I hit the “Big 5-0” on Sunday.
No, I’m not 50 years old… not yet.
And I wasn’t recruited by Hawaii 5-0… also not yet.
But the Lexus LaceUp Riverside Half Marathon was a momentous race for me as I completed my 50th half marathon.
That’s right, I’m golden baby.
It took me just under 7 years to log the 655 cumulative race miles (13.1 miles x 50 for those of you bothering to do the math).
Note: In between those halfs I’ve also managed to rack up ten full marathons and twenty 10Ks, but this post isn’t about those.
As I was driving to Riverside on Sunday in the wee hours of the morning (actually it was still technically night), I tried to run through my mind (pardon the pun) all of the prior 49 halfs that I’ve run. That’s a lot of pavement pounding to recall.
I’ve had good races, a few not-so-good and some flat out great memorable ones. So if you’ll bear with me, I wanted to take a just few moments to reflect on some of my past half marathon highlights and lowlights.
SURF CITY HALF MARATHON (Feb. 1, 2009)– You never forget your first! I was a bundle of nerves as I ran my very first 13.1 ‘er with my pace group from AIDS Marathon (T2). We treated it like a standard training run, staying together as a group until the very last mile. And I remember trying to strike a cool pose as I crossed the finish line. If you saw the photo (which I mercifully did not buy) it looked like I was suffering from a full body spasm. Yup, I am so cool.
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL LAS VEGAS (Dec. 4, 2011)– This was my first “bad” race. Running the Las Vegas strip at night sounds like a great idea, but Rock ‘n’ Roll dropped the ball on their first nighttime edition of the race. It was poorly organized and overcrowded- I couldn’t even get to my proper start corral because of the crowds. On top of that, they ran out of water on the latter half of the course. And I just didn’t feel right… I bonked at the 10 mile mark and ended up walking the last three miles. At least the medal was cool and glowed in the dark.
ATLANTA HALF MARATHON (Nov. 28, 2013)– I went into this half with low expectations because I had struggled with my running during 2013. Well, I really earned my turkey that day as I ended up having a really strong race and actually PR’d (at the time) with a 2:10:45.
HOLLYWOOD HALF MARATHON (April 5, 2014)– When I think back over all of my races, this might be the most complete one I’ve done to date. I felt great the entire way and it reflected in a new PR (2:03:14). I might have ended up with an even faster time, but I paced a friend of mine on the course for a few miles before she told me to take off and motor.
DISNEYLAND HALF MARATHON (Aug. 30, 2014)– This one was my low point as races go. For reasons I still don’t understand to this day, I simply ran out of gas 4 miles in. On top of that, my temporary orthotic came apart at mile 6. I had to stop and try and fix it so I could continue. I felt like the grumpiest guy on earth as I ended up walking the final 6 miles back to the happiest place on earth. It was my slowest race to date (2:42:47) and I had to pay $200 (plus convenience fees) for the opportunity to have a totally sucky race. This truly was an oddity best forgotten, as just two weeks later I earned a new PR (2:01:00) at REVEL Big Cottonwood.
REVEL CANYON CITY (Nov. 15, 2014), AVENGERS SUPER-HERO HALF (Nov. 16, 2014 am) & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL LAS VEGAS (Nov. 16, 2014 pm)– Talk about a “marathon” weekend! Myself and several friends set out to see how crazy we truly are when we all signed up to run 3 half marathons on the same weekend. I had one helluva time as I ran REVEL Canyon City on Saturday, then drove to Anaheim for the Super-Hero half on Sunday morning. And then we all jumped on a plane to Vegas to run the R ‘N’ R Half that afternoon. And then I slept. And then I did laundry (lots of laundry). An absolute blast that I’m not sure how I’ll top.
REVEL BIG COTTONWOOD (Sep. 10, 2016)– The Big Cottonwood race is hands down my favorite half marathon course… and not just because it’s a downhill race (although that is a bonus). The course traverses some beautiful mountain terrain outside of Salt Lake City and it’s just an uplifting and tranquil experience. That said, it’s definitely a race to push yourself and run like a madman. So I did. And after almost 7 years of trying to break the 2-hour barrier and falling short, I finally managed to earn my first sub 2 half marathon (1:59:49)… by 10 whole seconds.
So, those are just some of the many memories that come to mind when I ponder my first 50 half marathons. Good times with good friends. And bling. Lot’s of bling.
And next year I’ll start on my next 50 halfs. If I stay on my current pace, I should hit 100 half marathons somewhere around 2022- 2023. Should be fun.
Run golden… and Run on!