I have run Riley's Rumble the previous three years. It is a low-key race that is free for MCRRC members - which makes it popular for cheapskates like me; however, it is very hilly and always run in late July - which makes it not so popular for most normal, sane runners.
I actually ran my first half marathon here in 2006 - and that time was my half marathon PR until this past spring when I did 2 minutes better at the Run For The Shelter half marathon.
Since this was really a training run and not a race for me, I'm not going to give a whole race report. However, I will share a few notes:
- The new course was very similar to the old one. I kinda thought that since it was starting at the Germantown SoccerPlex, that the course wouldn't be over one-lane country roads with tons of hills. Man I was wrong. I did take a look at the course map and the elevation graph (you'll need to click on "Elevation" on the frame on the left), so I knew it would be hilly...but the graph just didn't compute how steep - and long - some of those hills would be.
- The race had more participants than planned due to race-day registrants. This caused a really long line at the porta-pottys (I know...I was waiting for them too). As a result, the race started 10 minutes late - at 7:10am.
- Around the time of the start, it was cloudy in half of the sky and the sun was peeking out of the clouds in the other half (that we were going to run towards). I wasn't sure if I should wear my sunglasses...I decided to bring them with me.
- The problem with starting the race at 7:10am? It started raining - hard - at 7:11am. It would have been nice to at least have had a mile under our belts (and running on tree-lined country roads) when the rain hit. Instead, we were all soaked by the time we got to the 1-mile marker. Why did I bring my sunglasses again??
- My shoe came untied at around mile 3. WTF??? I can't remember the last time my laces untied during a run (I remember another rainy race - my first ever 10K where I had to stop and re-tie my laces...perhaps it had something to do with the rain?). Actually, I had stopped double-knotting my laces earlier this year - I started to tie them differently after reading this article in Runner's World and never had an issue. I guess I'll start to double-knot my shoes for races and/or long runs...
- By the time the rain was gone and the sun was shining (around mile 7 for me), I had nothing that wasn't soaked to try and dry off my sunglasses. I wore them, but I could not see clearly out of them.
- My Garmin luckily worked this morning (unlike for the 8K I ran with Sherry last weekend). However, it seemed to be off from the mile markers by about 1/4 mile by the end. It's kind of frustrating when the .1 of 13.1 is really .4!!
- I kept my HR reasonably low for the first 5 miles (averages of 156 bpm and lower). After that, the hills really killed me. There was a hill between miles 6 and 7 that I needed to walk up (and my HR was in the high 160s after WALKING up the hill).
- For the first 11 miles, my mile splits were mostly in the 10:50 to 11:20 range. Mile 7 was 11:38 (see hills, above) and mile 9 was 12:10. You can see my splits in my training log.
- After mile 11, I found myself walking most of the hills. I'm not used to going this distance in my training yet (I was only supposed to go 11 miles, right?), and I was running out of steam. If I was running this for a particular time I likely would have pushed it, but for me it was a training run...I just wanted to finish it.
All in all it was a nice morning. I chatted with a few people on the course (including another runner originally from New York who will be running in New York...) and was able to do a long run with other runners and water stations along the way.
My final time was 2:32:33 - an 11:39/mile pace. Average HR 158, max of 182.