March 24, 2013 7:30 AM
Written by Owen:
I ran this race in 2012 (its inaugural year). Michael wanted to run it really bad that year also, but couldn't because he was only 10 years old and the race website said you must be 12 years old to run.
So when I started to see advertisements for the 2013 race, I emailed the race director. I explained how much Michael loves running, how this would be his 4th half-marathon, and about how he is always such a star at every race he runs. Hoping for PR reasons they would let him run. They responded and to my surprise, gave him the green light to run it as long as I run it with him.
So he started his training back up, running along my side while I trained for my numerous marathons. He is incredibly disciplined, waking up earlier than he needs to on school days so we can go run 5 or 6 miles.
Race morning finally arrived. It was a very cold rainy day.
|Our supporters were awesome, braving the conditions.|
|Keeping warm in the garage before the race.|
As we were keeping warm in the garage before the race, there was a news reporter getting ready to do his live feed. He asked us if we wanted to be interviewed live on the air. We said yes, and he interviewed us for a couple minutes for the live news.
I struggled coming up with a race strategy for this race. Michael wanted to PR. He only gets to do one or two half-marathons per year so I really wanted him to get his PR, but I also really wanted to run with him. I get so much enjoyment observing how other runners react and treat him. They are so amazed, so kind, and so supportive. I had just run the RNR USA Nation's Capital Marathon 8 days before this race, so I was almost certain I couldn't run as fast as Michael needed to run to PR. He would need to run 7:21 per mile on a course that has some hills, and on a very cold and windy day. I decided to give it a shot. I told him I'd run a 7:20 pace as long as I could and then I'd drop off and wish him luck.
The race started and we both were locked on our pace per mile, that we created using Taz Running. I knew I could keep up with his pace for the first few miles, I was just uncertain of how long I could keep it. Each mile marker we passed, I assessed how I felt and was surprised at how good I felt. At mile 9 there was a pretty brutal hill that really hit us both hard. We survived it, and were still ahead of pace by about 30 seconds.
Mile 11 through the finish are back inside the race track. This is when the weather really turned on us. The rain got harder, the wind was stronger, and our determination was really tested. I wasn't hurting, but really had to give it everything I had to stay on pace. I knew Michael was struggling also. I really wanted him to get his PR. I told him at mile 12 that I was slowing down and didn't think I could do it. He passed me immediately, but then his pace was not fast enough either. I told myself it was now or never. If I could somehow gain enough strength to push him, he could do it. So I did. We pushed it hard and finished at 1:35:57, 22 seconds faster than his previous PR.
We crossed the finish line at exactly the same time, but he must have been behind me by a second at he start, because his chip time was one second faster than mine. So now his PR is better than my PR by a second :).
|Gun time, our chip time was 1:35:57 (and 58), for an average pace of 7:19 per mile.|
Michael crushed his division of 14 and under, beating 2nd place by over 19 minutes. Check out the size difference:
This race was so much fun. I count my blessings every day that I have such a supportive family, and such an incredible running partner.
Here is video that Malissa shot during the race (there was supposed to be music but YouTube erased it because of copyright.):
Here is our garmin data: