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2004-07-25 - Riley's Rumble Half Marathon

13+ miles @ ~10 min/mi

Hilly and fun, on a day of optimal weather (cloudy, cool, slight drizzle). I finish breathing hard but in relative comfort, within seconds of an overall 10 minute/mile pace, and thus slice ~8 minutes off last year's result (see RileysRumble). This might not be a Personal Record, however, since I foolishly did the first half of the 2002 Marathon in the Parks (see Rocky Run) in about the same time before hitting the wall.

But today my pacing is far better, thanks to the pleasant companionship of Rene & Suzanne for the first several miles. We chat about training, family, work, vacations, marathon plans, etc. I reach the turnaround point in 68 minutes for a net "negative split". A big shaggy brown llama eyes us as we pass by, and I get into a small debate with a fellow traveler about how to pronounce the animal's name (and can't resist saying, "Como se llama?"). Aid stations are frequent, so I don't need to drink out of the water bottle I'm carrying --- instead I use it to pour liquid over my head for evaporative cooling. At the end of the race I feel strong and "sprint" as much of the final miles as I can, achieving a pace in the 8-9 minute/mile zone for that segment.