It started bright and early at 4:30, when I got up to make the 1hour drive down to Long Branch.
It wasn't raining when I started, and I was hoping to get the 1/2 in before the rain came.
When I finally got to the start/finish area, it took a whopping 1-1/2 hours! The police had traffic a mess, and the shuttle buses where mixed in with the us regular Joe's. I heard people talking that some had to wait at Monmouth Park for over a 1/2 hour for a bus. That's terrible, considering they have at least 3 major horse races a year, and should have a handle on the traffic. It was so bad, it delayed the start for over a 1/2 hour.
I did run into the blog crew before the race. BommaMomma & her husband, good ole Shoreturtle, Progman, JoyRun & her husband, and the world famous Ted & his wife. ST & Ted where not running, they were here to cheer on the runners. BM's husband was running the 1/2 & Ted's wife was running the full.
Everything at the start & at the baggage check, was awesome. Everything seemed to have a nice flow. I can't blame the people running the event for the delayed start. They announced that they were waiting on the police to start the race.
I started out a little behind the 3:30 pace group. I got as close as I could. It was pretty tight, with both the 1/2 & full marathoners. When we finally started a little after 8:00am, I was ready to go. I had to fight my way the first few miles to finally catch up to the pace group. The crowd support was awesome. Some house had the music cranking, there were a couple of bands playing in the 1st 3-4 miles. I'm sure that helped the full marathoners, when they came back around.
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel, since I bonked last Sunday. The more I thought about the pace I wanted to run, I really wasn't sure I could keep up a 8:00min/mile pace, for 13.1 miles!
Our 3:30 pace leader was awesome. I believe his name was Mike, and he was great. He had the group at 15secs. under goal, for the 1st half, leaving some wiggle room, for the 2nd half.
He was very encouraging to runners we came up on, making sure they were good, and telling trying to get them to hang with him. He was also very knowledgeable, talking to a 1st time 1/2'fer about what to wear. The runner was maybe 15-16, and was wearing all cotton, and Pacer Mike told him he would knock off probably 2 minutes to his time, wearing the proper clothing.
I was feeling really strong, and left the group just past the 1o mile mark.
I didn't want to start to kick that early, but I was feeling good, and went ahead by a little bit.
By the time I hit mile 13, I went for it, and crossed the finish at a PR of 1:43:20, according to my Garmin. I did the last mile in 7:22, fastest mile of the day. I guess trying to finish strong in my training runs paid off!
13.26 miles 1:43:20 (7:47 pace)
I'll update the official results, when they post them!
Congrats to all who ran today, in the wet weather!
The official chip time is 1:43:18
40/284 M 40-44