Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 Air Force Half Marathon

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Air Force Half Marathon

See my Air Force Half Marathon Picture Album

B-52 Flyover

It was a great day for a race with perfect weather, B-52 & F-16 flyovers, and a perfect venue!

With my training off, my goal here was to just listen to my body and have a safe and fun run. The start line was very congested with many, many walkers who had started way up front. It was difficult to get around them. Nonetheless, my pace was a little too fast. I was feeling good and I guess I let it throttle up a bit. 

We ran down a tree-lined narrow country road into the Huffman Prairie Air Field National Historical Park. The trees offered some nice, cool shade. Once we exited the trees, we were exposed to the sun as we ran for a few miles in some open areas. I spotted a Wright Flyer overhead. Very cool.

I was feeling pretty good but I needed to hydrate better. The aid stations were a little sparse on the water and Gatorade rations. In several cases, my cup had only about two tablespoons worth of liquid. I took a couple of Endurolytes. They really helped as the temperature and my sweat rate began to rise. 

At around mile 10, my heart rate was getting a little too high so I used a few walk breaks. I then got a second wind to help finish the race. There was only one hill of note and it was really not a hill, but an overpass into Fairborn and then into Wright State

The aid stations in the last few miles were entertaining with "Music from the '80s" and "Revenge of the Nerds" themes, for example. The crowd support was better during last few miles as well since we were just outside the base. Our bibs had our first name printed on them so it was fun to hear someone call out my name. At one aid station, a small girl yelled out "Way to go Ed!". It was funny coming from such a small fry. 

As we finished mile 12 down a small hill, the sounds of the finish line and the announcer could be heard. This motivated everyone to pick up the pace. Having run this race last year, I held back, knowing there was still a ways to go. In fact, the last mile is in sight of the finish, which makes it hard since the finish appears closer than it really is so that many runners put the afterburners on too early. The runways leading up to the finish at the Air Force Museum are very long. You have to be patient in running to the finish. 

As I rounded the last turn and headed into the finish chute, the large crowd was cheering all of the runners. It was thrilling. I crossed the finish very happy and was proud and honored to be medaled by an Air Force officer.

I then grabbed some food and water and relaxed on the grass when I then saw my friend Mike Federle. We had originally met earlier this year at the Flying Pig. We have kept in touch via Daily Mile. We also got together at the Expo on Friday. Mike's a great guy and we enjoyed sharing our race stories. We then drank a free beer to celebrate the race.

After I changed clothes, I toured the Air Force Museum. I love this museum. They have done a great job. Since I started my career in aviation, it brought back a lot of memories in checking out these historic aircraft. It was a great way to cap off the day before I drove back home. I loved this race and venue. Thank you Air Force and all those who helped make this a great day!

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