931.6 miles raced; 350 yards swam and 9 miles biked in 2010
Race: Mesquite Half-Marathon
Place: Mesquite, NV
Miles from home: 340 miles
The temperature doesn't really matter. The cloud cover doesn't really matter. All you need to know about this Mesquite Half Marathon is that for ~11.8 miles of the 13.1 we had sustained winds of 35 mph with gusts over 50 directly in our face. Oof.
The morning of the race broke fairly nice. I could see from my car that it had rained recently but the ground was dry. I hoped that this would stay that way the rest of the race and any rain would have simply cooled the course a bit. The temperature was just about perfect for racing and the slightly overcast skies also would have lent to a perfect weather combination if not for the wind. However, while waiting for the buses to take us to the start, the wind wasn’t nearly as noticeable. A breeze here and there but nothing that foretold of the oncoming blast fan we would be running into once we started.
We boarded the bus and began the drive out to the start. I was on one of the very last buses to the start so I did not have to stand around very long. The races do not post a specific start time as they say they will start when all runners get out there. However, you can more or less figure out when the gun will fire (or in this case, the truck horn will honk.) When one of the RDs said we would start in about 15 minutes there was some grumbling, presumably from the people who had gotten on the very first bus. However, there could not have been all that much time between them arriving and me as I saw their bus leave when I was in line. Nevertheless, people will complain about anything if you give them enough time.
I could see no less than 5 guys who looked in prime racing shape. Any possibly inkling I had of winning the race and claiming the first place prize of $1,000 was gone. This was slightly disheartening but also a relief. I could just concentrate on running a fast time all for myself. I saw last year’s female winner and a few other top notch looking females. I could tell the prize money and the Runner’s World magazine article had helped swell the numbers and the competition as well.
As we got ready to go, I had positioned myself a few rows back in deference to what was obviously some stellar competition. Even then I felt the wind but thought nothing of it. Boy would I be wrong. Away we went.