May 4, 2014

Snapshots: Potomac River Run Half Marathon

I was looking for a local half marathon to round out the spring season, and I was hoping the Potomac River Run on the C&O Canal could provide a late-season PR in the process. The River Run is a very low-key race, with a noncompetitive wave of half and full marathoners starting at 7:00a, and another at 8:00a. I showed up with enough time to watch the first race take off, pick up my packet from a picnic table, and stretch out for my launch.

I went out quick with the lead pack of half marathoners, clicking off the first few miles in PR pace. The C&O Canal surface of crushed gravel was flat, but it was also unstable and returned no energy when pushing off. So I could feel myself expending a little more energy than usual in the first half. The scenery was nice and there was no traffic save a few locals out early to enjoy the weather. After the turnaround, the heat picked up immediately. The temperature rose by double digits in what was the first real humid day of spring. Without a base of heat training, my pace slipped, and hit a mini wall in the final few miles. I was lifted in the final mile when I saw my wife and toddler, who came out to surprise me, but I finished disappointed with a 1:29:04, almost three minutes off my goal.

I finished second overall, but nothing too exciting considering the competition was mostly casual runners.

Early race takes off
down the C&O.

My #1 (and hungry) fan.

Coming through the finish area.