Average pace: 6:26
This was my first B&A Trail race I'll return. Except for some
confusion about which direction we head at the start (kind of
important, I think), it was well organized and a pleasant small race (about 650 in the half marathon). We got a nice vest in the goodie bag as opposed to the ubiquitious t-shirt. Access to the high school was a nice plus (plenty of parking, warm restrooms and post-race showers) the apparently well kept secret is to use the restrooms on the second floor unlike the first floor, there were virtually no lines on the second all morning. (Shhh.... Keep it in the Club)
It was great seeing or meeting all the MMTC'ers today Chip, Dave Wheeler, Michele McG, Helen, Dave King and others, as well as Chuck Potter, who must be (at least) an honorary MMTC member. We have a very supportive team and associated team in CMS.
The weather was crisp: high twenties to low thirties at the start (prob high thirties wind chill at the finish), light NW breeze and clear skies. I opted for long sleeves, a hat, gloves and tights it was a good decision. I was comfortable running but chilled immediately as soon as I stopped.
I had planned to run the marathon primarily because my work
schedule originally precluded running the Shamrock Marathon on 3/16 and I wanted a March marathon. My work schedule changed and the Shamrock is back on for me, so I switched to the B&A Half Marathon. (The flexibility at B&A is refreshing). My latest plan was to use the B&A Half as a tune up for a run at sub-3 at the Shamrock, which has been my PR course for the past 3 years.
My goals were simple: 1) don't annoy the Achilles; 2) run sub-6:30 average pace; and 3) if possible, go under 1:25. It was a good day and I made all three goals. (My Garmin disputes the B&A times, reporting a 1:24:04 and an average pace of 6:21 -- I haven't bothered to do the math).
My splits were fairly steady: 2 miles under 13 minutes, 4 miles
under 26 minutes, 6 miles @ about 39 minutes, 8 miles just under 52, and ten miles at about 1:04. I didn't feel as strong at the finish as I did in the Tampa 15K last month, but I recovered within a few minutes of finishing that and today's steady pace are a good sign for the Shamrock where I'm shooting for a MGP of 6:45.
The B&A course is pleasant only one modest hill around mile 7 after the turnaround. I ran most of the race in a group of 2-4 runners we took turns drafting on the way back in the light WNW winds. There are definitely some fast guys who run this race my age group winner ran a 1:15 and one guy I drafted on told me he'd run 29 consecutive Boston Marathons and once ran three sub-2:30 marathons within six weeks! If he hadn't been cramping, he'd have left me in the dust!
Post-race was pleasant warm showers, good MMTC and CMS company, plenty of drink (hot cider) and food although light on the protein. (Fortunately, I had a bottle of ISOPURE 40 g of liquid protein).
Great to see the MMTC colors and even better to hear the shouts of "Go Mid Maryland!" during the race.