Sunday, April 09, 2006


Until today, anytime someone mentioned Xenia, I thought of tornadoes. After today, I'll think of a very walker-friendly half marathon and a great sunny day.

Xenia is a littler farther from Columbus than I thought. I drove out on Saturday to pick up my number and find out where I needed to go. I'm glad I did! It was more than an hour away and I had anticipated about 40 min.

I got up at 5:30, and left the house at 6 to be sure to get there in time for the 8 a.m. start and to pick up my chip before the race. I arrived at 7:15, did everything I needed, took a 5 min nap in the car (I needed more), and was ready for the 8 a.m. start. Unfortunately, the race started at 8:30! So I ended up standing in line for the port-a-johns a second time and realized I could have slept!

There are a lot of fast walkers in this area of Ohio. I'm not one of them. I started out way in the back and eventually ended up passing a few people. There were many, many more walkers with great racewalking form ahead of me and I had no shot at catching them. Within the first mile I caught up to Murray. I had planned to chat with him until one of us needed to speed up or slow down. About 13 miles later we finished faster than 3:20.

As many of you know, my training didn't not go as well as I had intended so my main goal was to just finish. I don't know what happened but I was able to hover around a 15-min mile. It felt great! We finished at least 10-15 min faster than I had anticipated. And Murray had a personal best!

With the sun, the mostly cool temps, and good company, it was easy to maintain a steady pace. I didn't really pay much attention to the blister developing my right foot. (I guess it wasn't the socks that caused a blister last time. It is the shoes.)

For anyone who wants a straight-forward, low-key and friendly half, I would highly recommend this one, put on by the ORRRC.

Thanks for keeping me company, Murray! I'll look for you at future half marathons!

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