This race was A-MAZ-ING. This is why I run. For races like this.
The weather was so perfect - first race day I've ever had weather like that. Calm, clear and slightly cooler earlier in the morning: 50s when we started, probably high 60s when we finished. Ironic - this is the first year I've run this one because I've always been nervous about it being too hot. Figures.
My friend Jill and her husband picked us up at 6:10a, and we headed down to Memorial Union to catch up with some other friends beforehand. The start line energy and music were great - we were very impressed. We all agreed that the college kids on Langdon were enjoying the pre-race music at 6:50am as much as we were.
We started pretty easy - Jill and I wanted to pace about 10 min miles at the beginning so we wouldn't burn out. Tim took off from us around mile 2 and that's the last we saw of him until the end.
The race course was awesome - all Madison/UW sights and places. Loved every minute of it. Jill and I were calling out all the places we lived during college - I'm pretty sure we ran past all of them, so it was a little trip into the past.
When we came out of the Arboretum at mile 7 ish, we were making really good time, and both felt strong. I told Jill that there's a possibility that I could PR. And she said, well then let's do it.
My friend Angie joined us at mile 9.5 and ran with us the rest of the way too, which was great. I think she's picked up the running bug again to do another half this fall. Yay!
Rounding mile 11 near picnic point entrance, I was still feeling really strong and was running a sub 9 minute mile (for me, really fast). I decided that this is why you train, for moments like this, and wanted to test my body and see how far we could take this. So I ran about an 8:30 pace for the last two miles, which is the fastest I've run for that amount of time. Crossed the finish line sprinting with a huge smile on my face.
Official time: 2:05:44 - a new personal record. Previous time was 2:07:12. Jill ran her first half marathon in 2:06, which is so awesome. And Tim also PR'd with a 1:55.
Chocolate milk, beer and hanging out with friends on the terrace post-race capped off a perfect morning. Can't wait to tackle another full in the fall.