I ran the Dino Half Marathon in Vernal this morning. Completely spur of the moment. I was sitting at my desk yesterday morning and got the urge to race. So I consulted the Salt Lake Running Company race calendar and came up with this one. Registered, made reservations at the spiffy Comfort Inn Vernal and left after work. Got to the "expo" at the Spring Hill Suites (too pricey for me) and then went to eat. Happy to discover that Vernal has a brewpub downtown. Had a Vernal Cheesesteak (I won't say Philly) and some sweet potato fries along with a large pale ale.
Up at 4:30, caffeinated, showered, ate a pro bar and a banana, and headed to the bus pick-up area. Nice charter busses, not school busses. Sat next to a lady in her 30s who was super excited for the race and obviously very proud of herself for running it which halped me with perspective and gratitude. Starting line was in a beautiful area of Dinosaur National Monument. Plenty of pop's, hot chocolate, drinks and Gu's at the start.
Had a nice group of runners for the first 3 or 4 miles before all but one dropped off. I ran conservatively at first and thin settled into a 6:05 to 6:15 pace for the middle miles. Felt really comfortable aerobically but my legs definitely felt my lack of road running and anything other than slow miles the past couple months. Never came close to struggling - my slowest mile was 6:25 and I finished in 1:21:47. Good for 5th place. Plenty of Great Harvest bread, chocolate milk, and entertainment at the finish. Appreciated not having to wait around forever for the awards.
Nice to meet Kenny (formerly "Kenny the Apache" here on the blog). Kenny finished 2nd today in 1:19. He seems like a great kid and has a ton of enthusiasm for this sport. Happy to hear he's going to Utah State in the fall.