Sunday, April 19, 2009

Race Report: Lawrence Half Marathon

Hooray! Even with blustery north winds and a challenging hilly course, it's always a good race when you run a new personal best! I finished the Lynn Electric Kansas Half Marathon in just under 2:25 by my watch--2:25:12 official gun time.

Although it threatened rain the entire race, it only drizzled off and on for the first few miles. It was 50-55 degrees with 20 mph winds from the north, but at least we didn't need to worry about sunburn!

This course was more challenging (read that as much more hilly) than the Kansas City half marathon in October or the Hospital Hill run in Kansas City will be in June. It was point-to-point with three major (longer than a mile) uphill sections around miles 2, 7, and 12.

I didn't carry my camera with me on the course, but sections of the race were beautiful. Spring is just starting to show in Lawrence, so there were trees in bloom and green, green grass. Here are some generic shots from the race:

Near the start on Massachusetts Street

On KU's fraternity row

The finish line

This race isn't for everyone. Pros: varied terrain (hilly!), friendly volunteers, not too crowded, and a beautiful time of year. Cons: some support issues (no toilets along the race course, several aid stations were out of sports drink), little crowd support (with some deserted stretches), unpredictable weather, and a brutal up-hill finish.

There could have been more post-race food and drink options (where was the sports drink?), but I loved the chocolate milk. And the band did a great job, especially considering the cold and windy conditions!

Here were my splits (my Garmin recorded a short race of only 12.85 miles):
Mile 1 - 10:49
Mile 2 - 12:01
Mile 3 - 11:05
Mile 4 - 10:10
Mile 5 - 11:02
Mile 6 - 11:19
Mile 7 - 11:09
Mile 8 - 11:58
Mile 9 - 11:32
Mile 10 - 10:37
Mile 11 - 11:15
Mile 12 - 11:53
Mile 13.1 - 10:05