2019 Gasparilla Half Marathon Race Report (Day 2)
The conditions were the same as yesterday's race, but fortunately today there was 100% cloud cover, allowing some semblance of mercy.
Start line: Lining up next to some of the pros was cool. Parker Stinson, fresh off a 1:02:11 a month ago, was a cool sight. I actually felt pretty recovered from yesterday. I suppose my preparation has a bit to do with that, but I was thankful nonetheless. I decided to be super conservative this race, and planned on averaging 5:40-5:45 miles, depending on how I felt- I just didn't want to blow up, especially with how terrible I felt just 22 hours ago.
Miles 1-5: Easy peasy. You start the race by looping Davis Island, and honestly it is the simplest 5 miles of any run you'll ever do. I was 30th going over the bridge to the island and probably about 18th or so heading back over the bridge exiting the island.
Miles 6-8: Clicked off nice and easy and I started dropping my pace. The wind was really hitting us head on, but I just felt good. I would catch one person, hang on, then speed up to the next one. I continued this method until I was in 11th place, passing one of the Kenyans (I mean Americans...) who was over-heating and quit the race. The wind was tough in this section- mile 7 was an anomally because of it, but other than that mile things clicked pretty well.
Mile 9 had me catching the final two guys putting me into 8th place overall. I was very excited by that. I was definitely sore from yesterday, but I was very focused today to persevere through the pain.
Miles 10-13 went by fine. I was enjoying the cheering from the runners who were passing on the far side of Bayshore Blvd- they were a welcomed group. The air went from windy to "dead" in this stretch (wind was probably at my back), and it was so uncomfortably hot. I was sweating from everywhere and my glasses were fogging from humidity- had I jumped in a pool I would have probably felt just as wet.
I saw the lead female and... I could not believe it- Austin Richmond- ahead of me by about 35 seconds at one point at mile 10. I knew Austin was a local runner, but I also knew he runs a 46:00-flat 15k, so he wasn't worth catching. Even if I caught him, he'd easily pull away.
Finish & Final thoughts- I was really proud of myself. I could have just mailed it in and I even had thoughts after yesterday that I would just be setting myself up for failure by even doing the race at all. I began the first third of the racee aiming for a sub 1:15 and worked it all the way down to a sub 1:14 at the half way mark. Then, over the last third I almost cracked 1:13 and had some left in the tank.
I am really happy that my 5:25/mile pace yesterday translated into a 5:35 pace the next day in a longer race. I figured 0:15-0:20/mile was more likely. Considering Austin's was +0:22/mile from both days, I am even more pleased.
Money- Apparently, I am second overall local runner again, lucking myself into another $1,500 today! That makes a two day total of $3,000, just for doing something I love to do! I am thankful no one faster showed up, and that's not modesty. Realistically, I did not run times that are fast enough to win money of that amount. It just goes to show you, it's all about who shows up, and you never know- last year I wouldn't even be walking away with $500 let alone $3,000.
Splits- 5:44, 5:43, 5:53, 5:27, 5:35, 5:35, 5:46, 5:34, 5:32, 5:32, 5:24, 5:28, finish-5:56 (5:17/mile)
for 1st half- 36:53, 2nd half- 36:18 (-0:25 split)
Places- 1st- (Scott Fauble) 1:05:09, 2nd (Elkanah Kibet) 1:05:13, 3rd (Augustus Maiyo) 1:05:22, 4th (Parker Stinson) 1:06:29, 5th 1:09:42, 6th (Austin) 1:12:25, 7th 1:12:29, 8th (me) 1:13:11, 9th 1:13:49, 10th 1:14:04