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!


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