I have never run this particular race before. It always seemed a little corporatey and fakey. But more importantly, it was always really really in the morning during one of the hottest stretches of the summer. But this year I signed up to see if I am really training for a marathon or just screwing around. Turns out I haven't done a half race for nearly three years. So I signed for the RnR and the Chicago half in September in Jackson Park which is one of my true favorites.
My goal was a 2:15 which seemed reasonable given my spotty training and lingering injuries and would translate to a sub 5 hour marathon.
My faculty colleague and co-blogger Matt Sag signed up as well as his first ever half on his way to running the Chicago marathon in October. His goal was to break two.
Both goals achieved.
It was hot but not tragic at 6:30 AM on race day. My wife was generous in driving me to within 2 blocks of the start at 6 in the morning. The race has about half the runners of the full marathon and a much less intense vibe. Much less public urination then usual. The course is very similar to the full marathon course excluding the northern leg past Grand Avenue and much of the south-west leg. Enough shade from the buildings to prevent too much heat build up until you hit mile 7 and head south on Michigan Avenue to 31st and then back on lake Shore Drive. That plus high 70s took its toll but there was some breeze for most of the course so a very different feel from the killer marathons of 2007 and 2008.
The bummer was the crowds, or the lack there of. A few family members here and there but mostly minions from the corporate sponsors with printed signs and pre-planned exhortations. The bands were on the mediocre side but I had my headphones on most of the time anyway so it didn't much matter except when the bands were bass heavy.
Good logistics made entry and exit easy for a change. Caught a cab on Michigan avenue near the start and was home a little after 9 AM.
I think a 2:14:58 with a 2:15 goal represents either good planning or massive OCD. Congrats to Matt on a 1:55 half-marathon debut. The Antitrust Marathon just added its next participant!