Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Philly Half Marathon Race Report

Well, the ING Rock & Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon is finally in the books, after a summer of hard training. And it wasn’t as easy as I was making it out to be.

The morning started off well, about 58 degrees at my 6 AM wake-up, and it was still relatively nice by the time I got into my corral for the 8 AM start. I was running this race alongside my Team McGraw teammate Kathy Heffelfinger, who, when she found out we both had the same time goal in mind (2:05), asked if she could run with me. I wholeheartedly agreed, and it’s a good thing I did.

Usually, I start out too fast, and it gets me in the end. With Kathy running with me, maybe I could reign in my adrenaline and save it for later. We ran a very measured pace throughout the 4-plus miles in Center City Philadelphia, right on target for a 2:05 finish. But I knew something wasn’t quite right. It got hot rather quickly in the city, to the point where I was sweating heavily but only with a heart rate in the mid-70% range.

We kept our pace all the way up Kelly Drive to the Falls Bridge crossing, and then it started to get a little difficult going down MLK Drive. Kathy got a side stitch, so we dialed it back some. By Mile 10, she was starting to fade a little. I hit the wall around Mile 11 (much worse than Kathy did, by comparison). I caught up to her at the final water stop just before Mile 12, but couldn’t keep up.

Finally, the sign for Mile 13 was in sight, which meant the finish line was right around the corner. But turning the corner, I was greeted with a hill. I threw it into high gear (or at least the highest gear I could muster by that point) and crossed the finish line in 2:10:19. Not a PR, but much better than my performance at last year’s Philadelphia Distance Run. Kathy finished about a minute or so before I did.

But I need to thank Kathy for keeping a steady pace – otherwise, I would have gone out too fast and hit the wall much earlier. And her husband got some good pictures of us, too!

Now it’s 5 weeks until my next race, the Army Ten Miler in Washington, DC.


  1. Great job Dave! Glad to finally meet you. Rest, recover and get ready for the Army Ten!

  2. YOu did great! It was hot. I wanted to get under 2hrs and ended up with 2:07. I was very warm.