Tuesday, November 25, 2008

11/23/08: Ole Man River Half Marathon

I woke up at some ungodly hour Sunday morning and drove from the Vieux Carre Holiday Inn to Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park, which for a city as lyrical as New Orleans you’d think they’d come up with a better name for a park than that. I registered for the Ole Man River Half Marathon, a race, put on by the New Orleans Track Club, whose name made more sense in previous years when they ran it on Ole Man River’s levee but this year they moved it to this new location, took a few pictures, stretched, drank some Gatorade, visited the restroom, and made my way to the starting line. The race started, I ran for a while, walked some, ran some more and walked some more in various proportions, and eventually finished in 2:10:40 or so. I ate a couple of pancakes, drank some water, walked around for a few minutes, and then took off. Since then I’ve been trying to think of something to say about this race but the truth is, I got nothing. It happens.

This is in no way a knock on the race; I probably could have been running Bay to Breakers this particular morning and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. I did think the course was bland when we were running on Marconi Drive along the west side of the park and on Wismer Drive on the east side of the park, but I also think the first few miles when we were running through the interior of the park north of the stadium might have been interesting had I actually been awake. I think it’s a good deal that this was mostly just a training run for the http://www.trackshark.com/blogs/entry.php?w=bourne231&e_id=3641, and I’m also glad that my previous experience racing in New Orleans (Jackson Day 9K, 1996 - I flew in the morning of the race which is one way to keep this city from wearing you out) was more interesting because I spent too much time Saturday touristing it up in the French Quarter - me and about a jillion Packer fans - to do this race any kind of justice. Although I did manage to get to sleep before Oklahoma was done crushing Texas Tech’s BCS dreams (or maybe not!).

I managed about an 8:30 pace for six miles, fading to an 8:50 for the seventh mile and then walking some; my 2:10:42 (according to the official results; I'm sure my Garmin has me faster than that. My Garmin is my friend.) placed me 354th out of 505 overall, 245th out of 300 men, and 37th out of the 46 dudes in my age group. My proudest moment came when I walked the entire eleventh mile in 14:55; my happiest moment was either immediately after crossing the finish line or when starting to chow down on the postrace pancakes. Although they weren’t quite as good as the half slab of dry-rub ribs I got at Corky’s in Metairie later in the afternoon, just in time to watch the end of the Jets-Titans game.

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