Sunday, August 21, 2011

Park City Half-Marathon

August 20, 2011 6:45 AM
Park City, UT
Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Corey 1:47:47 8:14 M40-44 9/29 45/203 65/588 1334
Owen 1:48:13 8:16 M35-39 10/37 48/203 71/588 1042
Michael 1:50:04 8:24 M1-18 2/9 58/203 86/588 1040
Zach 2:09:55 9:55 M30-34 15/29 128/203 262/588 1093
Eric 2:19:58 10:41 M40-44 22/29 153/203 356/588 705
Lu 2:40:11 12:14 F30-34 61/73 289/385 463/588 1092
Malissa 3:03:38 14:01 F25-29 58/64 343/385 532/588 1041

Written by Owen

We have never looked forward to something as much as we looked forward to this weekend.  Not only was it a distance we had never ran before, but two of my brothers (Zach and Eric) that I haven't seen in a while were running, as were my sister-in-law (Lu), good friend (Corey).

We arrived in Utah on Tuesday.  Tuesday night Michael and I did a 4 mile training run with Corey.

Corey and Michael at our turn-around point, overlooking Layton.
Wednesday Malissa and I did a 3 mile training run on a path in Clearfield.

Thursday and Friday we did no running, just sight-seeing around Utah.  There's so much that has changed in the four years since we lived there, but a lot was still the same.  We hit restaurants we don't have in NC, visited my dad's grave in Layton, and just relaxed.

Me, Michael, Kyle, and Alicia at my dad's grave in Layton
Friday it was finally time to head to Park City. We checked into our hotel, picked up our race packets, and set out to do some carb-loading.  We went to Maxwell's, where the runners had spaghetti, while Kyle and Alicia had pizza.

Michael and Alicia watch them make some pizza, while Kyle colors.
Then we met up with everyone else in our party.  Shalila and Lisa (my sisters) came down from Idaho, as did Zach and Lu.

We turned in pretty early Friday (10:00 PM) so I could get some rest before the early morning. I was worried I wouldn't be able to fall asleep with my mind racing about the run in the morning, but I fell right asleep.

At about 11:30 PM I awoke to someone knocking on our hotel door.  I couldn't believe someone was waking me up on such an important night of sleep.  I had told everyone that knew I was there good night and they knew not to wake me.  So I just ignored it and tried to go back to sleep.  A few seconds later, they knocked again.  So I got out of bed and looked through the peep hole.  It was a kid, I wondered who it could be and opened the door.  It was my 10-year old son Michael!  He had sleep walked and the door had shut behind him.  He's standing in the hotel hallway, in his underwear, in tears.

Well, let me just say, that freaked me out.  Imagine if he had not been able to remember what room we were in, or countless other things that crossed my mind.  I lost about 90 minutes of sleep thinking about that, then finally got back to sleep.

On race morning the alarm went off at 4:45 AM, to give us time to eat and digest.  We met everyone in the hotel's breakfast area and had a good chat.

We made our way to the race area where we met up with Shalila and Lisa, Corey and Tracey, and their kids.  Everyone helped out with the non-running Kids.

Michael, Corey, and I lined up at the very front of the start line.  When the race started, we went out faster than I had planned (don't I always?), but we felt really good.  We maintained an 8:30 pace for the first half (uphill) of the race.

At the turn-around point, knowing the rest of the race was downhill, we picked up the pace to right around 8 minutes flat.  Michael was doing awesome, I felt great, but I could tell he did not have as much gas in the tank as I did.  With about 3 miles to go, I asked him if he wanted to keep up with me, or run our own pace.  I emphasized that his accomplishment was amazing, and he didn't need to try to beat me.  I was trying to hit 1:45 to qualify for the 'A' corral at next year's Peachtree Road Race.  He has already qualified for that corral.  He said he wanted us to each run our own pace, so I sped up a little to around a 7:50 pace, while he slowed down for the last three miles to about an 8:45 pace.

I "borrowed" this pic, the order will be place, though.

The award ceremony was great.  There was some confusion regarding age divisions, so I did not know if Michael had placed until they called his name for 2nd place in the 18 & under division.  Look at the difference in height!

That tall kid took 3rd place, and I wonder what was going through his mind knowing that this 10 year old kid beat him.
Michael's award. My favorite part is: "18 & Under Men"
My favorite part about the day is how everyone treated Michael.  He was a rock-star.  During the race, without exageration, I bet I heard over 100 people yell out to him in surprise something like "Wow, great job 1040!".  The guy in second place at the time, on his way back reached out and gave Michael a high-five.  Complete strangers came up to him after the race and wanted their picture taken with him.  I was one proud Daddy!

This race was amazing, I wish I could live it over again.  We have way too many pictures to put on here, there are a bunch more here.

This part written by Malissa

I didn't get as much sleep as Owen. I never really do the night before a race. I had a bunch running through my mind, so many unknowns. I knew it was going to be nice running in the cooler temperatures but was worried about the high altitude. I had only ran once since we arrived in Utah and that was down in the valley. I'm not a big fan of running on gravel so I worried about that too.

I'm always so thankful for that burst of adrenaline that I get the morning of the race. It helps me forget about the sleepless night before.

I started out running with my sister-in-law, Lilianna. We ran the first mile together. I could tell the altitude was effecting me a little and that I wasn't going to be able to keep the pace we were doing. I didn't want to hold her back so I slowed down a bit and she sped up.

I have grown accustomed to running in high humidity and drinking a lot of water while I run. There were two things that I noticed that were very different this race because of the low humidity and cool weather. 

1. I had to hit every porta potty! That's right, every single one!! We calculated that I wasted 5 minutes in the bathroom.
2. I wasn't all sweaty during and after the race. In fact both Owen and I were trying to figure out why we had sand on our face. Someone had to point out to us that it was salt from our dried sweat.

It was such a beautiful course. Here are some pictures I took while I ran.

I felt great and ran about the same pace as my practice 10 miles back in Charlotte. Even though it took me 3 hours to finish I never thought "when is this race going to be over?". I just soaked up the beautiful Utah scenery and enjoyed every minute of it.

Here's a video:

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