Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mesquite Half-Marathon

Running amongst the mesas in Grand Junction.
Every years since I moved to SLC, I have participated in a race put on by the Mammoth Marathons people.  This year has been no different as in May the first race I did after my 202 miler was a half-marathon in Grand Junction, CO.  Later in the summer I took on the Crandall Canyon Memorial Run, another half-marathon. This weekend, I will be taking part in my third Mamamoth Marathons race for the year, yet another half-marathon (bringing my total for the year to 15 when I had only run 11 half-marathon in my life previously!) at the Mesquite Marathon in Nevada.

The course records I held for the Little Grand Canyon Marathon (ran in 2008) and Little Grand Canyon Half-Marathon (ran in 2009) both fell by the wayside this year (*Dane shakes his fist like a bad guy character in a Scooby Doo cartoon*), which is always a little bittersweet.  But while I missed the chance to take place in either of those races this year, I will be returning to the Mesquite Marathon and giving the little brother race a shot this weekend.

Pushing for a PR at Mesquite in 2009.
My original plan was to do nothing this weekend race-wise.  Having two consecutive weekends off from racing sounded like a good idea.  However, as I had a bad race last year in the full-marathon, I guess I had some personal demons I wanted to exorcise. The clincher was when I saw an article in Runner's World magazine about how this race was their race of the month. I was shocked.  Not that the race did not deserve it but that a race with just one year of history, run by guys I consider to be friends was getting recognition I felt it deserved.  I knew I had to go back even if I wasn't in shape to try for a marathon personal best (as I had been attempting last year.) 

I wish the prize money was split up a little differently (it is a winner take all purse which means that just one uber-fast fella needs to show up, like last year's 1:12 winner, for the rest of us to go home empty-handed) but I don't think I have ever run a race thinking I will prize money.  I simply am not that fast.  But I do like to run races that give me a chance to do something a little different.  In the Mesquite Marathon, runners get to cross three different states as the go from Utah to Arizona and then finish in Nevada. given the shorter distance the half-marathon only goes through two states but is pretty darn scenic as well.

I don't think I am quite in shape to get a new personal best in this half but I am not afraid to say I will be shooting for the fastest I have run all year, beating the 1:23 I ran at the Chicago Half back in September.  The weather conditions look pretty perfect. Time to give it a go.  I hope to see many of you down there as well!

1 comment:

Cory Reese said...

It was a tough race today - looking forward to reading your recap!