Friday, October 4, 2013

Brooksie Way Half Marathon 2013

Hey all!

Time for my monthly blog post... Perhaps, one day, I'll get back to regular posts, but 'til then...

Last weekend was the Brooksie Way Half Marathon. It was my 3rd Brooksie half and 4th Brooksie Way race in all. This has become an annual race for me as I have a team for work and it feels like my "home field" race. I know more people at this race, between runners and volunteers, than any other and, even though live super close, I'm only about 20 minutes away.

For the best details about this race, check out Jeff's (aka Detroit Runner's post) on his blog. He does a great job with his race reviews and I have very little to add. Therefore, I'll just talk about a few select details of my race experience.

I arrived early and found a couple members of my race team including Dawn, Melanie and Katie (I never did see Andraya or Danny, but they were there). Due to a couple dropouts, we had a small team, but only needed 5 to have a team score, so it was all good.

Me & "The Mayor" Larry - running for Rewewal by Andersen
I also met up with Kevin, Trieu and Jeff, who I ended up running the race with. I told him I was looking to run with a goal of about 1:47, which sounded good to him. He's faster than me, particularly as distance increases, so that would allow him to run fairly hard, but not quite at full race pace. We both had green bibs, so we were supposed to be in the first (fast) corral, but that corral was bursting at the seams (and, if we "deserved" to be there, we would have been in the back anyway), so we started in the next (yellow) corral. This was probably a good call.

Shamlessly stolen from - Trieu, me, Jeff and Kevin
We started out kinda feeling things out a bit for the first half mile, then sped up a bit. For the length of the race ahead, I was pushing the pace a little (Jeff had zero problem keeping pace with me). I know you're not supposed to "bank" time in a half marathon (or that is what "they" say), but I was doing so because of the elevation profile of this course. I had run this course a total of 5 times prior to the race (2 races, 3 practice runs), so I am very familiar with the elevation advantage to about mile 6 and the hills that follow. I felt good and was going while the getting was good. Felt strong and it is always nice to keep moving past people, which we did regularly during this stretch. Hit the 10k mark in a little over 48 minutes, which would be my 10k PR if the race ended there.

Bad form (arms too high) near the Royal Park Hotel
The race didn't end there and we started the uphill portion of the race through Rochester Municipal Park on the Paint Creek Trail. The trail is slightly up hill, but Tienken Road is where the real hills begin. I felt all of the hills as well as the previous weekend's 20 miler on Tienken. Not sure why I this would be a surprise, but I didn't easily cruise up the hills. In fact, it was more of a struggle than anticipated. I could have run the hills all day at an easy pace, but trying to go "fast" on the hills was not working out well. As you can see below, I was even slower than last year on the hills. 

While I struggled on the hills (Jeff tried to pull me along and probably did to some extent), I was able to finish strong. The last mile was just under 8 minutes and I finished in 1:48:13, a half marathon PR by nearly a minute. While I missed my "A" goal, my "B" goal was a PR, so I am happy with the result. My "goal race" is the Detroit Marathon, so a PR at Brooksie is a nice bonus.

Overall, it was a great race day with good weather, friends, a nice race and a team tent afterwards (though the food left much to be desired this year). Not only was it a good race, it was a good run and a nice confidence boost leading up to the marathon, now in less than 3 weeks. This post is long enough (anyone make it this far?) so I'll summarize my marathon training and give a race preview in another post. Later!


  1. Nice job!! Congrats on the PR! Definitely a confident booster for the marathon.

  2. To PR at the Brooksie Way is really something! I ran it a few years ago. I know Larry! I think everyone knows Larry!!
    Good luck at your marathon! It will be fun. I can't believe that Chicago is over with already!