I made my way out to Las Vegas with a couple guys from the SD Elite team, Dillon Breen and Kellen Blumberg, this past weekend to participate in the first race of the year, The Las Vegas Gold Half Marathon. Going into this half marathon I felt like I could run a new PB (personal best) and beat my current PB of 1:03:54 which which was my time at this same race last year. The field was going to be stronger than last year and would even feature several Olympians on the starting line.
The race plan I decided on, based on the training and fitness, was to pace myself around 63 mins. Training hadn't been perfect, but it hardly ever is or needs to be. I quickly realized that it was going to be a rather windy affair as we took off from the start line (the high-desert is notorious for it's spontaneous gusty days.) Wind didn't matter though. I drove 5 hours from San Diego to Henderson, NV for one reason, and that was to run fast or bust!
I was running well under my PB for 3/4 of the race, but the windy conditions started to take their toll and my pace began to slip a bit. The day was not a waste by any means though. I still ran within 20 seconds of my fastest time ever for a half marathon and took a 3rd place finish with a time of 64:12. It wasn't my goal to get 3rd, but all things considered I'll chalk it up to a learning experience and move forward. This is now a huge motivator for my next one!
Breen and Blumberg had solid showings for the team. Dillon ran a minute PB with a 68:00 flat, while Kellen knocked off several minutes from his own previous record, clocking a 66:55.
Check out the official results here
I'm excited about how great my legs feel coming out of this race and I'll be heading right back into training. Unlike some other times I've had to take weeks off to reset. See you at the next one!
Photos by Kevin Youngblood