I was fairly excited to race the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon this year since I had recently improved my time for a 5k. This half marathon would have shown me what pace I am capable of maintaining for 13.1 miles, helping me better prepare for my first marathon.
This year the race organizers went with a corral start. I was placed in corral B and felt it contributed to a much smoother start. I lined up with the pace group I thought I would be compatible with and never really had a problem keeping the pace I wanted. There was plenty of room to maneuver and adjust pace. In fact I may have gone out a little too fast, just because I had the opportunity to do so.
I was able to keep my pace fairly consistent throughout the race (8:30 min/mi). I may have pushed myself a little too hard on some of the hills in order to keep pace. I lost about 10 seconds off my pace on one of the last hills and wasn't able to recover.
I finished the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon in 1 hour and 54 minutes at an 8:41 min/mi pace (avg speed of 6.9 mph). I am very happy with this time as my previous finish on the same course last year was 2 hours and 10 minutes. My best half marathon time is 1 hour and 53 minutes at an 8:31 min/mi pace and that took place on a fairly flat course.
I am also considering my 1:54 finish time an accomplishment considering start temperatures were above 65°F with high humidity. By the end of the day, temperatures had climbed to near 90°F. Due to the heat and humidity, race officials decided to divert marathon and marathon relay participants to the half marathon course around mile 9, just about 2 hours after race start.
I had trained all winter long and even ran parts of this course a couple times prior to the race, but I can fully admit that I was not acclimated to the heat given this was the beginning of April. Everyone I had talked to agreed it was brutal out there, making a very tough course that much tougher.
The event went well from my perspective and I am looking forward to next year. Congratulations to all who finished any of the weekend events!