Sunday, October 21, 2012

Detroit Free Press Half: October 21, 2012

This time it was back to the D for the annual Free Press Half Marathon.  Jessica's brother Luke came into town from Virgina Beach to run the race with us.  I had not really prepared for this race due to my long recovery from the Run Rabbit Run 50 Miler.  In the weeks leading up to the half marathon Jess had mentioned that a guy from work was running in his first half marathon ever at the Free Press.  She had also said that he wanted to have a bet with her to see who could have a better time.  I never heard if the bet was finalized until the day before the race.  When I heard how much the bet was for I decided this was not going to be a light stroll through Detroit and Canada.  I was going to pace Jess to get her best time ever and beat her co-worker who was older and had a lot of injuries during he said.

The cold October morning woke us up!
Luke got into town on Saturday.  We went and picked up our race packets and then Jess's family came over to watch the Notre Dame football game.  We took it easy the rest of the day since we had to get up early.  This race starts at 7:00 AM which is super early but I guess they need to do that logistically.  Can't keep the streets of Detroit closed all day!  The alarm went off, I strapped on my VFF Trek Sports, and we got geared up before heading downtown.  We were trying to find a closer parking spot then we did the previous year but we ended up parking in the same exact spot!  It was not as long of a walk to the start line as we thought it was.  The weather was very cold in the morning and we couldn't wait for the race to start so we could warm up!  We picked a location to meet up after the race in case we could not find each other and then we worked our way into the huge group of people at the starting line.  About 25 minutes after the initial waves started we were finally under way.

There was a lot of congestion at the start and I noticed that our pace was not as good as I thought it should be.  We were struggling to pass people because of the sheer number of runners in the streets.  After about a mile things opened up and we were able to settle into a nice pace.  Jess was leading the way and I was pleased at how fast we were moving.  Then we hit the bridge to Canada, which was another point of congestion.  It was hard to pass people here and our pace slowed down again.  We also lost Luke here as he got stuck behind a big glob of slower runners.  On the way down off the bridge we were greeted by the Canadian customs guy with a microphone rattling off his usual cheesy but funny jokes.  While running next to the Detroit river in Canada there were some nice views of the Detroit skyline.  There was a ton of spectators who came out to support all the runners, which was nice to see.  As we went along the Windsor side we kept a very good pace.

A sea of runners waiting to start moving
Then we hit the hot and muggy tunnel back to Detroit.  It was another point of congestion and we also had a hard time passing people down there.  So we lost some time on our pace during the mile jaunt under the Detroit river.  As soon as we got out of the tunnel we were able to make up some time.  Jess and I were both starting to feel the burn of running as hard as we could for so long.  As the race went through Mexican town and Corktown our pace began to slow.  I told Jess we need to run hard and finish strong.  We pushed ourselves to the max and Jess did a great job maintaining her pace right through to the end.  As we were finishing, the first place marathoner was also coming into the finish...WOW!!...he just did double our distance and he started about 25 minutes before us so he was really cooking.  We ended up with a great time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 11 seconds.  Jess hit her PR and really did a great job.  I thought for sure that we had a good enough time to beat her co-worker.  After looking up his time we found out that we lost by 9 seconds!  We put forth 100% during the race and it was just a tough break.  We will definitely beat him next year!!

All finished!  Time for Starbucks!
After the race we found Luke who came in not to long after us.  We went to Starbucks and grabbed a coffee before heading home.  After getting cleaned up we went over to Jess's sister's house for some brunch and bloody mary's.  A nice way to celebrate after a hard fought battle.  Even though we came up just a little short the effort was awesome.  I am proud of Jess as she has come a long way in her running.  Next up for me is the Seashore Nature Trail 50K.  This is in Virginia Beach at First Landing State Park.  Luke decided he wanted to run his first ultra ever and I am looking for a nice way to cap off my best year of running.

No comments:

Post a Comment