Monday, February 19, 2007

Camp WIT Austin Day Seven

Awoke at 4:45 am to fuel up for the 7 am start of the AT&T Austin Half Marathon...

Run: AT&T Half Marathon ( course was changed this year and for the better! While it was not as fast as last year's flat and somewhat downhill course it was more scenic and challenging. The start was just down the street from the capital building in downtown Austin and twisted & turned it's way along Town Lake and through the upscale Austin neighborhoods. The crowd support along the course was fantastic and the weather close to ideal with temps at start time in the upper 30s. Last year I ran a 1:10 and after previewing the course I figured a sub 1:15 would be a decent effort. Although my legs were a bit fatigued from the week's effort I was feeling ready to roll on race morning. Zane made note it would be key for me to position myself just behind the elite runners' corral. 12,000 people packed themselves into the start area and I found myself standing in the fourth or fifth row...not ideal, but certainly better than last year's comedy start. Within the first quarter mile I soon realized my error with the lead pack getting a good 45 seconds on me. Zane was assigned to be the lead cyclist for the woman's leader and as I ran by him I saw that "Get your arse up there" look in his eyes and it was confirmed with his voice :) Running through mile marker two I looked at my watch which read 11:37 - well off the desired 11:00. At this point the leaders were within sight and behind them some guys who were getting dropped. I continued to run steady while passing the fellas who were popping off the lead pack and found myself running solo for the majority of the 13.1 mile course. Crossing the finish line in 1:13:10 I was greeted by the announcer, Mike Rieley, who is known as the voice of Ironman. As always I learned a thing or two from this race which will be applied to next month's Canyonlands half marathon.

Swim: A beautiful post race swim in the refreshing natural springs water of Barton Springs. If you ever visit Austin, Barton Springs is a must swim. Two of my favorite places to swim in the US are LaJolla Cove in San Diego and Barton Springs in Austin. It was great to get in a wetsuit swim and work some open water technique and sighting.

Run: This was a late afternoon shake out run from the house to loosen up a bit and get in a few more miles.

Congratulations to all the finishers from today's events, especially the first-timers and Desiree Ficker who finished 2nd overall in the women's marathon. In case you were wondering gas prices in Austin range from 2:02-2:15/gallon for regular unleaded :)

Keep it smooth...

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