My Half Marathon at Brazen's Western Pacific trail race had the milestones that brought on some math.
First, the race.I've run and written about this Half a number of times (here's my 2017 report), so I'm not going to get heavy on the details. It's flat, wanders around some small lakes before a long out-and-back, then wanders around those small lakes again.
Two weeks earlier I had a non-inspiring 4:27 finish at the creek- and hill-filled Diablo Half Marathon, so I had no reason to expect this Half to be very inspiring either. Last year I ran it in 2:42, and for this year, I decided on a wildly optimistic "A" goal of breaking three hours, with sub-3:30 as a much more realistic "B" goal.
But I had a super power for this race - for the first time in quite a while, I was facing off against my Arch Nemesis.
|I asked her to make a mean face. She failed. She's just too nice.|
My Arch Nemesis would not be walking.
|I loved all the kids handing out water!|
|"Which way do I go?"|
|There she is!|
|Caught her! Well, maybe…|
|The third aid station, about mile 4.6. And I think one of those two people way ahead of me is Yram. At least, that's what I told myself.|
|Catching up to her again.|
|I'm not that far ahead of her, but for the first time in this race, I AM AHEAD OF HER!|
|Picture of me by Hcaep (not her real name) just before the next aid station. I think that's Yram back there a bit.|
|The fourth aid station, about mile 6.7, and our turnaround point!|
"Not far at all" was the answer. My passing her had not broken her spirit, and I knew that I was now heading into territory I had not gone into for a long time (almost a year) - every mile I was still running was a new best for me for the last 11 months. And having to take walk breaks could start happening at any time.
The fifth aid station, about mile 9.1, was captained by Refinnej (not her real name). I asked her to tell Yram that her shoe was untied when she came through. It turned out that she has a reasonably devious mind - when Yram showed up and asked how far ahead I was, Refinnej said "we haven't seen him yet." What an excellent mind game!
In any case, I was feeling pretty confident now since I was still feeling OK, and feeling like running the whole Half was actually a real possibility! I had slowed a bit, and my calves were starting to feel like they wanted to cramp at the first excuse they found, but the flat, straight course gave them no excuses.
|The sixth aid station, about mile 10.3. Less than a 5K to go!|
|"Which way do I go?" "Back to the lakes for you!"|
|The last aid station, about mile 11.7. I could hear Mr. Brazen announcing finishers now!|
|The finish! Finally!|
Now for some math.The first fun thing was that this was Brazen's 200th race! They started in 2009 and have built up a fine stable of races and a fiercely devoted following.
The second fun thing was that this was my 300th race!
|I found two notable things based on the number 300 - a car by Chrysler and a movie. I'm pretty sure they are not actually related.|
Then I learned about trail races.
Among those 300 races are a 1 mile and a 1.5 mile race, but the rest are at least 5Ks. This is also including my DNFs (9), which some purists might argue shouldn't count, but I'm hardly pure.
- Average race distance: 10.9 miles.
- Average time per race: 2:54
- Average elevation per race: 1340 feet (that really surprised me)
- Average number of races per year: 35
- Average entry fee cost per race: $50 (considering a number of races were free after volunteering and DSE races cost only $5, that number seems really high)
- Races volunteered at (not counted in the 300): 47
- Races crewed/cheered (not counted in the 300): 17
- Total number of races I've been involved with in some way: 364 (almost an average of 43 per year!)
These numbers astound me. They also show that maybe this hobby has gotten a bit out of control.
It's still under control.
Mostly. Kind of.
That's it - move along…
PS: Here's a link to more pictures I took at the race.