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Monday, April 30

Half Marathon - Eugene

The ABCs and running series: Today's topic: Half Marathon.
Having just completed my very first half marathon yesterday, I think I'm worthy of offering an unabridged commentary on this length of race.
The first thing I noticed about my pack was the unhurried steady pace. We were in it for the long haul and enjoying it! During 5ks and 10ks, many runners (me included) are pushing themselves to the limit from the start line. This was definitely more enjoyable. I also noticed the runners around me had strong looking legs, lots of muscle definition - especially the calves. Humans were designed to run!
Start To Finish
1:00 - Pria, my dog barks - everyone is awake.
4:45 - Alarm time - #1 priority coffee. Water, White Wave and a handful of cereal.
6:15 - Find street parking - too easy.
6:30 - Saunter through the University of Oregon's campus to the start line near Hayward field.
6:35 - Join 1000 people at the port-o-pottie station. Actually, I had a very interesting conversation with another runner in line who competed in the original Eugene marathon - circa 1982. Above us, a helicopter circling.
7:00 - Cross the start line - beep, beep and down the road. (Jared Fogle of Subway fame was cheering us on.) The first 6 miles were "on road" running with a few gentle hills. There were hundreds of locals on the sidelines - cheering us on. [Big Thanks!]
8:00 - We crossed the Autzen foot bridge. A bevy of professional photographers were tucked in along the railings. (Hopefully not zoomed in on me.) I pass the 10k mark feeling strong.
8:20 - Break out of the path and end up running on the road again - not as fun now. I catch up to a young runner, (perhaps 10 years old) at the 9 mile mark. Incredible! I stopped to give him a few words of encouragement.
8:30 - Pause at one of the many water stops. I accidentally gulp down a cup of sugar water instead of just water. And of course - spill it. So had to run the rest of the race with "sticky fingers."
8:45 - Home stretch; and feeling tired. Some of the faster marathon runners had joined us at the 11 mile mark and I got caught up in their momentum. Silly me.
9:00 - Almost over the electronic mats - But Hey, there is more than one mat! I stop after the first one. Luckily some guy enlightens me -> keep running!
Just after 9:00 AM - I cross the finish line. 8 minutes faster than my predicted time and with a smile on my face.

Favorite part: All the folks on the sidelines cheering us on! One girl held up a sign that said, "Right around the Corner - Brad Pitt."
Big thanks to the race director - Richard Maher, for organizing such a great event.
For anyone attempting to train for a half marathon I would highly recommend Galloway,s "Half Marathon -You Can Do It" book. It worked for me.

Congratulations to the Marathon winners:
James Nielsen 2:21:01
Meredith Lambert 2:44:39

All Race Results