the colchester half marathon is a classic old school ("no frills") race - except when it comes to the post-race food. the spread of food outshines what runners can expect at most marathons (and even some ultras). i don't typically begin a race report with a description of what awaited runners after they crossed the finish... but, when you're greeted with trays of lasagna, veggie lasagna, baked ziti, chili, salad, rolls, and yes, even pizza - a different perspective is called for :D
even more remarkable, all this great and, the race itself, for only $12 registration fee ($15 race day). that alone should shame any 5k that charges $25, $30, and even more for registration. but before this devolves into a rant about ever escalating race registration fees, let me get back to race. it is a remarkable tough course, with a few very notable climbs (and a small stretch run on dirt roads). this was my third time at colchester and, as in the past, it was a fantastic event. while i missed a sub-1:45 finish (but squeaked under the 1:46 i ran last year - both finishes well off the 1:37 i ran my first year), i was more than happy with my time.
my primary goal was to run an average 8:00 minute pace over the hilly course. timekeeping-wise, things did not go my way at the start because my watch malfunctioned. for some reason i couldn't get it set properly and i wound up starting the timer about 30 seconds after the race went off. while my splits represent the actual time per mile marker (and my net time overall), the official finish time is well off own watch time. since the race was more of a tempo run for me, i opted to wear my ipod.
i managed to keep an average sub-8:00 pace for the first 12 miles - but the climb in the last mile took its toll. here are the splits:
in addition to emmy, neil, andie, joe and tom ran also the half. bekkie was out on the course as a volunteer. overall, it seemed like a record turnout for this edition of the race! despite the travel time (the only negative for me is a solid hour and 45 minutes drive time), i'll be back next year :D
here are some race photos.