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2013-09-08 - Parks Half Marathon 2013

13.1 miles @ ~8.2 min/mi

Kate Abbott and Mark Zimmermann at the 2013 Parks Half Marathon finish lineA cool morning gives a monster ~5 minute PB (Personal Best) improvement in this year's Parks Half Marathon. Many tnx to Kate Abbott for snookering me into running it, and for training with me!

I push hard the whole way, maintain a level pace after the first two downhill miles, take a couple of Succeed! electrolyte capsules before the start, suck down an energy gel every half hour or so, and drink as much Gatorade as I can at every aid station. Nervous stretches commence halfway through, when visions surface of fly-and-die cramp-up in the final miles — but fortunately that doesn't happen. I chase down and pass folks who went out a little too fast, and salute volunteers and county police at road crossings.

Memories: a bagpiper at mile ~2 (transition from Veirs Mill Rd to Rock Creek Trail) and a baby grand piano played by a guy in a tuxedo at mile ~6, in Ken-Gar Park ... greetings to and from Tom Black, Anny Rosenfeld, Alyssa Soumoff ... MCRRC announcer Lyman Jordan embarrasses me at the start by calling me out by name as the third wave gets ready ... an overmuscled "Mr Incredible" cartoon character in a hypermuscular suit at mile ~5 salutes me as he dances to the tune of "Born to Run" ... elite Michael Wardian jogs back along the course after finishing in 1:12, greeting competitors and encouraging them ...

Kate borrows my Garmin wrist GPS (hers is kaput at the moment) and finishes in about 2:02, near Emaad Burki who almost but not quite gets under 2 hours. We skip the finish-line pizza and walk back to my car in the Bethesda garage where Kate met me before 6am, drive back to Rockville (with a stop for coffee and muffin breakfast at McDonalds), get Kate into her car, and part ways.

What a day!

Mark Zimmermann near mile 10 - photo by Danny TalmageSplits, from my watch based on the mile markers: 7.3 + 7.5 + 8.5 + 8.2 + 8.1 + 8.4 + 8.3 + 8.2 + 8.1 + 8.2 + 8.3 + 8.4 + 8.2 and 0.9 min final fraction.

Official result: overall 434th place, 6th of 42 in the male 60-64 year cohort, chip time 1:46:39, gun time 1:50:13 (starting in the third wave), average pace 8:09 min/mi. Total finishers: 1141 women (96 of them ahead of me) and 1145 men (337 ahead of me).

Runkeeper has the trackfile for the run, based on the iPhone GPS.

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/PHM_z_Steve_Zuraf.jpg

(cf. 2008-09-14 - Parks Half Marathon Plus, 2009-09-13 - Double Parks Half Marathon, 2010-09-12 - Parks Half Marathon Plus, 2011-09-11 - Parks Half Marathon, ...) - ^z - 2013-09-25

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