Bridge the Gap Half Marathon

 

Saturday, May 14th, I ran the Bridge the Gap Half Marathon in Quincy, IL. This was my third half marathon, coming just 2 weeks after my second.

This is a pretty small race that also has a 10k and a 5k run along with it.

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I arrived around 7:40 for an 8:00 race start. Weather that morning was chilly (50 degrees) and rainy. Fun.

The race actually ended up being delayed about 15 minutes due to some issues with electricity.

Something that made this race special, to me at least, is that it crosses the Mississippi river twice – into Missouri and back to Illinois.

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Bridge #2 and the river while waiting to run.

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Matt snapped this with his iPhone at the start – can you spot my blue hat?

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Oh, hi river. And bridge. And rain, you can go away now.

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I snapped this in the middle of the first bridge – looking at the one I’d return to Illinois on.

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Yeah, that’s how close we were to the river. When I drive on that bridge it feels like I’m going to fall in.

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Some more gorgeous views of the Mississippi from the bluff.

Around mile 6 I put my camera away because the rain had picked up a bit. I felt good all the way through this race. I started off at a good 10:30 – 11:00 min/mile pace and kept an eye on my Garmin to make sure I wasn’t too speedy.

After the 5k and 10k runners all split from the half marathoners, I made sure to grab water or Gatorade at every aid station, which was about every mile or so. After about 45 minutes, I took a Gu every 3 miles or so. This method of fueling and hydration is what I think helped me finish successfully and feel so strong throughout the 13 miles.

The rain sucked, of course, but it was mostly a fine mist/drizzle and wasn’t, like, splattering me in the face or anything, so I dealt. And I feel much more hardcore for having done it, too. The temperature, though, was pretty perfect – not cold enough to need under armor but not so hot I sweat the second I step outside.

My shoes got pretty soaked and I had more soreness in my knees and hips than normal after the finish. But a few pages of newspaper stuffed in my shoes made them like new again in 24 hours.

 

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The only professional picture of me snapped in 13 miles. WTH, man! At least I look pretty good.

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Matt took this one as I crossed the finish line. All I wanted was a juicy cheeseburger and fries at this point. I pretty much though about it the last 2 miles of the race.

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Garmin screenshot – and a new PR! This one blasted last summers PR by about 35 seconds or so. I can’t imagine how fast I’ll get once I get the extra weight off of me.

Oh, and that cheeseburger I had on my mind? It was lunch.

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So, so good. The fries were pretty delicious too. And you know I love me some French fries.

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We also got an appetizer, because it sounded good – cheese balls.

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I’m working my running base back up now, after taking about 3 days off of running. I haven’t run any longer than 3 miles since then, with the intention of giving myself a break before marathon training begins.

So, what you done lately that you’re proud of?

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