Sunday, May 16, 2010

Silver State 50/50 Half marathon

I really enjoyed this race last year, and despite not being in the same shape I was then, was looking forward to it. One reason is that the start is about a mile from my house, in Ranch San Rafael, and I can ride my bike to it. Another is that it takes place on local trails that I'm pretty familiar with - although I usually run them in the other direction.

I took some pretty decent pictures, so I'm just going to let them tell the story:

Lining up for a pre-race briefing

Heading through the park and into the tunnel under McCarran Blvd.

Beginning of the climbing, under the UNR "N"

More climbing...

A line of runners coming up the switchbacks behind me

Lots of greenery and flowers due to a wet spring

Heading down to the aid station at the radio towers, with Peavine Peak behind

A rare flattish section

Great singletrack with old mines on the right side of the picture

Steep section heading up to aid station at (Poeville?) Lake

Looking back at the lake aid station

Looking back on an insanely steep climb

Awesome runner and volunteer Darren slapping together the PBJ

The start of the long downhill back to the finish

All in all, a great course and really fun race. This one's going to be a main part of my running season for years, I hope -

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Reno Rock 'n' River Half Marathon 2010

So today was the Reno Rock 'n' River runs, which I've done the half marathon at since it's inception three years ago (and two before that, when it was the Marathon de Mayo.) Since the second year of it, I've made it my big spring race and trained specifically for it - not finishing over 1:40 since then. Today was a little different - I treated it more like fun, and had a great time, despite a slower time.

This was a Sunday race, so Team Library Dork was out in force. Amber, Dave and I were all doing the half marathon, while Chris wimped out and did the 10K (just kidding.) We were all supposed to meet at a certain corner near the start line, and Chris, Dave and I met up and scanned the crowds for Amber. Win only a couple minutes until the half marathon start, Dave and I gave up on her and shuffled to near the back of the pack. The gun went off, we shuffled some more, and eventually crossed the start and started running a bit.

Chris ran the first mile with us as a warm-up, then peeled off to go back to the start for his 10K. Dave and I lost track of each other after that, and kept our own paces for awhile. It was fun passing people after starting at the back of the pack. At 4 or 5 miles in, I went to pass a couple people, and one of them shouted my name - it was Amber, who had snuck into the starting gate ahead of us. We saw Dave on a turnaround shortly after, so he was still sticking pretty close. We jogged and chatted for quite awhile, up until about the 11 mile point. Then we saw Chris cooling off after finishing a close second in the 10K, and he turned to run with us. I had some energy saved up, and we left Amber to blaze the last two miles. Again - fun to scream past the people we had been running with for miles - at one point I got boxed in and had to hurdle/leap off a boulder to pass a group. I'm sure they thought I was a big jerk. Chris pulled me through right to the last two blocks, and I made it in just over two hours. (We'll see what the actual time is - my watch said 2:00:51.)

I picked up my checked stuff just in time to get a picture of Amber finishing:

We milled for a minute, grabbed some bread and driks, and greeted Dave at the finish. While he and Chris were off grabbing stuff from the car, I tried to get a self-portrait with Amber and me:

Dave and Chris came back, and brought some special treats - an Oak-Aged Espresso Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Basin Brewing. Yuuummmm. Enjoyed while sitting in the sun on the train trench in downtown Reno. Thanks, guys.

After some confusion, including a flat tire on my bike and long lines at both restaurants we tried, we grabbed some calories and hung out for awhile. Great day, guys. TLD rules!