The Kingdom Challenge Half Marathon

Pre-race dinner the night before: sliced cabbage, fried in sesame oil with lentils, black beans and Lee Kum Kee black bean paste; 1/2 lb of ginger snaps; wine. Slept w/ a roll of toilet paper next to me. Luckily it was fast-acting and I crapped a hatload twice before leaving the house in the morning.

Race day: Gilbert showed up at 6:45am. I brought all my gear due to indecision. Forgot check-book, drove back, got more gear. At the race start couldn't decide what the hell to wear - including footwear. Eventually settled on shorts, long-sleep light-baselayer Patagonia, beanie and my KSO's. Yep, figured I'd test drive them on a long run. No problems. Got a bunch of attention. as you can imagine. "Oh, those are so cute!" Yeah, my itty, bitty, widdle toes is all happy babies.

The Race: I don't look back so didn't see that Gilbert was on my ass the entire time. He chased me for the full 13.1, never letting me out of his sight. We crossed the finish line probably 45 seconds apart (official times aren't posted to the web yet and I didn't stick around to find out).

My goal: 1:45. My time: 1:45:01.1 (8:01 min pace)
- ranked 27 out of 155 overall
- ranked 8 out of 21 in male 40-49

Andy's goal: sub-2. Andy's time: 1:45:57.9 (8:05 min pace)
- ranked 32 out of 155 overall
- ranked 9 out of 21 in male 40-49

My PR of 1:41 was on the ultra-flat Leaf Peeper in Waterbury. But this sucker had enough hillage to take my pace down to a 9-10min pace in the steepest parts. I think it's about 600ft of gain, all in the middle, with the highest elevation at about the mid-point of the race between mile 6 & 7. The pitch was suprisingly steep, roughly like the winding hill on 302 going through Crawford Notch just past the AMC Lodge. Not surprisingly, I did most of my passing on the hills. Those were brutal enough to really do damage to many runners.

But we were able to maintain an average 8min pace overall. At this pace I think we could both do a flat Half in sub 1:40.

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