Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Elevation - San Dieguito Half Marathon Race Report - Feb 8th, 2009

1:19:32 (PR by 2:16) (16/1302 Overall) (3/85 - M25-29)
Having escaped the snow of Vancouver for a week holiday and bike riding in San Diego I found out about a half marathon being held the morning after my arrival. The prospect of having a run in the sun and away from below zero temperatures appealed so I signed up and after 24 hours of driving and a nights sleep I found myself at the start line of the San Dieguito Half marathon. Based on my review of the course profile it was a rolling course however how the degree of rolls was not something that I had envisaged.
After the anthem gun goes and myself and 1300 others are off and rolling (literally) along the roads of San Diego. Based on the course map my race plan was to "give it" on the downhills, hit my tempo on the flats manage heart rate on the up hills. After about 600m of the starting descent I found myself with only a highway patrol motorbike ahead of me and in the race lead which was a little bizarre. The first climb then begun at 1km and I settled into my race plan and started to drop back into the pack a little as I started a 2 mile ascent with 250 feet of elevation gain. This is when I stated to learn how rolling this course really was!!!
After about 6 mile and a 200 yard pitch that must have been close to 10% in gradient I was in 16th pace and still waiting to find a flat section of the course to set my tempo. Coming through the turn around loop part of the course I was about a minute or so behind the next competitor and had a few people behind including the women's leader and past kona winner Heather Fuhr and further back was Michellie Jones a winner at Kona just 2 years ago. It was a bizarre scenario to be racing in a field with stars of triathlon like that but I suppose this is San Diego. Survived the rolls back towards the end and gave it for the 2 mile decent before slugging uphill for the last mile.
The race was a fun race with a scenic course although spent most of my time focussing on the next hill and where the next turn in the road was. The end result was a new personal record of 1:19:32 and 16/1302 Overall and 3/85 in the M25-29 division. This made it 6 PR's in my last 6 races with a firm belief I can run sub 1:16 for the distance on any course that doesn't have the 574 feet of elevation gain that this course presented.

Results at

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