I need to write this race report before I post my results and picture/blog link/audio at the www.worldwidehalf.com website.
When and in what city for my World Wide Half was up in the air for a while. And, it wasn’t until Friday that I had my course planned out, more on that later. But I stayed patient and was willing to see how things were going to play out and go from there.
My Lovely and Talented Wife was away on a retreat event this weekend and there had been some talk that I would bring the kids and Cris to Florida for a little Disney. I figured that if this was the case that a couple people in Florida both friends and family would be willing to help out a runner in need. However, talking the kids to Disney was cost prohibitive and logisitcally a little difficult. So, by Wednesday, I knew that I was going to be running it here in Knoxville. My Go-To babysitter for the weekends was going to be out of town over the weekend and Cris, who I could have gotten to watch the kids for a little extra wanted to go to Atlanta. So, I here I was in Knoxville with two kids and a Half Marathon to run. No Problem.
I had be mentally preparing to run with the kids for a few days (since it seemed that I would have the kids to myself) and had a clue that since I had such a good Big South Fork Race, that I would be able to run with the kids in a double stroller for a half marathon, especially if it was a course less punishing that the BSF course.
At some point, it donned on me that the City of Knoxville was putting on a brand new race, CrossKnox 15k, the same morning. Why was this a problem? About 96% of my course was on the CrossKNox 15k course AND in the opposite direction! So I would have to wait until the afternoon.
Around 2:45pm we arrived at the trailhead of the 3rd Creek Greenway. I unpacked the double stroller from the car and loaded it up with (not enough) snacks and (plenty of) drinks for everyone. I put on the rest of running gear, my iRiver, CamelBak and put my Bib on the base of the stroller.
Heading out on the course, the front left wheel was shaking erratically. I think because there was a weight discrepancy between The Elder and The Younger. I was imaging that it was going to be a loooong 13.1 miles with the wheel shaking like this. Frustrated, I stopped and moved as much weight over to The Younger’s side that I could and that helped out some but not alot. Then I got the bright idea to lock the wheels so that the front wheels are stationary. When the wheels are unlocked, you can turn very easily. By locking the wheels, turning requires much more effort, but is much easier to run with in this configuration because you don’t have to do as much correcting the stroller. Well, locking the wheels worked! Now, I was off and racing.
During part of the run on 3rd Creek you pass underneath the RailRoad tracks and sure enough, there was a train on the tracks. So, we had to watch the train up close (about 30′ away or so) until it passed.
The first 2 (and subsequently the last 2) miles of my course (see course here) had rolling hills and every now and then a steep (but short) hill. Now, the kids loved going on the downhill. So that I wouldn’t pull anything, I let Gravity do the work on the downhill and I opened up my stride to run faster on the downhills. The kids, they opened their lungs and screamed on the downhills. The kids even said, “Let’s do that again daddy.” Breathing heavy, I told them that we’d be back… and I’d have to run back UP all the downhills.
We passed Tyson Park which has a huge playground. It was FULL of kids and I didn’t want to stop 2.5 miles into the run to let them play. I told the kids that we’d be back and we could play on the playground, but we had Trains, Bridges and Rivers to see.
At mile 4.25, we stopped at one of Knoxville’s Waste Water Treatment plants. The purpose of this was 2-fold. 1) I wanted to get something to drink and 2) I wanted to take a picture for the Dump Runner’s Club. I have run past this so many times, but I had never run TO it. So, I used this 4.25 mile run as my Dump Runner Qualifying run in addition to the WWH run. Man, talk about Double Dipping!
The Kids Love the CamelBak!
We continued on Neyland Greenway until Volunteer Landing and from there it transfers to the James White Greenway (very familiar territory). At the halfway turn-around, we stopped for about 10 minutes for snack and drinks. I tried a new (to me) energy chews (think Gummy Bear but with extra goodness) called Sharkies. The kids didn’t like them, but I liked the Berry Blast Flavor. It wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I FINALLY found some Clif Bloks that everyone had been talking about! I like the Cola Flavored Clif Blok but only while running, I didn’t like it (as much) as a pre-race snack. The Orange flavor isn’t bad either. I had tried the Black Cherry last week and it was passable, but not my fave. (hmm, I see a margarita flavor on the website… mmmmmmmmmmm)
Very shortly after starting back to the finishline, an engine passed by, you can see the video in my post, Like Mavis. You can see how close the tracks are and I think the kids really liked seeing the train so close but it was loud!
On the way back, things went without incident. I could tell in the 9th mile that I was running pretty strong. Knowing that the course was flatter here and that the playground wasn’t too much further up ahead, I decided to push the pace some. You’ll see from the split times that I was able to push it pretty hard during this time.
We must have stayed at the playground for about 30 minutes or so… the kids deserved it.
The last 2 miles were pretty difficult from an effort stand point. Although I had enough energy to run the distance, those rolling hills seemed a little bit bigger and a little bit longer on the way back. The kids, though, still had the same amount of excitement. In fact not only did they scream loud during the downhill, but they decided to scream until the next hill. What was funny was that when one of them would start to get tired and wane in volume, the other would pick up the volume and scream louder. Then the other would scream louder. This provided alot of entertainment for passing runners/bikers as they smiled as they saw the kids enjoying themselves.
We pulled into the finish line at 5:09pm. We completed the WorldWideHalf event in 3 hours 9 minutes and 19 seconds, my official 2007 World Wide Half Marathon time.
Here are the split times, since I kept track of my actual running time:
Mile 1 & 2 – 20:42 (10:21 pace)
Mile 3 – 9:45
Mile 4 – 10:17
Mile 5 – 10:33
Mile 6.1 – 10:01 (9:07 pace) I included the 0.1 in this split. Probably helped that this was the flatest section of the whole course and that we took that rest break in the middle
Mile 7.1 – 11:03
Mile 8.1 – 10:13
Mile 9.1 – 10:20
Mile 10.1 – 9:31
Mile 11.1 – 9:46 This mile included the Playground stop
Mile 12.1 & 13.1 – 19:56 (9:58 pace)
Total Run time 2:12:08
Runners, see how changing your pace can actually help you? I pushed the pace during the 9th mile and that carried over, even toward the last part of the race even with the hills at the end. The only caveat is that I did have a 20 minute rest break at the playground, but it wasn’t as if I was sitting down, I did still have to tend to the kids. Intervals, Babeeeeeeeeeee!
So there’s my World Wide Half Marathon report. I now get to download my finisher’s certificate! I am about 1/4 of the way through processing the audio for a new episode of Gravity@1053′ and I shooting for this week sometime. Congratulations to all the participants of this year’s events, if you have any suggestions on how we can improve this event, please go to www.worldwidehalf.com and leave a comment on the Forum or email the Race Directors.