Race Preview: Ray Tanner Home Run 12K 2012

Oct 7, 2012 by

Race Preview: Ray Tanner Home Run 12K 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012 is the next running of the Ray Tanner Foundation Home Run.  I don’t have  a whole lot of time to cover the preview on this one,  so here’s the low down.

1.  This is one of the best races in the Columbia area.The post race spread is probably the best.

2. Both the 5K and 12K races are sold out for 2012.  So if you missed it this year, sign up early next year.

3. Here’s the elevation map for the 12K.  I tracked this during last year’s race.

Elevation Map Ray Tanner Home Run 12K

 

For more information about the course map and other details, please visit the official site at http://raytannerhomerun.org.

Last year the weather was perfect, and I ran one of my best races ever.  Right now, less than a week before the race, the forecast looks good but maybe warmer than I like.  This race is two weeks before my next marathon, so this will be a good gauge of my fitness.  If the last couple of long runs are any indication, I’m in trouble.  I’ll keep you posted.

To see my review from last year, please click here.

POFIFOTO!

 

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Race Preview: Jailbreak 5K 2012

May 16, 2012 by

Race Preview: Jailbreak 5K 2012

This year is Jailbreak VI and will be held on May 26, 2012 in Lexington, South Carolina.  The race supports the Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation and has become quite popular, with over 400 participants last year. The usual Columbia area superstars normally show up and take the overall prizes, but the Lexington High School cross country/track long distance guys are gaining ground quickly (4A State champs in both cross country and track this year!).  Don’t be surprised if one of these young guns  comes out on top.

The Course

The course starts and ends in front of the  Lexington County Sheriff’s Department on Gibson Road in Lexington.  The first two miles are very flat to slightly downhill.  The course bottoms out early in the third mile and there is about 200 feet worth of climb in the last mile to make it back to the finish.   Here are the course and elevation maps:

Jailbreak 5K Course Map

Jailbreak 5K Elevation Map

To register go here: http://www.strictlyrunning.com/gpscrlgnReg-9f.asp

Personal Notes

This will be my 4th time running in this event.   I believe I have set a 5K PR each year in this race.  I hope this year is no different. My current 5K best is 22:37.  Last Jailbreak, I broke 23:00 in a 5K for the first time, with a 22:49.  This year, I’m gunning to break 22:00.  As a bonus to me, it is one of the closest races to my house, and the two non-racers in the family will come out to watch the finish.

And the finish should be a close one – at least in the Battle of Fowler Running Supremacy.  See, I probably only have this one last chance to beat my son in a 5K.  I’ve never lost to him, but those first couple of years of us “competing” really weren’t a fair competition.  He was a little kid, and I was  a grown man.  But things have changed.  Lately, he has not been training as much, but physically he has grown a good bit since we last raced in December 2011 and can almost look me in the eye.  If I don’t get him this go round, I seriously doubt I’ll ever come close to him in a 5K again*.  That’s one of the reasons my target song for the end of my playlist is going to be It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.  If you have any suggestions for the first 18 minutes of my playlist, let me know!

POFIFOTO!

* My son’s 5K PR is lower than mine, thanks to cross country team training, but the times we have run head to head, though, he has not been in the middle of cross country season and in his peak fitness, so I have been able to beat him.

 

 

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Race preview: Palmetto Half Marathon 2012

Apr 1, 2012 by

Race preview: Palmetto Half Marathon 2012

In 2010, I ran in the first Palmetto Half Marathon. I was very impressed with the organization of the race, especially for a first time event. I could not run in 2011’s event because of injury, so I am looking forward to an even better event this year.

The Course
The course is a nice run through mostly residential areas of Columbia’s northeast.  Starting near The Plex in The Village at Sandhills shopping center, the course is an out and back route that winds through the Woodlands and Wildewood neighborhoods. A word of caution if you’ve never run the route: the first half works it’s way downhill and bottoms out about the half way point. Then, it’s a climb back up to the finish at the Village at Sandhills fountain. The climb up is pretty gradual, except for two tough stretches, the mile starting about mile 6 1/2 and the 3/4 of a mile or so starting at mile 10 1/2.  These two stretches are pretty steep.  Here’s the elevation map that I tracked one day in my car at lunch (my office is not too far from the route):

Palmetto Half Elevation Map

The last short uphill spot at the Two Notch Road to Clemson Road ramp is tough, too, mainly because it is so close to the end. It is definitely not The Governors Cup Blossom Street climb, but a tough final hill nonetheless.

Personal Goal
In 2010, I went out too fast and the second half was painful. I finished with a time of 1:46 something. I’d like to think I’m smarter and better fit this time around. Doubtful on the smarter part, but that’s what I’d like to think.  So here’s my plan to beat 2010’s time and possibly set a PR (personal record): attack the downhills. I’ve got to bank some time on the downs to make up for those two tough stretches I mentioned earlier. To beat my 2010 time, I have to beat an 8:05 pace. To set a PR,  I have to beat an 8:00 pace. I figure at best on those two stretches I have an 8:15 in me.

Another factor could be the weather. At this writing, the race is too far away for an accurate forecast, but warm weather arrived early in Columbia this year. Even with a 7:00am start, the second half might be pretty warm, especially if it’s sunny.

Come join me on April 14th!

POFIFOTO!

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Race Preview: Columbia, SC Marathon 2012

Feb 21, 2012 by

Race Preview: Columbia, SC Marathon 2012

I don’t remember the exact date last year when I heard that a marathon was coming back to Columbia, but I was very excited.  The initial announcement described a point-to-point race that would cross the Lake Murray dam, head down one of my favorite scenic roads, Corley Mill Road, and eventually end up in downtown Columbia.  I liked it.

Unfortunately, the final approved official route turned out to be totally different. I’m assuming logistics and getting two different counties to cooperate proved too difficult.  The new route is a two-loop adventure around the hills of downtown Columbia.  I’m not a fan of two-loopers, but I was already mentally committed when I found out about the change.  I also wanted to support the local race.  No travel expenses is an added bonus.

The Course

My previous two marathons were away from home and did not afford me the chance to run any sections before hand.  They were also really flat – Kiawah Island and Myrtle Beach. This race, though, is just down the road and will have more hills than I care to see in one day.

The other week, my buddy Craig and I traveled to downtown Columbia, and with map in hand, set out to preview the route. We ran the loop once, and when we finished, I can’t say that I was super excited.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked the route and the scenery, but my thoughts were more like “Oh crap, this is going to hurt”.  This is one hilly loop.  And we get to do it twice!  Here’s the elevation map, courtesy of the official web site:

If you have run the Governor’s Cup half marathon in Columbia, then some sections of this race will look familiar.  In fact, the loop is very similar to the Governor’s Cub, just in reverse.  So, instead of up Blossom, you get to go down.  Instead of down Gervais St, you get to go up.

The race will start and end in the Vista area of Columbia, near the Columbia Convention Center.  We’ll travel through the University of South Carolina, Shandon and Lake Katherine areas, slog up Trenholm Rd and Gervais St, weave back through USC, do it again, and then finish up at the Convention Center.  In my opinion, there are two brutal sections of this course.  The first is a a 4 mile stretch that starts just past miles 7  & 20 where the course bottoms out at Lake Katherine.  You must then climb Trenholm Road and Gervais St. You get a brief break as Gervais nears Milwood. Then the second rough spot  it is up Gervais St. for a half mile or so starting just past Harden St. and ending with the left turn onto Pickens St.  At the point, we’ll be entering the USC campus area again, and I’m hopeful there will be a crowd pick-me-up.

Click here for the course description on the official site.

Weather A Factor?

Besides the hills, a race date of March 10th has me slightly concerned.  This has been a mild winter, and I’m a afraid Famously Hot Columbia might rear its ugly head with some heat.  My February 2011 Myrtle Beach Marathon heated up too much and caused me problems toward the end.  This race is weeks later, so we’ll see. The 7:15am start should help.  On the other hand, we’ve had snow and ice in mid March, too!

Strategy & Goal Time

As you can see from the elevation map, there is not much flat to this course.  Since the hills will kill my pace, the strategy will be to let loose on the downhills.  This has led to problems in the past, so I’ll have to be careful.   When I first thought about running a 3rd marathon, I wanted to improve upon my last marathon time of 3:47, maybe approach 3:40.  Well, after experiencing one loop of this course, I am resetting my expectations.  I will be extremely happy if I break the 4 hour mark.

Wish me luck!

POFIFOTO!

 

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