December 12, 2015

Walnut Creek Half Marathon

I ran this last year but the course was cut short so this is really the first time I’ll run the full course of the Walnut Creek Half Marathon. I like that this is relatively close to where I live but it’s the final event in the Cal Half Series so if you want to complete the challenge, you must run this race.

Preparation

I had finally got in some solid training the two weeks prior to this race so I was feeling confident. After seeing the elevation chart (below) I realized I may have a good chance to PR. It’s mostly downhill with a single hill so a PR is possible… and they’ll have pace runners too which always helps.

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Run!

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I lined up initially with the 1:30 runners but after seeing these runners, I realized that was a terrible idea and way too aggressive of a PR when my best time is 1:36. The 1:40 pace runner was just behind me but I noticed a 1:35 pace runner next me. They weren’t well spaced out but then again, the field wasn’t that big either. I opted to stick with the 1:35 and push myself for a new PR.

I felt like I was pushing hard the whole race. 1:35 meant I had to run 7 minute miles which is fast. I was doing fine until the single hill which just seemed to climb longer than I’d like. I underestimated that hill. I lost the pace runner at this point but they were in my sights through the finish. There was a woman running in front of me that started with the 1:30 runners too but was maybe only a few paces from me. I used her to pull me through the end. I kicked it hard at the end without realizing I was actually really close to my PR of 1:36:15.

SHIT! So close…

Official Standings

Overall: 53 / 1,093
Official Time: 01:36:53
Pace: 7:24
Gender: 44 / 475
Age Group (35-39): 11 / 72

Recap

Most of the course is pretty boring. Half of it is just straightways with not much to look at.

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Although, the shirt and medal are all good and the after party offers some decent goodies. There’s hot chocolate and coffee from Peet’s Coffee which is a nice touch. The schwag is nice and since you’re forced to run this to complete the Cal Half Series challenge, it’s all fine I guess. I just wish the course was better. There’s nothing special about it. Maybe if you’re trying to end the year with a solid PR attempt, it may be good for that. Just wish there was more to look at… or maybe Walnut Creek is just that boring of a city.

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