Holiday Half- Madeira Beach Race Report
The race is kind of a cool one for its location. This is a point-to-point half marathon with 3 bridges to cross over and 1 incline. There was a headwind for the majority of it, but it wasn't terrible, probably a consistent 7-10 mph. The weather otherwise was about as good as it gets for Florida- low 60s and no sun. Needless to say I was pretty confident a 1:14 flat was in the cards especially with managing my pace, which I planned on doing.
The race started off the way I would have hoped it to, as a decent sized group of six plus me ran the first couple of miles together. I was shooting for 5:40 miles the whole way and thought that'd be perfectly manageable given my fitness. Sean was the only one in front during that time- like usual- as he likes to run out in front at the beginning of races. He led the way for 2 miles and I caught him in mile 3 with a contingent still of about 6 other guys. By mile 4 the group began to dwindle, and by mile 6 it was just Jonathan and myself. I felt confident in my pace, so I kept it right in the 5:40s. I really did feel relaxed and confident.
Mile 7 and 8 went okay with only the second of the inclines slowing me down a bit, but I wasn't really worried at this point. Although off pace, I was only about 35 seconds back by mile 9 and still thought I had a shot at closing the gap, but the excuses started building up in my brain. My breathing was fine, I just lost focus on my form, staying loose, and also succombed to tired legs. By mile 10 I was 1:15 back and felt defeated- not about the runner in front of me, but defeated that the pace had somehow become too challenging. I sped up the last two miles simply to hold off third and fourth place... Had they not been there this time would have been in the 1:17:30s for sure. Jonathan finished quite handily 2+ minutes in front of me. I finished second with about a 16 second lead on the next pair of runners.
Splits- 5:41, 5:40, 5:39, 5:43, 5:41, 5:48, 5:56, 5:45, 5:49, 6:11, 6:10, 5:48, 5:55, 0:35 finish
No time to spell check, oops.