Short recap - I ran 1:18:13 for 1st Place at Salt Lake City Half Marathon this morning! It was perfect racing weather (50-60s) and a super well-organized race. I'm so glad I decided to jump into this event!
The Salt Lake Half Marathon is a slightly downhill (-0.8%) course at about 4500 ft. Based on my experience with these downhill races in Utah versus sea level races, I would say that the SLC Half is equivalent, if not a little slower, than a flat sea level course.
Before the race, I ran a quick mile warm-up to the start and then a few strides at half marathon pace. I was happy to see so many familiar faces at the start (basically all of my training buddies). The gun went off, and I immediately settled into goal time pace for the first mile. The half marathon seems to be the only distance that I am very in-tune with the effort level I can maintain.
My friend Adam jumped in to run with me (a nice surprise!) after about a mile, and he stayed around until mile 7 or so. Jake was on a bike around mile 1 as well and the race organization was totally fine with him biking along the course with me. It was fun to have him around for the whole race - this is probably the greatest benefit about lower-key local races. I love it!
I felt pretty strong throughout the whole race - got pretty tired by mile 10, like usual for a half. There was a significant hill from mile 11.5-12.5 that was brutal and made it difficult to get a strong turnover for the last half mile or so. Splits were a bit all over the place, but that was to be expected because of the different inclines throughout the course. I ran 5:49, 5:59, 5:47, 5:43, 6:06, 6:11, 5:53, 6:03, 5:51, 6:05, 5:58, 6:15, 5:55 pace for the last 1.1 miles.
Overall I'm very happy with the race today. I am exactly where I want to be in my training. I have about 8 weeks until the Half Marathon Champs - just enough time for a good buildup to bring that time down!
Ran a cooldown with Jake for 5 miles to get 19 miles for the day. My training group dominated both the marathon and the half marathon today!! It was a fun day!