Pilgrim Pacer Race Report
As The Blonde and I were looking over our training schedule several weeks ago, we noticed that we were supposed to run a half marathon that weekend. Originally, we were just going to run 13.1 in a training run. However, we decided to start looking for a race.
When I started looking around, I noticed that the RunDisney Wine & Dine was going on that weekend. After about an hour’s worth of research, I decided that that was not going to happen. One, flight prices were way too expensive. Two, we would not have been able to get into the race. It was sold out long ago. As luck would have it, the Pilgrim Pacer 5k/10k/Half Marathon/Marathon was taking place a couple of miles away from us at Shawnee Mission Park. So, we decided to sign up for that.
We met up with some friends shortly before the race. The course was an out and back starting at the Theater in the Park. As we got up front to where the start line was, we were trying to figure out where the actual start line was. As I was looking around, a horn went off and we started moving forward. I hit the start button on my watch as I passed the start flag. However, I think it was just an old fashioned start and we just went as a group.
The course started out on a small road. This was nice because it funneled down to a paved trail as we headed through the park. So, one of the strange things about an out and back is that you have to run back over all of the course on your way back. That was sitting in the back of my mind as I ran downhill at the start of the race. Since the road shrunk down to a winding trail, the beginning was a pretty slow pace. But as we came down the hill you could see a good mile in front and I could see the running starting to snake through the woods.
One of the nice things about this race is even though it was small, there was decent support. They had GUs which was nice because that is what we train with. I believe that there were a total of three aid stations which meant five aid stations overall for the half.
I wore my Adidas Gazelles for the race. Unfortunately, I tied them too tight. That was a mistake. After a few miles, I noticed a bit of rubbing. I finally figured out it was the stripes that used a different material was rubbing. The damage was already done. I tried loosening one of the shoes, but that just made it worse at that point, so I tightened it back up and sucked it up.
At the end of the race, I couldn’t wait to get them off. No blood, but certainly had large blisters right where my arches started. I am not sure what to do with them in the future. I really like the shoes as they are firm and lightweight. My knees felt great after the race. Maybe a thin pair of injinis or just not tighten them so much.
My energy for the race felt great. It probably had something to do with having multiple GUs while running. While I did not beat my PR, at the end of the flat part of the race I felt great. I passed a couple of guys around mile 10 and heard “Oh crap!”. I was booking it pretty well at that point. As I mentioned, my knees were fine. I think that that is because the shoes were tight and firm so there was very little movement when I planted my foot.
However, I definitely struggled at the end of the race. The large hill we ran down to start the race, we had to run back up. I had a kid I kept leapfrogging with. My goal was to beat him. Unfortunately, I did not hit that goal. C’est la vie. My official time was 1:58:14. My unofficial time was 1:57:33 @ 13.41 miles.