down Fort Street to the end, I brought in a strong finish passing half a dozen people in the last km.

I finished 10th in my age group and 104th overall. 

More importantly, I got to the 40km point in time to catch Urvi.  I ran with her up the last hard hill – up to mile 25!

SRR Shoutouts

Gwen ran the International Half also – 2:19:56
Urvi ran the full – 5:15:47
Andrew Darien and his “Washed up Wolverines” took second in the Master’s relay

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