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.
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.
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…
Overall: 53 / 1,093
Official Time: 01:36:53
Gender: 44 / 475
Age Group (35-39): 11 / 72
Most of the course is pretty boring. Half of it is just straightways with not much to look at.
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.