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Friday, March 22, 2019

From the drafts folder.... Race Recap: Run to the Pub 2019

Oiselle Montana team members afterwards

[This recap has been sitting in my drafts for MONTHS, so I think it's time to publish!] Run to the
Pub took place on March 16, 2019 in Bozeman, Montana. There were two distances: 10k and half marathon. I ran the 10k.

Pre Race
The weather on Saturday was chilly (24-31ยบ), but the sun was out which made it much more pleasant than last year. We rode the shuttle bus, arrived at the start, and immediately got in line for the bathroom. The line was crazy long and kind of unorganized, but we made it.

I had one goal: finish faster than last year. I got stuck in "traffic," so I knew I could improve miles 1 and 2. My 10k PR is from sea level, so I didn't think I could beat that.

The Race
Last year I got stuck behind walkers, so my friend Megan and I stood closer to the start line. This is a very popular race and for some reason there aren't corrals (or flags denoting pace), so it's kind of a cluster. We probably should have lined up even closer to the front. There were only a few walkers, but they were smack dab in the middle of the road. As always, I support racers of all speeds, but it can become such a mess when slower folks cause fast runners to dodge and weave. We had a few near collisions. (/rant over)

Even though Megan and I lined up together, I didn't expect to run with her. I knew I couldn't talk if I wanted to run relatively fast and for the most part we kept the chatting to a minimum. By the time we turned the corner onto Goldenstein we were finished dodging most of the walking/slower traffic.
Mile 1: 8:23 (last year: 10:12)

Around mile 1.5 we turned into a neighborhood to do a little horseshoe-shaped out and back. I knew this part was going to suck. First off, the street doesn't get much sun and it was fully covered in snow and slush. Second, we saw someone slip on ice when they turned. And third, even though it seems flat, it's a gradual hill. I'm glad I wore my trail shoes for this mile of slippery packed snow.
Mile 2: 8:34 (last year: 9:11)

We finished the neighborhood horseshoe (at this point I was slightly ahead of Megan, probably because she was wearing road shoes) and I tried to prepare for THE HILL. It's only 60+ feet over 3 tenths of a mile, but it's tough for me. My pace dropped a ton and I moaned to Megan. BUT I didn't stop because 1. I didn't stop last year and 2. there are two hills in my next 10k. It totally sucked, but I got through it.
Mile 3: 8:55 (last year: 9:02)

We turned onto Sourdough and began the downhill. There are a few baby hills, but overall it is a large net downhill. At this point, the half marathoners that started 45 minutes earlier were catching up and I found myself trying to match their pace, then getting tired. Besides that, I felt mostly good.
Mile 4: 8:16 (last year: 8:38)

Mile 5 and 6 were tough because I wanted to be done (obviously) and to stay with Megan, but also didn't want to hold her back. I have no idea what was going on in her race because she looked like she was out for an easy run. We were both breathing hard, but occasionally I'd say "ughhh" or "go ahead" and she'd tell me she wasn't leaving and that I could do it. She had lots of positive things to say. Wish I remembered them all! ;)
Mile 5: 8:25 (last year: 8:38)

By the time we got into mile 6 I was toast. I was paces behind Megan. I once again said something like, "ok bye" and she said nice things like, "you can do this" etc... but she caught my drift and didn't hold back any more. I stayed close to her for the rest of the race, but I couldn't gain those three or four steps to keep us even. At this point I was just trying to keep running. If she wasn't there I might have walked(?!). Ok, probably not.

Another motivator: I did not want to get passed by my Oiselle teammates running the half marathon. Last year three teammates passed me at various spots along the course and it kind of sucked. So far, no passing.

Anyway, we passed Peet's Hill, which is a park close to downtown, so I knew it was time to kick it up. I got a second (or third?) wind, which helped power me to the finish. My pace went down into the 7s, though I slowed into the chute. Some people passed me, but I only finished 7 seconds behind Megan.
Mile 6: 8:11 (last year: 8:29)

Cool event video

Post Race
Afterwards I met up with Oiselle teammates and other Bozeman friends. We had our free beers, tasty mimosas, and good food while we waited for the prize drawing (a trip to Ireland). Sadly, none of us won the trip. Maybe next year...

Final Stats and Thoughts 
Time: 50:55
Pace: 8:13 race site / 8:27 GPS (short course)
Overall: 324 / 2540 (12.7%)
Gender: 103 / 1684 (6%)
Age Group: 41 / 542 (7.5%)

I'm pleased I ran faster than last year (53:40), but a little bummed about the neighborhood + hill mile being the same pace. We didn't have snow/slush last year, so I suppose it was a great effort overall. I felt really tired in mile 6, but recovered immediately. I hope this translates into a faster Tenacious Ten performance.

It was a "PR" if you look at overall time, but I won't count it because the course was short. Pace-wise, Tenacious Ten is still my fastest. But, hey, at least this was a Bozeman PR! Running mid to low 8s in Bozeman is something to be proud of!

It was a fun day. (Me and Megan)

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