This is an abbreviated race report, After missing last years Rutgers 13.1 (due to a schedule conflict with Cherry Blossom 10k) , Christine and I once again were back to take on the Rutgers/Unite 13.1 half marathon. Weather was perfect clear blue skies and temps in the high 50’s at the race start. Christine would be making her return to running (racing) after taking a year off, due to her bad back..
Rutgers Unite 13.1 recap (2016 edition)
The half-marathon course, was again changed from the last few years. I actually like this course, there was more doubling back than prior courses. As before this road race traversing most of Rutgers new Brunswick campuses. This year we spent more of time in the Pistcataway area of the campus and were spared the long loop at the end in the park. Overall I liked this course , as the miles appeared “earlier”.
I was mostly planning to run very conservatively and really didn’t have the motivation or fitness to try to challenge my PR on this course. So I settled in to a nice 8:30-9:00 /mile pace, and enjoyed the event. Mile 3 is always the fastest (mostly downhill), road surfaces are a bit sketchy in the first 5 miles (lots of cracks and potholes) .
Overall I felt pretty good and after mile 1 and began distancing myself from Christine. My pace was pretty consistent throughout the race,unlike previous years, I always felt I was moving forward through the pack this year (slowly, but always passing most folks). Water and gels were taken midway through the run.
After mile 8 I mentally stared to count how many miles were left, and running an easy 8:30/pace . I finally got a few glimpses of Christine near mile 10, and she was a bit back behind the 9:00/mile pacer. At this point approaching mile eleven, the fatigue was starting to hit my legs , I still manged a a decent few last miles, generally my last 5k sees a serious drop in my pace, but I manged to hold on till mile 13, when my legs were toast.
The finish line was perfect, nice big crowd, our friend Ryan was there cheering us on.. not much of a sprint this year, more like a cruise to the line, then waited a few more minutes for Christine to finish, a decent performance considering she took a whole year off with injury.
Again it was a fun event, and the finish area on College ave is always bristling with enthusiasm and satisfied finishers… It’s a great first half marathon to do .. try it out if you can.