This was my third half and my target was to beat the 2 hours barrier. The day started with 28F, clear skies, no breeze. Got to the start line at a decent time so that I had time to stretch and warm up (unlike the last minute scramble at Richmond). I was debating whether to wear the long under armor tights or shorts – eventually went with the shorts, the key body parts to cover were hands and ears and the nike gloves and the headphones worked out just fine. Anyway, the race started at 7 AM and it was still dark. The Sun rose at about 7:10 AM slightly after the first mile. I was feeling a slight pain in my right foot at the start of the race, but it eventually went away by mile 2. The course was mostly flat and went through many key DC landmarks and neighborhoods- Capitol Hill, the monuments on Constitution, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Children’s National Hospital, Armory etc. The crowd support was fantastic – loved the fresh orange slices that people were offering (not from race organizers) and of course – beer!! Anyway, I was completely at ease by mile 4, the pace was set, heart rate steady and was overall feeling great and the 2 hours target seemed completely doable. The last mile was brutal (as usual) and crossed the finish line with the race clock showing 2:01. The overall net time was 1:58:09 and I couldn’t have been happier. All eyes on Chicago now.