Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rochester Half Marathon 1:45:56

The Rochester Half Marathon (map) is put on by the Rochester Track Club, and if I lived in Rochester I would be a member.  They put on a quality event with a great group of volunteers.

Parking was incredibly easy, with numerous empty parking garages and on street parking.  Packet pickup was at the Holiday Inn, so I parked in the garage attached to the Holiday Inn.  I was the only person parked on the top floor.  As soon as I entered someone asked if I was running and showed me to the conference room.  Once I had my number attached I stretched and waited.  The 5k was first, and Renee from Renee's Ramblings was calling the start.  Then it was time for the Half Marathon to start.

Hat and Medal (Pic from Renee's Ramblings)

The first 2 miles of the course were hilly (and it takes a lot for me to call something hilly).  However, it seemed the downhill was steeper and longer than the uphill.  My mile 1 split was 8:25 (mostly uphill) and my mile 2 split was 6:57 (mostly downhill).  At around mile 3 the course goes off the street and onto bike paths.  The bike path was not a problem because at this point most people have been sorted out by pace.  It was on the bike path that I began to focus on my form. 

Once on the bike path a lot of back and forth was happening with a group of about 5.  I knew if they dropped me it would be a long, slow day.  I stuck with them and at about mile 5 one woman started to break away.  I was singularly focused on staying with her and what a lucky break for me.  She did splits of 8:11, 8:10, 8:01, 8:10, 7:54, 8:08 (miles 5-10).  And some of this was in traffic!  She was very consistent and I did everything I could to keep up.  At one point I did get next to her and thank her for motivating me, she said my loud feet were motivation for her and then took off again.  I tried to run softer.

The trails were very nice with lots of shade.  The water stops also had Gatorade and a few had ice.  At one station they wore cardboard signs saying "free ice" and "free water."

At mile 9 I took 2 Hammer Endurolytes (electrolyte supplement) and 2 Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps (they "Scavenge excess ammonia to reduce fatigue").  I don't expect anything special when I take supplements, I think of them as helping to improve recovery.  But this time was different.  I've never done the Anti-Fatigue Caps before and I noticed an uptick in energy at about mile 11.  Correction, not more energy but less pain.  This was perfect timing because I was falling off the pace big time, 8:16 for mile 11 and slowing.  I slowly passed the woman pacing me and she didn't keep up. 

I hit the finish line in 1:45:56.  Average pace was 8:09.
135 out of 484 total
107 out of 271 males
19 out of 34 age group

For my next race:
Focus on form from the start
Focus on running with a softer footfall
Try Anti-Fatigue Caps again, they seem to work
In training do some speed work, especially after my long runs

2010 Rochester Half Marathon


  1. Nice job Mark! Funny about the foot steps:)

  2. Great job! Nice that you found someone that could motivate you and that you could return the favor. Contrats on a great race!

  3. Good job in the half marathon!

    I've noticed that my footfalls are loud with some shoes and quiet with others. It doesn't seem to make a difference in speed, but I do prefer the quiet shoes.