Tuesday, September 18, 2012

United States Air Force Half Marathon

Dayton, Ohio
State #14
Start Time: 8:30am
Temperature: 48 at the start
Bib #9901
Overall: 1294/4497
Division Place: 59/454
Gender Place: 421/2990
Finish Time: 2:03:29
So very welcomed. 
What a treat to stay with LJ's parents in Dayton this past weekend.  Their generosity and hospitality is only rivaled by Alma's in Seattle.  This family of die hard, Coca Cola drinking, Wisconsin Badger fans, welcomed us Diet Pepsi drinking, Oregon Ducks (okay, I'm only a part time Duck) with open arms.  Mrs. J is the best baker in town and Mr. J can grill (don't say BBQ) brats with the best of 'em.  I thought imaginary friends were great, I had never expected to gain some imaginary parents in the deal.  Thank you J family.


Packet pick up was held at Wright State University Thursday and Friday night only.  No race day pick up.  We easily grabbed our bibs on Friday night.  I scored 4 or 5 chapsticks and a bunch of Biofreeze samples (what else does a runner need?).  Fettucini dinner prepared by Mrs. J and we were ready for bed.

Agh!  After much debate, we agreed to leave the house at 5:30am.  This meant getting up at 4:45am Ohio time (my Garmin doesn't change to local time, always a treat to see Pacific Time -1:45am - to be reminded how crazy the time zone change is).  LJ's brother Eric rode with us.  After getting on base in the longest line evah, we parked in a field, walked past the Air Force Museum and came to the start.

LJ, me and the sunrise.
We arrived early to beat the rush.  15,000 runners would participate in one of three distances (full, half or 10k).  There are only three entrances to get on base race day morning.  S was running the full, which started an hour before us, at 7:30am.
Right before the full started, S gave me his gear check bag and we watched the B2 Stealth flyover.  Expecting it to be crazy noisy.  It was a bit anticlimactic, a stealth is quiet, duh.
I prefer my million dollar flyovers noisy!
The 10k started with the full.
10k, the hard way.
We cheered the start, then I kept my warm clothes on as long as possible.  I finally got to meet Run with Jess!
Look at us, real live friends, finally.
I also met Jill and the super speedy Melissa C. for the first time.  Sadly, the pic with Melissa is not on my phone.
4 out out 5 amazing bloggers running the half.
After checking my bag, and taking lots of bloggy pics, I almost missed the pre half flag jumpers.
Running from the potties, I barely caught them.
Jess and I started together, for about 20 seconds.  She's a run by herself kind of runner, and I figured that out quickly respect that.  My goal was to finish under 2:05, not go out too fast, drink at every water stop and attempt to enjoy the scenery.

The big news, just before mile 4, hundreds of runners got diverted the wrong way on the course.  Check out the half marathon map HERE.  See the mile 7 marker?  Yeah, they sent us right instead of straight.  Weirdest, craziest feeling since we're basically running on a bike path.  All of the sudden, the crowd in front of me (that hasn't thinned out at all) turns around and we're all running back from whence we came.

Turns out, some people ran an extra 2 MILES!  So glad I'm not fast, I only gained .17 miles overall.  It was a bummer to look up and see a mile marker (5), then look down at my Garmin and see (5.17).

The best part was I caught up (however unfairly) to Jess, LJ and Eric.  This made the middle miles a lot more fun for me.  LJ smacked me on the behind (not one, but two different times).  She and I ran together for a bit, then she would run forward or back to run again with her brother.

I ran with Jess, passed her, got passed by her and passed her again.  I knew her toe was bothering her.  Check out her race recap HERE.

As the race wore on, I believed my sub 2:05 goal was shot.  The additional mileage seemed to have taken away my cushion.  My new goal was to stay under a 9:20 average, disregarding the distance.

After an overpass hill at mile 8, I found some inner strength.  Eric and LJ surged in front of me, and I wanted to finish in front of them.  I was able to finish the last 5 miles strong, even though my right foot/ankle (injury of the month) were bothering me.  I know if I end up with PF, it will be because of these last 5 miles.

I did some quick runner's math during the last mile.  Pushing it in, I barely beat my goal, even with the additional distance.  Hey, look what I can accomplish with mild weather, a good fueling plan (Razz Clif Shot at mile 5, alternating water and Gatorade at the other aid stations) and friends running near me to push the pace.


Uniformed Air Force airmen put our medals around our necks.  I grabbed water and Gatorade, a bagel and a piece of pizza at the finish.  I found LJ and told her I was running back to watch S finish.

After dripping pizza sauce down the front of my shirt, I got a TEXT from an unknown number.

Walking at 22, sorry...S.
Poor guy.  I got my gear, found LJ and Eric, changed clothes and slid on my flip flops.  Eventually, we even got ice from the medical tent.  The three of us settled in a quarter mile from the finish, ice bags icing, waiting to see S finish.
As was bound to happen, we missed him.  We did get to cheer for Jess' husband finishing his first half!  Yeah!

S got his gear, changed his clothes and finally texted us (just when we were starting to wonder if he'd ever finish).

S, you're still a winner in my book.
For those of you that want the full story....S ran with the 3:35 pacer until mile 11.  Then he got cocky and ran 3 miles at sub 8s, like a dipshi*t (his words, not mine).  By mile 14, that was bit much.  Then a few 8:03s, and some 8:06s...the 3:35 pacer passed him at mile 18.  He borrowed a phone from a spectator to text me at mile 22.  His goal was a 3:30, and he finished in just over 4 hours.  Yeah, he was a bit cranky after the race.  Oh, and barely able to walk back to the car.  He'd rather we didn't talk about it.
State #14, awesome shirt, amazing medal.  Good time for most.


  1. woo i'm the first to comment! great recap- i'm shocked S let you put that in there hehe

  2. Aw, poor S... that is so funny that he borrowed a phone from a spectator. I find that simply hilarious. Great run to both of you. You were running strong in the back half when I lost you. I triiiiiied to keep you in sight - to no avail of course. It was so so awesome to meet both of you... looking forward to our next encounter for Eugene... if not before!

  3. Poor guy- I can totally relate to his experience, but he should still be proud of himself. He did finish and it was with a respectable time. Next time he will run a bit smarter. :-)
    Glad that you had fun on your trip. When is the next one?

  4. Great recap! Poor S. :( Must be so disappointing. I can't believe the detour though! People must have been irate! : / Glad you salvaged a nice race after all.

  5. I was one of those unlucky runners who ran a 15.02 half marathon. I couldn't believe I had to turn around twice! Hasn't anyone ever heard of putting up signs!?

  6. Congrats to you in your awesome time! S still did great, and perfect example of why I refuse to run with a pace group.

  7. Awww. Poor S. At least he didn't get lost, so there's that? Marathons are tricky. I bet the next one is better.

    Congrats on hitting your goal! I would have been really underwhelmed with a stealth silent flyover, too.

  8. Poor S. Congrats on reaching your goal. What get way to meet fellow bloggers. Great race Kim

  9. Great job to you. I loved S's recap. Great job to him too!

  10. Great recap! What a great pillow gift from LJ's parents!!! Sounds like they were great hosts!
    Sorry S didn't have the race he wanted but sounds like he still finished with a great time even if it wasn't his goal. And way to go Kim for meeting your goal!!

  11. Ugh...poor S! How exciting though that you got to meet Jess and Jill!! Love them!!

  12. Hey Kim, It was great meeting both you and Scott and getting a chance to run with you for a bit. Glad you enjoyed your first experience in Ohio. Good Luck on your future runs. Maybe i'll "run" into you guys again sometime in the future.

  13. Poor S! this wasn’t his first marathon, right? i would be sooo pissed about the detour! glad it wasn’t too much for you. and glad you had a great trip!!

  14. Poor S. I think a 4:05 is awesome but I know it sucks to not make your goal. Looking forward to a re-do in Eugene

  15. Meeting other bloggers is one of my favorite parts of races. Maybe we'll meet again one day :)

    Nice finish despite the misdirection. Still can't figure out how that happens.

  16. I'm so glad I was able to meet you! It was such a great day to race, despite getting lost. Way to still make your goal time. I slowed way down once I realized I was lost since I can't seem to hold PR pace for 9 miles anymore anyway, let alone 13.1, and especially not the 14.6 that I did!

    So sorry about S's race. I'll need to post and send you some pics of us. Due to Amy's situation (see my blog), I wasn't up to posting smiling fun pictures, and now just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    I never thought to get ice from medical. What a great idea!

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