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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 Fort Worth Cowtown Half Marathon Race Report

Sunday, on my 45th Birthday, I ran my favorite race.  Cowtown.  It ain't even close.  I ran the 10k as my first road race ever back 23 years ago.  I loved it then and was hooked.  Each time I run it, I say basically the same thing…this is an awesome race. As found in last year’s race report “I’m probably biased, but my adopted hometown nailed it is year!  Well done; well done indeed.”

The weather was excellent. 40° to start the race at 7:00 AM and warming to the 60’s by mid-afternoon.  A strong SE wind kicked up late in the half, so I’m guessing the full marathon folks ended up a little wind burnt and warm.

No reason to burry the purpose for writing this post…I owned this race.  1:55.14 official time.  This is almost 2:30 fast than any previous half marathon (17 in all).  It felt like a PR as well.  I was pretty gassed at the end and sore afterwards.  Actually, I got a little emotional a few times during the race because I had a strong feeling it was a PR type day.  I had to fight that starting a the fourth mile because there remained the possibility of a meltdown.  Yet, it was perfect.  I was doing what I love, feeling great and celebrating 45 years in the books.

Cowtown sent e-mail results from various locations on the course.  This was really cool, except I’m not sure what good it is to get an e-mail during the race…yet the data after the fact is very nice.  Here is the content from the four e-mails:

5k Split - 28:29
9:10 Pace
Est. Finish Time 2:00.10

10k Split - 55:45
8:58 Pace
Est. Finish Time 1:57.36

11 Mile Split - 1:38.05
8:55 Pace
Est. Finish Time 1:56.54

Half Marathon Finish - 1:55.14
Pace 8:47

As you can see, I ran increasingly faster as my average pace kept dropping.  Not a huge drop from 6 to 11 miles, but during those last 2 miles I must have been humping it.  Here are the splits from my iPhone using the iSmoothRun App:

1. 9:40
2. 8:54
3. 9.01
4. 8:34
5. 8:56
6. 8:45
7. 8:41
8. 8:57
9. 8:53
10. 8:48
11. 8:31
12. 8:23
13. 8:05
        .18   7:45

That, my friend, is moving like a 35 year old again rather than a 45 year old.

My race strategy was to run miles 1-4 in the 9:15 per mile range, drop to 9:00 minute miles in 5-8, survive the hill on mile 9 and then bring it home in the 8:45 pace range or better.  I was slotted in coral 2 which was a huge help in getting out of traffic and running comfortably.  It was still bumper to bumper for a few miles, but I was able settle in much sooner than at White Rock and San Antonio last fall.

I LOVE the hill doing south into Downtown.  It is one of the icons of the race in my opinion.  I tend to run hills well so it has always been a great feature for me without inflicting the damage it does to some. Once I caught my breath and got my heart rate back down, I hit the gas and accelerated to the finish.

Anyway, a great race.  Expo was pretty quiet, but packet pick-up was super smooth.  Tons of finisher’s food.  Fruit bagels, bars…soup and ice cream.  I'm surprised how much I like it at Will Rogers for the start/finish in lieu of the Stockyards or Downtown.  Parking is fantastic and free.  I was complaining about my late entry fee of $90, but compared to Dallas it was actually about $25 cheaper because I didn't have to pay for parking at the expo or on race day.

Again, a great race.  Can't wait for next year.  Maybe I'll do the full marathon.  This is where my PR for that distance is as well.  Cowtown.  I love it.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace