Monday, January 12, 2009

Half marathon with a baby jogger

As I had the babysitting duties yesterday, I had planned a fun race with the Lorax in the stroller. I used to hate (and probably still do, but I haven't seen anyone do this in a while) when people would line up near the front of a race with a stroller. As such, I found a spot in the way back of the pack.

Unfortunately, the race meandered around some pretty narrow trails for the first half mile, which meant I was forced to start very slowly. Once things opened up, I was able to run close to normal race pace. As I later found out, this was because of a backwind and lack of hills.

The first 5 miles went well. I worked my way up to third place and was gaining on the two leaders when we turned into the wind and started climbing hills. I was forced to walk up the hills and was passed by around 10 guys, all of whom offered encouragement.

The worst hills and wind happened aorund mile 6. Then I yo-yo'ed for a while between different groups, depending on the wind and the grade. This was a fun way to see a race, as I would pass and get passed by the same guys over and over again.

Thankfully, the last 2 miles were downhill and with a backwind. I eventually worked my way back up to fourth place, which actually meant I ended up in the money prizes. They had the strangest system; everyone in the top 5 got about $60. It's not much but it's still pretty cool that they have prizes.

The Girl, of course, won the marathon. With that course and the wind being so strong, her time of 3:39 was probably equivalent to a 3:20. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a proud husband, as I stood there with the Lorax and watched her come in. She was coughing and her back hurt, but otherwise she was in decent shape.

A fun day was had by all. I talked to a Norwegian couple. The guy had taken second in the half marathon and the woman had won the women's half marathon. They came a long way to race but, of course, they stayed in Copenhagen and made a trip out of it.

Overall, I think races in Denmark are a little less competetive than in the US. Not slower; in fact, they are probably a little faster. But people act a little like they do at ultras in the US. Maybe it's because the two races we have run have both been races that the same crowd runs year after year. Certainly, the Girl has gotten some strange looks, like "who are you to come and win our race?" from some of the other women.

So she won again. I'm not sure where the next race is at. There is a pretty competetive race in our town around Easter that I am looking forward to. When I was in my peak 5K shape 7 years ago, I won it narrowly and scored some decent prize money. It looks like I could win the 10K if things click that day (34:26 last year). The Girl will have to PR to win the women's 10K (41:45 last year).

This will be a good season.

1 comment:

SteveQ said...

I don't know which is better: "of course the Girl won" or your last post's borrowing of a Mitch Hedberg joke ("I still do, but..."). It takes a while to fit in at races which always have the same runners - if the Lorax becomes a runner, though, he's set!