Hospital Hill, Half Marathon

Two weeks after we drove up to Fargo and ran a half marathon, we ran another. This time in Kansas City. Hospital Hill - named after a challenging and medically-themed hill that appears early in the race - was hotter than Fargo and much hillier. The course is thought of more as a "challenge" course than a "fast" course.

That's me! Moist. I didn't take any of my own pictures this time so I figured I'd loot brightroom's teaser images. Have a back link, Brightroom.

Before we talk about the race, it's important to discuss the course elevation profile.

(click image for bigger) The hills were noticeable.

The nice part about the hills was that we got to run downhill a lot. It's not like that makes it okay, but at least we weren't running straight up a mountain or something. I actually do pretty well on hills. It's one of the few parts of running that I seem to have some athletic affinity for. Still, the hills go up, and up is harder than down.

Here are my lap times, courtesy of my trusty Garmin:

I only overshot this one by 0.15 miles!

My official finishing time was 2:14. It took me a couple minutes after I crossed to remember I was wearing a watch. The story on this one is short. It was 80 degrees at the start and...
  • [miles 0...10] I felt great! I had a decent pace going up all the hills, drank lots of water, and thought I was going to beat my Fargo time. There was lots of shade.
  • [miles 10...12.5] No more shade and a long uphill climb. By mile 11 I was broken. It turned into a run/walk. I was mad at myself for having to walk up the hills. Yuck.
  • [the last part] Aside from one short steep hill (which, to my chagrin, I walked), the end is a nice drift down. I finished with my now-normal survival mosey and waved off the paramedics at the finish. I'm told I looked pale and deathly. Ice towels at the finish were awesome.
My final time was 6 minutes slower than my time in Fargo. Between the weather and the hills I think that's fair. Still, I do wish I could have felt awesome for three more miles. That long, sunny hill at the end took me to the cleaners.

The swag was good: tech shirt, sandals, steel water bottle, and keeper ice towel at the finish. The only real downer was specific to exhibitionist runners. The timing chip was in the number as two rigid vertical strips. It pinned to a shirt well, but ...alternative attachment schemes were much more difficult. I prefer the shoe chips, but I guess barefoot runners probably don't like shoe chips and there were a few bare-footers out there.

We also need to send a shout out to Julie's sister Amy for (very successfully) running her first half marathon. Nice work, Amy. And to Rob (also at Fargo) and Peggy for meeting us at the race. These things are waaay more fun when you get to hang out with (and commiserate with) friends.


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