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Dexter – Ann Arbor Half Marathon

As I left my home very early, at least for me, at 5:30 AM on Sunday June 4th the rain was pouring down.   My first race of the year in the rain or perhaps the weather would be much better by the start of the race.  As I arrived in Ann Arbor the rain had slowed up to a light drizzle and the temperature was at a good running temperature.   After finding a parking spot, I got in line for the bus ride to the starting line.  Once on the bus I talked with a few other runners and discovered that this race was a yearly favorite of runners in the Ann Arbor area.  They also had some fun in warning me about some of the hills on the course, but in the friendly runner mentality they scared the rookie, and then reassured me that I would be fine.  At the start of the race I stayed at a good slow pace and did not try to pass everyone.  “Remember that we are running 13.1 miles today, not a 5K.”  I kept telling myself.  The course was nice and scenic. Except for all of us runners that were out while most people were still sleeping, the roads on the course would have been very peaceful on a normal Sunday morning.  The fact that this was my first time running the course helped make it fun by not knowing what was around the next turn.   As I was warned on the bus ride earlier that morning I met up with the first hill around the 6 mile point.  The hill was tall and at the top a sign was there to greet everyone – Mt. Delhi Elevation 600+ ft.  I do not remember the exact feet but I know it was 600 something.  So after the nice climb a reward of down hills were in store.  As I continued on I knew that another hill towards the end was in store.  Not only from the warning before the race but during some race chatter that fact had also came up.  I wonder if some race directors add hills at the end of a race to make for an exciting ending as if they were a writer looking for a big ending to their story?  Around the 12 mile point the famous hill began to show itself.  The warnings were accurate.  Just as you are about to speed up knowing that the end is near, the course began to incline sharply upward, turn some, and continue to incline.  It felt like a nasty hill, at least for me, especially at the end of the race.  I was proud of myself that I was able to make it up the entire hill without walking, and then continued on to the finish.  The last half mile was fun, lots of people watching and cheering the runners on.  My official time was 1:51:16 at an 8:30 pace.  I had achieved my goal of under 2 hours and also obtained another personal record.   Thanks to everyone’s coaching and support I have already seen major improvement in my running, and set three personal records this year.  Seeing improvement is always a great motivator to train hard.    


June 5, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Great job Al. Maybe we\’ll add hill training into the schedule.

    Comment by Downtown | June 8, 2006 | Reply

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