Monday, September 12, 2011

Heart Health Home Classic Half Race Review

Yes, a second Corvallis Half Marathon! And to think, last year, there were none.

So the Habitat for Humanity Heart Heath Home Half Marathon (the 6H for short) was held on Saturday, a day that was predicted to be one of the warmest of the year in Corvallis. And indeed, even waiting around the start line at 7:30am, it was plenty warm. No doubt, it was going to be a hot one.

We hit the start line at Crescent Valley High School at 8:00am sharp, with the 10k and 5k following us, at 8:30 and 9:00, respectively. Around 80 runners lined up for the 6H and zip pow, we were off! We went right around the school, up Jackson Creek Road, and were in McDonald Forest in no time.

And although we started climbing immediately once we were into the Forest, at least we were mostly in the shade and out of the blazing sun. This one did have some nice, stiff climbs. About 1946 feet worth of nice, stiff climbs, according to my trusty Garmin. But what goes up, must come down, yes?

And the down was well worth the wait. Somehow, after running a good part of the race in and around other runners, but never really staying together with anyone at the same pace, I found myself in a group of five runners coming down the hill! And we were motoring pretty good. I was smelling the barn for sure, with my last few mile splits coming in at 8:35, 8:15, 8:07, and 8:21. Man, I love running trails when you're going down.

Finally, we bottomed out and, unfortunately, came back out into the sun for the last mile-plus. I managed to shake three of our little group, but one guy stayed out in front of me and I never caught him. They pulled a late-race, mind-crusher by letting the 5k runners turn off into the high school at the back drive, while sending the Half Marathoners all the way around to the front of the school, about another mile. It's always painful to see the finish, and then have to go on by it.

All in all, a very enjoyable run. It was very, very hot out at the end, but all the racing in McDonald Forest was comfortable enough. Lots of water stops, which made it so I didn't even have to carry a bottle. That was nice.

The shirts? Well, let us not mince words...they're pink. Sure, you could argue shades...but those shirts are pink! Ah well, it's a decent tech shirt; pink or not, I'll wear it.

Check the full results from all three races here. And some nice photos of the event here. Why they took a picture of my butt going through the finish line, I don't know...

And the EPIC 2011 rolls on! Next up: the Good Samaritan Challenge five days!

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