It’s pretty rare that I sign up for shorter distance races, and by that I specifically mean half marathons. But in the case of this race, I didn’t want to run a full and needed about 18 miles on this particular day, so the half plus a few ‘bonus’ miles it was! Brian had signed up for the 50 mile distance, so I figured I’d run a few with him and then do the half marathon to round out the day.
The week leading up to the race we were constantly watching our weather app. It started showing 70% chance of thunderstorms the week before and each day it seemed to adjust. 20% one day and then when you looked the next day it was back up to 60%. So, the day before the race the rain chances were hovering around 50% and I was not looking forward to a day of rain. However, we woke up the morning of and all the rain had moved through the evening before and it ended up being a nice cloudy day with a bit of a breeze. Such a relief, as spring race weather can be quite the gamble!
The start time for the 50 miler and 50K (both of which we had fellow Mustache Running Club runners racing) was a 6 am. So, instead of dropping them off and waiting around until the half start at 7:30 am, I took off with these distances. I ran the first 2.5 out and then turned around to head back to the starting line. It was good to start with Brian and loosen things up. I felt good after the 5 miles and was looking forward to knocking out the half marathon.
After waiting around for 30 minutes…you know, just enough time to get relaxed and cool off…start dreaming of coffee and breakfast, it was time to line up for the half. The clock time started and I headed out. The goal was just to get in an easy 18 total, so I had no expectations for the race.
The first 2 miles or so of the route ran along a paved city trail and then we hopped on the dirt rails to trails for the remainder until the 6.5-ish mark. The trail was lined with newly greened trees, an aid station every 2-3 miles, and lots of beautiful Missouri scenery. At the halfway point I was feeling good, so I decided I was going to pick up the pace and run a negative split on the half. I also didn’t want anyone to pass me on the way in. As I rounded the turn around cone, I picked it up a bit, started a new podcast, and focused on the end. I ran around a 9 min/mile the last 6.5ish or so, which is a pretty fast clip for me since I’ve been dealing with some nagging pains in the foot all winter/early spring. I didn’t have any issues on this run and that felt really good when I was coming in to the finish (I also didn’t let anyone pass me and I passed at least 10 ladies!). I ended up with a clock time of 2:03, which is one of the faster halves I’ve done in the last five years (of the 3 or so I’ve run). If I would have known I was that close to the two hour mark, I probably would have tried a bit harder!
Overall, it was a well run race with lots of water stops and happy volunteers. The longer distances seemed to be very well run also. I grabbed a quick shower, some breakfast and coffee, and then headed out to meet Brian around the 35 mile station. I was able to follow him by way of aid stations until he crossed the finish line in 9:31. Not bad for his first 50 mile distance.
It turned out to be a lovely day for a race in Missouri. We had a great time with all aspects of this run and would defiantly recommend it!