Completed the Bethel Half Marathon, October 10, 2009

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The temperature was in the low 60s with low-slung clouds in the sky and a few drops of rain now and then as I drove to Bethel for my third running of the Bethel Half Marathon.

The turnout looked good.  I guess there were about 200 runners.  I met a few new running friends – Melissa and Jaime – who greeted me with “you’re the dude with the blog, right?”  I hope you had a great time at the race and look forward to seeing you at races in the future.

We started promptly at 8:30 (I’d expect nothing less from the Bethel organizers – this is one of the most buttoned up, well-run races around with great, helpful, friendly people and amazing post-race food and soup).  At about the two-mile mark we split off from the 5k runners as they head back toward the start and we head out in the country and begin to encounter a few rolling hills.  The course features great scenery and, unfortunately, no shortage of fallen wildlife.  Everyone I spoke with after the race seems to remember the translucent (and quite deceased) frog shortly after the 10-mile mark.

About 3-4 miles into the race a classic David Bowie song – Space Oddity – entered my brain and wouldn’t leave.

Ground Control to Major Tom

Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong

Can you hear me, Major Tom?

Can you hear me, Major Tom?

But I was Ground Control and the part of Major Tom was played by my legs.  They just didn’t have much life today and as runners began passing me at a rate I’m unaccustomed to I faced the brutal reality.  I’m bonking.

So I tucked it in, kept running, exchanged pleasantries with the passing runners, enjoyed the scenery and looked forward to the post-race food.  My goal was to break 1:50.  I’ll have to save that for another day.  I slugged across the finish line at 2:00:06.  My third worst half-marathon time out of the 15 half marathons I have run.

But I had some wonderful potato soup and some delicious red bean and rice soup that really hit the spot, replenished my engine and made the bonk another run for the history books.  I had some great chat with running friends afterward and look forward to the Southcliff Black and Blue next week.

Once I see race results I’ll put them up on the blog.


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