The 2006 Kinetic Half was a well-organized enjoyable race. I’d heard good things about Set-Up, Inc. and they lived up to my expectations. Weather reports were predicting thunderstorms and hail, but the only adverse conditions I experienced occurred on the first loop of the two-loop bike course.
I met the couple who owns CGI Racing (http://www.cgievents.com/cgiracing/index.html) Larry and Michelle Redrow. They were volunteering on Friday and Saturday and racing the sprint on Sunday. Turns out they live in the same small Jersey town my college roommate grew up and still lives in (Wenonah), and they know him real well! What a small world it is.
Anyway, I chose the Kinetic Half because I had such a miserable experience on the run at 2005 Eagleman that I vowed never again to do a long course race in June, July or August. I really had no goals for this race as I’ve been trying to recover from an I-T problem since the B&A half on March 5th. I’ve run a grand total of 30 miles in the last 6 weeks, and haven’t done a brick since November. My cycling’s been pretty limited too, as that was actually making the pesky I-T band injury hurt worse than running. So, for what it’s worth, I discovered that I’ve built a strong enough base over the last 3 or 4 years that I can finish a Half-Ironman on a challenging course in a respectable time without training properly! (Please kids, don’t try this at home)
Swim - 37:34
Age Place (40-44 male) – 5/16
Overall Place – 107/221
The swim was a lot of fun. It was a beach start with 3 waves, 8:00, 8:04, and 8:08 for 221 participants. The course was 2 clockwise loops of a triangular course. Between loops we exited the water. This was great for the spectators and I enjoyed it too, as it broke up the monotony of the swim. Water temp was comfortable and my new Xterra Vengeance full suit was magical! I was so comfortable on the swim that I was able to play with my stroke to keep me entertained. I would switch between short, choppy strokes and long, gliding strokes.
Bike - 2:43:23
Rate – 20.1
Age Place (40-44 male) – 7/16
Overall Place – 54/221
The bike course was great – rolling hills, several Lake Anna bridge crossings, some real good downhills without the uphills to go along with them (I know this sounds impossible, but it really seemed that way). It started raining at about mile 2 and rained on and off until about mile 20. It was just a slight annoyance, and it made the second loop more pleasant since it was dry. There was only one uphill that I considered steep, and this was after the 4th bridge crossing. George Jacobs (Jake) caught me at about mile 40, we chatted for a moment, and he took off and was shortly outta’ sight. I also saw Tim Maxey on the bike. I was happy with my performance on the bike, being passed only by a few of the other Half participants, and several of the leaders in the Quarter (lucky for me it was labeled on their calf).
Actual – 1:57:51
Pace – 8:59
Age Place (40-44 male) – 8/16
Overall Place – 98/221
The run course was 2 loops on the roads through the park. The course was lined with well-stocked aid stations and eager volunteers. Jake and I ran together for the first 4 or 5 miles, and then he left me in the dust. I think I only had one “good” mile, Mile 2 at a pace of 7:45. I got chicked at least 5 times on the run, and only passed a few people. Overall though, where I came out of the water was pretty much where I finished the race. I did manage to run the whole time, but I was disappointed with my run performance.
All in all it was a great catered workout. The rain started up right as I finished but it didn’t really put a damper on the festivities since it was still fairly warm and everyone was coming in off the run. There was a big tent to take cover in, eat, and watch the finish.
The food was from a catering company in North Carolina called Papa Bear’s with all the red beans and rice you could eat, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Papa said he goes to all the Set-Up, Inc. races. One thing Setup needs to add is a post-race massage tent. Whether the cost is free, subsidized, or full I find them quite beneficial. In fact, I think every race that includes a 13-mile run or longer should have this.
Of the 10 or 12 people I knew in the race (and those I met) 6 of them got awards.
If I do this again next year (which is likely), I’m going to find a B&B to stay at near the lake. The closest hotels are all in Fredericksburg which is still a 45 minute drive to the race site. Participation in this race increased dramatically, with about 100 athletes last year and 221 this year. The Quarter (modified Olympic distance) drew another 150 people.