This was the second running of the Council Bluffs Half Marathon, and my first. I wore my VFF Sprints - nearing 1200 miles but holding together nicely. I didn't do any spring races last year but for some reason have been doing as many as I can this spring... I knew all week that the race was going to be warm - high of between 85/90 for the day. The morning of the race was a warm and humid 72 degrees. The race started out with the 5k runners, and it was an out-and-back run for them. I started towards the middle of the pack, because it was chip-timed and I thought I should probably start out slow for the first mile or two. My first two miles were around 6:55 and 6:45, right where I wanted to be. Around mile two I heard "nice barefoot shoes" (which still is an odd thing to say to somebody for many reasons...). I ran with that guy for a few minutes, talking about the VFFs. Around mile 3-4 one of the pacers for Team Nebraska talked to me a bit (he was on a bicycle) about the VFFs - he wore them for a trail run a few weeks ago. The course was actually very nice and was flat. Running by Lake Manawa allowed for some good scenery, although it smelled a bit fishy... I kept as steady a pace as I could - ranging from about 6:35 to 6:50 per mile. After the lake we hit my favorite part - a few hundred feet of single-track dirt trail - before jumping onto another trail and heading back toward the finish. I worked my way up little by little, passing a couple of people every mile. When mile ten came around I was getting a bit tired from the sun beating down on me - at the last few water stops I dumped a cup of water on my head - VERY nice feeling. The last few miles of the race were very pleasant - we ran through another concrete trail with nice trees. I caught up with a female runner who I could see for the last two miles or so right at the 13 mile marker. I thought she might race me to the finish but I went on without her. Finished in 1:29:08 (chip time), 10th overall. Not too bad for the heat/humidity. I felt great afterward - could have gone further. Overall it was a fairly well-organized race. Although, the expo was very weak and they didn't put out bananas/oranges until around 2:00:00. A bit pricey too, at $60.
|overall place:||10 out of 635|
|division place:||2 out of 42|
|gender place:||9 out of 278|
Next up - Boystown Memorial Day 5 Mile Run