Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Iron Horse Half Marathon race report

This past weekend my friend Kelly and I ran the inaugural Iron Horse Half Marathon in Midway, KY. It was a pretty good sized race (800+ runners), but it was also fairly low key.

The race started at 8:00am, and we arrived in Midway around 7:00am. It was dark and freezing when we arrived, but things warmed up a little bit as the sun came up. The race started in the middle of Midway and went out to the east (or north) and then back into town, and then out west (or south) and then back into town for the finish (a guy who ran the race posted the map and elevation of the course here: http://runkeeper.com/user/bencjedi/activity/19251117?&channel=web.activity.shared.facebook.manual)

The first part of the course was beautiful and we knocked out the first 6 miles keeping between an 8:50 and 9:00 pace. Our goal was to finish under 2:00 hours, so we were hoping to build in a little bit of a time cushion. The 6 mile mark was right in the middle of town, and then we headed back out into horse farm country to finish up the rest of the miles. The second half of the race was the Midway 10k course that I did earlier in October, and it is pretty hilly. The word brutal even comes to mind!

Nonetheless we kept chugging along at a pretty good pace. As we were nearing the end of the 11 mile mark, I was definitely starting to get fatigued. I was actually feeling pretty fatigued at the 10 mile mark, but Kelly is great at keeping the pace up so I just tried to hang with her. So when we were almost to mile 12, a girl came up behind us and said "we have 11 minutes to finish under 2 hours, let's do it!" And we were like "we are sticking with you!" I'm not sure who the girl was, but we stuck with her and really picked up the pace for the last 1.3 or 1.4 miles - more than I would have picked it up if I was on my own. We came back into downtown Midway and crossed the line at 1:58:44! At the Lexington Half I finished in 2:00 on the nose and set a PR, so it was nice to set a new PR by 1 min. 22 seconds!

After the race we got some water, food and Gatorade and headed home. Once I got back to Nicholasville, I went straight to Taco Bell! Then I took Emma for a long walk to ease some of the soreness in my legs.

A special thanks to Kelly who has been my running partner for the last 3 years (or is it 4?)! We have trained together and raced together many times, and I know I wouldn't have made it in 1:58 without her!

And another shout out-to Tony, Kelly's husband, who came to the race and carried our bags, cheered for us, and took lots of great pictures. Thanks, Tony!

Here are some pictures from the day (taken from Kelly's Facebook):

A dark and spooky shot for Halloween morning

Walking to the start
(Ok, Megan. I guess you are right after all these years...I DO have a big butt!)

Ready to race!

At the start

The Midway water tower was like a beacon to us!

Downtown Midway - so cute!

Proud finishers! We got engraved rail road spikes instead of medals, pretty cool!

Darlin' Jeans, which was race HQ

The end.


*K. Grace said...

Meredith I love running with you! Thanks for being such a great partner and encourager. Nothing like a run that results in a personal record!

Cyndi said...

Congrats - my friend and I also did the race and each set a new PR - just not as fast yours, Gibes me a goal to shoot for.

Ben C said...

Great run! I'm the guy that posted his runkeeper stats. The course was definitely a challenge. Those slopes were non-forgiving. I felt like we were always running up. LOL
Lemme tell ya.. my legs didn't start feeling normal til this past weekend either! I know I could have done better and next time I will. I was so worried about food hurting my stomach on race day, that I didn't prepare enough before for the energy I needed. I felt like a billion people passed me starting around the 8th mile. You can see it on my graph. Fooey!
I hope there's a sequel to the race in 2011 and hopefully I register at the best discount. I didn't know about this race til it was too late to get the best registration rate.

Do you all run in groups? My friend Rebecca and me kind of started a run group for Lexington. Lookup "Will Run For Beer" on Facebook to find us. Although all those people 'liked' it, it's really just me, Becca and Patrick that run usually at UK Arboretum or the new track at Shilito Park. With it getting cold now I think of efforts will be stunted til the spring. You're both welcome to join us. We really want to get lots of runners that actually show up, so we can all share and hone our abilities together. Anyone else reading this is welcome to join us too, but again I don't think we'll really engage in group running again til the spring.

Anyhow, happy running!

Anonymous said...

From the Iron Horse Half Marathon staff, thanks for supporting our race this year!