The Bentonville Half Marathon 2019 Race Results are posted. Today was the day to find out if all the training and race preparation has achieved the results that we worked so hard for.
If you follow my blog you know that my goal was 1:45:00 or less.
I planned out race morning to make sure my body was nourished and hydrated correctly for a 07:00 AM start. Although, as my wife and I prepared to leave for the race we already knew the weather was not ideal. The organizers of the race were sending communications that the start time “may” be delayed yesterday. But we didn’t know for sure, so I prepared as planned.
I would have much rather they just went ahead and postponed it earlier in the morning, say 4:30 am. I don’t think anyone would have been upset about that at all. We had already been told to check the race social media page on race morning. But alas, no decision had been made by 6:00 AM when we planned to leave the house.
I arrived in downtown Bentonville, AR at around 6:20, found a great parking spot and took a glance at social media to see if a postponement decision had been announced. But, no decision was made until around 6:28. The race had been moved to a 7:30 AM start.
Somehow, this decision to postpone was difficult for them? Probably the city giving them trouble, but who knows. I hope it didn’t have anything to do with some super runner on a committee saying, “we run in the rain”, that wasn’t just rain.
This is only my second time running a half marathon, both times in Bentonville. Last year it was 25 degrees fahrenheit with ice on the road. We all know you are hard core Bentonville, no need to get struck by lightning to prove it. An abundance of caution much earlier in the morning would have been just fine.
I am glad that they finally did postpone the start.
So, I went ahead and drank a little more of my Zippfizz and relaxed in the truck for a while. I knew I would need to hit the restroom again anyway before starting the race. Luckily, we parked at First Baptist Bentonville and they graciously had their gym open for runners to get prepared for the race.
The churches and businesses in downtown Bentonville, along with the volunteers, really help make this race a great experience before and after the race. And the residents that live around the route come out and really cheer on the runners. It is a very enjoyable. There is one particular spot on the route, at the top of “the hill”, where the high school band was playing one of those high energy drum busting songs that get your hype up. I needed that for the last quarter mile for sure.
Well, it was around 6:50 and the rain seemed to just stop. I had stayed in my truck because I didn’t really want to get my shoes wet if I didn’t have too, so I put my race bib on and we went in the gym to use the restroom and stretch.
It was damp and 45 degrees outside when I got to the start line. But it wasn’t raining, and that was something I had prayed for. But the course was very damp. It did start slightly misting when I got to about mile seven until mile eleven, but not bad. Luckily on the race I was able to stay out of puddles until about mile ten, but my right foot wasn’t too wet.
As I went to the start line, I decided I needed to get near the front area of the crowd. I knew that any delays in my pace on mile one could kill my chances of getting to my 1:45 goal. And I was right as you’ll see in my pace chart in the photo gallery. So, my wife took a picture, I kissed her, and headed to the first area of the line.
The first 10 miles of this race had to be ran in a pace that gave me room to be slow on the last 3 miles. You see, the last 3 miles of this race, are all uphill. And in my training, I knew that those last 3 miles were taking me around 0:08:10, 0:08:20 and around 0:10:00.
So my mental math had me needing to be around an average of 0:07:50/mile average on the first 10 miles. I pushed my hard on the downhills and kept myself to stay under 0:07:50 on the flat spots. This put me at an average of around 0:07:41 when I hit mile 10. I had done it!
But, I had not run a full 13.1 miles since last November, when I ran a 1:49. And this was only my third time trying it. So, those last 3 miles, while I had trained on them during my last four long runs, I had not done them after running 10 miles since April 7, 2018. And, I only had a little over 27 minutes to finish. So I basically needed to run an all uphill 5K in less than 27 minutes, after running 10 miles. No biggie.
Here are the results:
Overall, I met all of my goals for this race. Training and mental preparation made it happen. Thank you, Lord, for health, motivation and safety on the journey to reach my goals.