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Friday, May 27, 2011

Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon

Marion, IL -- February 12, 2011
(Results @ River to River Runners:

I had been wanting to run this half marathon for a couple of years so decided to train through the winter for the race.  Beautiful refuge area half-way bewteen Carbondale and Marion, Illinois.  It was a nice day to race.  Weather was 32 degrees, sunny with a wind of 12-13 mph at the start.  Had snowed several days earlier and RD informed us much of the course, especially the gravel roads/trails, are snow and ice covered.  Also tells us 144 people are running the race. 

Head out on the blacktop at comfortable pace and wanting to run even three mile splits as long as possible.  Three miles splits end up being:  19:03/38:09/57:29/1:16:50 then last 1.14 miles in 7:38, all per garmin readings.  The last .15 miles was a muddy mess of a road by the time we finished as the sun had begun to melt the snow and frost from the ground.  We ran into the snow/ice on the gravel roads at 3.75 mile mark and ran through it until the 7 mile mark in which we then dealt with another mile on muddy/sloppy gravel roads until returning to the blacktop for the final 5.1 miles.  I slipped 3x between mile 5-7 and almost went down the third time.  Had to alter my gait on the snow and got a bad blister on my forefoot along with 2 black toes as a result.  Minor inconvenience for results.  Able to move into third overall by the 3 mile mark of the race and attempting to keep pace with guy ahead of me.  He held pace well and never able to catch him.

Winner was 26 year old Kyle Monroe, an ironman who ran at SIU while in college.  He was gone from the starting mile and cruised to a 1:16:14 finish.  Second overall was Evansville, Indiana's Graham Paxton with a time of 1:23:21.  I finished third overall with a 1:24:29.

Top three Female Winners were:
1.  Morgan Chaffin from Carbondale, Illinois with a 1:30:50.  She finished 7th overall in the race.
2.  Lacey Gibson, 18, from Carbondale, Ill ran 1:32:41
3.  Joanna Bean, 16, from Carterville, Ill finished in 1:36:28

Steve Schmittzehe, 47 year old marathon man from Cape Girardeau, MO ran the race as a training run and finished first in the 45-49 y/o age group in a solid 1:34:22 while placing in the top 15 finishers.  He is currently training for his first Boston Marathon effort.


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