FINALLY!!! That 1:30 barrier in the half-marathon distance has been hanging over my head for a long time. This past weekend I "broke on through to the other side" with a 1:28:36 effort at the Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab, UT (see pictures below). I'm really pleased to have joined that particular Sub Club, and to have achieved it through negative splitting the race. It took me a little while to settle into a pace early on and I never really had that wonderfully effortless feeling that you get when fully rested, but it was a great run nonetheless and a good fitness check going into the half ironman this coming weekend. The Canyonlands course certainly feels much better when you are in good running shape! I ended up running quite a bit of it with a girl I know from Salt Lake, Amanda Theobald, who works for the Salt Lake Running Company and runs for Westminster College. It was the first half-marathon that she has trained for and she asked if I minded if she paced off me. No problem! It was really fun running with her, and awesome to see her break 90 minutes as well. We finished just one second apart in 12th and 13th place. Nice run Amanda!
All in all it was a great weekend. Moab was its usual gorgeous self and we enjoyed some good hiking and photographic opportunities. We had dinner one night and went hiking the next morning with our new friends Christian and Kate who also ran the half and are just really awesome people to hang out with. They both ran PRs as well which of course makes the trip even more fun. (Albert did not run a PR but I suppose that when you're as fast as he is that best times don't come quite as often.) I also bumped into a bunch of swimmers from Steiner...Erin, the twins Megan and Marisa, Ben, and Katherine...it was great to see so many fish tackling the dry land event! And of course we saw lots of familiar faces from the running and triathlon communities...BJ and Chrystelle, Clark and Kristy, Chad Derum to name a few. Congrats to everyone who ran!
Next up for me: a short work week in Salt Lake then a flight to sunny California on Thursday for the 70.3 race in Oceanside on Saturday.