Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gasparilla 1/2 Mary Race Review

It is pretty cool to finally set a fitness-related goal and meet it! My primary goal for this race was to finish under 2hrs. Done! My second goal was to run under a 9min/mile pace. Crushed it. This was a PR race for me by nearly 15 minutes - and the conditions were perfect for it.

The Gasparilla Distance Classic is in it's 30th year - they run a 5k and 15k on Saturday (Heather Gollnick ran the 15k yesterday in 55:08...) and on Sunday they host the Half and Full Marathon. There were some heavy hitters from the Marathon world here today (see picture to the left - those are the guys lined up in front of the barricade) - since we all started together, and the half and full courses split and then came back for the finish, I got to see, if only for a moment, the lead group of Marathoners at their mile 13. "Wow" fast.

The course is flat - only 863' of elevation according to my Garmin. 52 degrees (that's good old fashion American Fahrenheit for those of you wondering...) but very windy - 14mph average wind, which made it feel pretty cool, especially later in the race. The route is gorgeous - as soon as the sun came up and we could see, we were running over bridges and next to water for nearly the entire course. The course was closed, so no worries about cars, and there were well-stocked water and Gatorade aid stations every mile without fail. Along Bayshore Blvd, the long road with the water to the east, there were small bands rocking out, guys with guitars and banjos playing and singing mixed in with the aid stations. It made for a cool atmosphere.

I rarely run with anyone - no partners, no one else around; so this was a freaky start for me. For the uninitiated (like me) there were folks holding up cards on sticks that said, "4:00" and then one said "9:45 pace"...I got in there right at that 9:45 pace setter and figured, if I felt good, I'd catch up to the folks shooting for the 4 hr marathon. We wound up about 50 seconds back from the starting line once the race started - and my Race Sherpa, Mrs. Bigun, said there were folks going by her for a minute or two after me - there were a bunch of folks at this thing. Running amongst all those people in the dark was interesting - luckily I didn't cause any crashes.

I started my Garmin right at the start banner, but of course forgot to stop it for a few seconds after crossing the finish - my typical race ending. Using Motion Based's Map Player, I was able to get my mile pace splits:

Mile 1 - 8:34
Mile 2 - 8:50
Mile 3 - 8:43
Mile 4 - 8:44
Mile 5 - 8:56
Mile 6 - 8:23
Mile 7 - 8:38
Mile 8 - 8:57
Mile 9 - 8:52
Mile 10 - 8:55
Mile 11 - 8:56
Mile 12 - 9:21
Mile 13 - 9:07

Right out of the starting gate, I looked at the pace compared to how I felt, and I got pretty scared. I mean, I was flying for the Bigun, but I felt pretty darn good. Then I checked my HR - it said 172 - I thought, "must be a glitch". Well, the HR never dropped below 170, at least while I was checking it, so I pretty much ignored that metric and just kept on running. From the first step, I had to use the bathroom. Nothing too serious at first, but by the third mile, I had to GO! I kept looking at that pace and I just couldn't bear to lose any time. The whole time I was thinking, "man, your doin' it, don't mess this up!" - so I held it. All the way to the finish. That was the only unpleasant thing about this race.

Official results are not posted yet, but unofficially, according to the Garmin and extrapolated from Motion Based, I finished at about 1:56:40 at an average pace of 8:50 per mile. After the race, Mrs. Bigun and I went up to our friend Hope's condo to watch some of the Marathon finish and to recoup with some bagels and coffee. The last picture is the view of the finish line from her balcony - she's got a great view of the bay and the city from her place. It was really nice of her and Mrs. B to get up early like they did and cheer me on. Thanks!

Edit: Official results are in! 1:57:36 was my official chip time, for a pace of 8:58 per mile - still very much a PR for the distance, and the accomplishment of both time and pace goals!


S. Baboo said...

Completely and totally AWESOME!

Great hardware too!

Anonymous said...


DV said...

nice time B! dude, you are a fraction of the you in those pics on your banner. Wow!

Born To Endure said...

Whoa...congrats!!! :-))

The Stretch Doc said...

U da Man BigGun!!!
Nice job!!
great race recap too!!


White Salamander said...

What was going on at miles 6 and 7? You were CRUISING. Great race.

TriShannon said...

Great race - congrats on smashing both of your goals!

Bigun said...

Thanks everyone - I appreciat the comments - it really feels good to have knocked one out of the park for a change. Especially on the run!

Di said...

who's the man...who's the man?!?!?! You are! nice legs too!!!yumma yumma

Tri-Dummy said...

Nice Bigun! That is a fantastic pace. Your plan was executed flawlessly. Pretty good for an Army Dawg! :)

Bolder said...


chuck said...