Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon 2015

Official time: 1:23:09.   15th overall.  6th in Age Group.  Results here.

Over the last couple months I've been slowly upping my mileage and getting back into shape, running with no real purpose other than to get in the miles.  I signed up for this race back in early October and it snuck up on me, in part because this is a spring race yet we're mired in an endless winter.  But the race would not be denied and suddenly it was time to run a half marathon, the farthest I've run since Bimbler's Bluff if you can believe it.

Thanks to buffalo wings and daylight saving time I woke up tired and bloated.  I skipped my usual breakfast and was picked up by Muddy in his fearsome truck.  I was worried about the parking issue but we got to the closest lot at Matunuck Elementary with plenty of time and walked down to the race.   Once we arrived it was clear that things were different this year.  The start/finish had been moved to the entrance of South Kingstown town beach and the frozen beach road made for a slippery registration/port-o-let area.  We also learned that a section of the course in Green Hill had to be omitted due to ice which bummed people out.

After greeting the usual folks, Muddy, Jeff and I went out for a couple miles as a warm-up.  I wasn't gung-ho about this race and my frozen feet were doing little to improve my spirits.  But the warm-up helped and by the time we finish my extremities were warm and the sun was shining.  Though I had no idea what kind of a pace I'd maintain, I was now looking forward to it.  Feeling warm and spurned on by my compatriots, I stripped down to shorts and singlet, omitting the beanie but keeping the gloves.

We formed a makeshift starting line at the entrance to the beach and took off.  I quickly found myself in about 7th place and realized that the  6:15 pace was not doable.  I eased off and watched Muddy, Jeff and others quickly put distance on me.  More folks passed me but I tried not to get pulled along - I wasn't sure how this race was going to play out and I had no desire to fall apart later.

By mile three we had completed the out and backs and passed the beach entrance.  Now the long lonely race began in earnest.  Jeff Duda quickly passed me along with a couple more guys and the way they gapped me was discouraging.  I glanced at my watch.  6:40ish.  Dropping to over a 7 minute pace seemed inevitable and I cursed the 8+ miles I still had to run.  Plus the sun which had warmed us pre-race had vanished behind a grey curtain and I was not as warm as I had hoped.  I wished I had kept the hat.

As I began the long slog down Matunuck Schoolhouse Road there were two guys ahead of me by a couple hundred feet.    Beyond them the rest of the field was waaaay off in the distance.  Behind me I could hear a female voice thanking all the volunteers she ran past.  People had the option to start the race 45 minutes early if they were going to be out there a while and I began to pass them along this road which helped break up the monotony.  I managed to keep the pace in the 7:30s-7:40s on this long stretch and as we approached Green Hill I closed the gap on the guys ahead of me.

The ascent to Green Hill isn't much of a hill but it was enough to slow the guy ahead of me.  I overtook him but once it leveled out the top two women passed me, followed by that guy.  I tried to hang with them but they gapped me.  I popped a gel and once we were back on Green Hill Beach Road I began to feel a little peppier.  I reeled that guy in again just as we hit the outgoing runners and passed him for good.  Back on Matunuck Schoolhouse, I began to pull alongside another guy.  Beyond him was one of the women but the other was long gone.

I passed him just before the righthand turn onto Moonstone Beach Road and caught the woman with a half mile to go on Cards Pond Road.  The adrenaline was helping with this last stretch and I managed 6:25 splits for miles 11 & 12.  There was no bumpy finish on the grass this year - instead we continued along the road and finished at the entrance to the beach.  So I finished in almost the same amount of time as last year...only the course was 1/2 mile shorter.  But considering that I'm getting over the janky knee and beginning to return to decent mileage, I'll take it!  


  1. Well done! Great race and recap!! I wondered if the beard caused any wind resistance?

  2. Nice write-up. Faster times will come back to you.