I had signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon right after I came home after finishing the Harrisburg Half Marathon. I was on a high of finishing my first half marathon and signed up in an adrenaline rush. Little did I know that I will have little time to continue with my practice from then until 11/15/2008. I was in India for the entire month of Ocotober and did not have many opportunities to run long distances.
Weather.com predicted a rainy, wet and windy day in downtown Richmond. Thankfully, the temperature hovered around the low 60s and the rain was reduced to a drizzle by 7 AM. Getting to the event was an ordeal, the traffic was backed up getting into downtown and we (me and friend A who was also running) abandoned the car and our respective wives in it on Interstate 95 and walked/light-jogged about a mile to the start line to arrive there within a minute of the starting gun going off. No stretching, no pre-race regimens, nothing – it was the last thing I had expected how I would start this race.
Anyway, the race started and so did Sindbad Sailor on my mp3 player. All through the race I was hoping to finish gracefully and within two hours fifteen minutes. Somewhere around mile 6, I saw my timing – it was only 57 minutes and I was pleasantly surprised -a two hour finish time seemed like a possibility. I swallowed a pack of Gu and decided to make a go for it. Somewhere around mile eleven my legs started giving up and keeping the pace was becoming increasingly difficult, I realized I was slowing down and eventually crossed the finish line at a chip time of 2:03:39.
It was still a good 20 seconds faster than my time in Harrisburg. I was slightly disappointed that I did not make the two hours time I aimed for at mile six, but then realized that without practice, the above time was still respectable. I was 1275 amongst a total of 3516 runners who finished, 760th amongst all the males and 112th amongst the 227 males in my age group. As always, it was an incredible feeling crossing that finish line amongst cheering crowds. Aiming for a sub 2 hours time next time. Until then – RUN.