Overall Time: 1:35:00
Place: 137 of 3668
Weather: 86 Degrees, 63% Humidity
Start time: 7:00
Splits: 7:51, 7:26, 7:08, 7:05, 7:04, 7:05, 7:09, 7:05, 7:23, 7:17, 7:07, 7:26, 7:01, 0:46
Feeling good at mile 5.
Yikes, this was an insane race. It was hot and humid — 86 degrees at the start (7am), and it got warmer as the sun rose from above the tree line. Everybody slowed down a good 8+ minutes from their expected times. Several of my sub-3:00 marathoner friends couldn’t even break 1:32 today because of the heat, and a number of PW (personal worst) were made today.
A lot of us knew it was going to be hot and humid, but we didn’t expect it to be this bad. We readjusted our goal times accordingly, and set off to do our business.
This was the first race that I started a bit late. I didn’t have enough time to get into the first corral, so I had to sneak into one of the middle corrals – behind something like 2000 people. This meant that the first two miles were fairly slow, as I wove my way through the crowds. It also meant that I continued to pass people every single mile of the race – I more or less held a pretty consistent pace (except for a couple 7:20 miles – what’s up with that?) the entirety of the race course. And when people started to fade at the end, I seemed to be passing them left and right.
It’s hard to asses my performance except to compare it to the runners that I’m normally competitive against. I placed in the same order within my running club that I normally do, so at least I didn’t completely fail at this race. Yes, it was slow – but so was everyone else’s. Even the elite runners slowed down – only the winning time of 1:13:39 would have been good enough to be in the top 20 of the previous NYRR Half Marathon Series (Brooklyn).
…finally, it’s over!
It’s easy to be disappointed by my time, but that wouldn’t really be constructive. When we all crossed that finish line we just looked at each other and without speaking, knew what we were all thinking, “WE MADE IT!” It was a test of endurance, and the goal wasn’t to PR – it was to finish in one piece.
A small group of Front Runners and I went to the Mile 13 marker and went to cheer on the remaining finishers, which was pretty amazing. There were a lot of people really looking miserable, but managed to put in an extra kick when we started cheering them on to finish strong. It helped to take our mind off of the horrible conditions that we had endured, and made me realize there were still thousands of runners on the course who were still toughing it out. They needed a little (OK, maybe a lot!) of encouragement, but the camaraderie that came out of cheering them on was pretty inspiring.
Everyone was swearing they wouldn’t be doing the Queens Half Marathon next year, but I’ll be back. Yes, it was tough. Yes, it was slow. But not all of my races are going to have perfect racing conditions, and I can’t let that stop me. I’m learning not to always race for a PR, but to race and run because it’s what I love doing. And at the end of the day, despite the misery of the race, I loved every second of it.