Sunday, September 28, 2008

Liberty Half Marathon

Conditions were piss poor at today's Liberty Half Marathon in Jersey City, NJ. It was fairly warm and extremely humid/rainy and the course was one of the most lack-luster ever.

The good news was that I felt pretty good at the start. Cruised through mile 1 at 5:40, felt comfortable, I was joking around with a couple of guys as we formed a chase pack . A tight pack of 10 runners were 20 seconds ahead at the mile. I was content to keep things in my world, and clicked off the next two miles in 5:40 and 5:41. At this point the course got shitty, the next mile and a half were on grooved pavement (ie torn up to re-pave), which hurt the shiat out of my feet and ankles. I missed mile 4 but I hit mile 5 at 28:30. Which means I had slowed to 5:45's. At this point I passed a few people and was sitting comfortably in 10th place.

Then we entered liberty park. The next five miles felt like a crappy cross country course, running across soaked grass fields, paved bike paths and dozens upon dozens of 90 degree turns. My rhythm during this part of the race was shit. The path was poorly marked and I almost ran off course several times. All alone and generally pissed off, I just put my head down and ran. I can't recall my mile splits until mile 9, I was at about 51:45 or something and then at 10 miles I was at 57:30.

At ten miles I felt better about the race, I figured that I was good for at least a 17:45 on the last 5k. Unfortunately, wrong. The course got worse, we ran along a bricked path along the Hudson, similar to the path on the waterfront in Fells Point. The bricks were slick, and worse, the turns were frequent and treacherous. In one section, we made four, 90 degree turns in about fifty feet to go around a boat ramp. Ridiculous.

Finally, it was back onto the grooved pavement for another half mile and then through something similar to the harbor place to the finish (wet bricks again!). My last 5K was a disappointing 18:29. But at least I got in, officially, at 1:15:59! I finished 7th overall out of about 1,600. This was not as fast as I had hoped, but hands down, this course sucked, no one ran that fast and the winner, whose PR is 1:07, ran 1:11:35. For a kind of big race with 3,000 dollars in cash prizes, I was disappointed.

In other news, the motel I stayed in the night before was shit-box-hooker-hole and the cops were in the parking lot all night with their sirens on. Ass.


RM said...

Jake, again awesome job. It's nice to see your name breaking up some of my old NJ rivals.

Mike Dixon and Mike Anis (terrible name) are always in the top 10 of every race they do. They must be bff's because I never see them race separately. Dixon pulled out a good one, 1:13, but you snuck Anis.

Then you weren't that far behind Craig Segal. I talked to his coach today and Craig is looking for "2:30" at Philly. Apparently he didn't have a great day, but he's a 24 and change 8k guy.

Last but not least, you beat one of my least favorite people in the world - Bill Hoffman. He went to CBA, the all boys school that has the current national record for dual meets (>320 straight without a loss). In high school we got as close to beating them as we could, but weren't able to finish the job. We did however beat them in track to end a 26 year long dual meet win streak.

gladfelter said...

Jake, sounds like you couldn't have asked for better conditions. Hopefully you had a hooker knock on your door for a late night pre-race snack.