Today's race was inappropriately called a half marathon. Here is the distance and map from my garmin:
Generally a half marathon is considered to be half the distance of a marathon or 13.1 miles/21.1 km. But today's route was incorrectly measured and was instead, as you can see above, 13.4 miles or 21.57 km. I honestly didn't think much of it and figured my garmin was wrong, until Henriette said after the race how upset she was by how long the route was "again". Apparently these Sparta races are notorious for being inappropriately measured. This really suprised me, because everything else about these races seems so professional and well-organized.
Granted an extra .47 km isn't that big of a deal if you're just out for an enjoyable run, but when you are running your ass off to get a PR (and prove to the blogosphere that speedwork makes a difference) it IS a big deal.
But on to the report.
Here is what I did not run in, but tried on at the National Museum afterwards:
I started off next to my balloon man, who was pacing for a 1:30 half marathon. He warned me beforehand that he ran the first half faster than the second. Here he is, Frederik Bøjholm:
Well, as much as I wanted to make Frederik my new best friend, I could only hold on to him for the first 5 km, which we ran in 21 minutes. After that, I got a side stitch and he and a huge group slowly pulled away from me. Did I mention there were 2588 runners today?
I came through 10k, according to my garmin at just under 42 min. So my pacing was going well. Federik was a good 20 seconds ahead. Already at this point, I noticed that 10k sign was long after 10km. Between the 10k and 12k, I struggled a lot to keep my morale high. There was a lot of turning and going up and down ramps through tunnels along the lakes in the map above. But after 12k, everthing started clicking again. The side stitch was gone and I paid no attention to women around me. (Okay, I did notice that either Tanni wasn't there or she hadn't passed me yet.)
At this point, I was still hoping that the finish line would come at 13.1 miles. But when I came through 13.1 miles in 1:31:01, the finish line was not in sight. But I did get a new half marathon PR of 1:31:01. And that's what I'm using for my records.
I went great guns the last stretch to make it through 21.57 km in 1:33:04, also faster than my previous half marathon PR. My pace was 6:56 min/mile (or about 4:19 min/km).There was concensus afterwards that everyones' times were slower than expected and that everyone clocked the route as long. I saw Tanni come in about a minute after me and she also looked quite disgruntled. Anyway, I shouldn'i forget to mention that it was such a fun race with so many participants and cheering fans and a beautiful route in downtown Copenhagen.
Here is full proof I wore Olga's Wasatch Speed Goat shirt (thank you, Olga!):
After I turned in my chip, I was so happy to be greated by the fam. They took the train to meet me and go the the (free entry) National Museum afterwards.
And then Henriette and I managed to find each other.
What a fun lady. She was also disappointed, though, that her time was over 2 minutes slower than expected and sadly showed me her garmin with the same distance as mine. She also told us about the marathon in Albertslund next weekend. SR and I are both thinking of running it now, just as a training run. Partly because there are both a 60k and 100k at the same time and we want to see our crazy ultra friends.
Anyway, there are two different ways to look at the race today:
1. Despite running perhaps the best race of my life, I officially barely beat my previous PR because the route was incorrectly measured.
2. I got huge half marathon PR of 1:31:01 and then ran a little extra to finish the race route.
You all know I choose number 2.
Running Song of the day: I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas (when I'm running a race, I don't want to think, I want to rock :))