Race Report – Rheinzabern OsterLauf (Half Marathon)

Right I haven’t updated for last week but I ran a half marathon today so will do my race report and get back on track with the regular updates tomorrow!

Jochen has been planning the Rheinzabern Osterlauf for a while, but it is a long way from home for me, and he wasn’t going to come back to Mainz after, so I was going to give it a miss… until on Thursday he changed his plans and offered a ride there and back, so I was on for a last tune up race before Bonn!

Last year I ran the 10km in Rheinzabern, I was really happy with a 39:56, a new PB, but things have moved on a bit since then. My aim for the half marathon was a 1:23:00 or better, as that would mean that my half marathon time is as good as my 10k time, and both would predict a way faster than 3h marathon, my big pre-season goal. I did also hope for a top 10 finish, but that was very dependent on who turned up..

So we signed in and did very little warm up. The weather was cold, about 4 Celsius and raining, good race weather in my opinion. With only 300 runners in the field, there was little traffic, so I wasn’t held up at all. The first k I was actively trying to run slower, but I passed the KM marker after 3:47, too fast. Jochen had planned to hang on as long as possible, as he wanted to run as fast as possible, with 1:25 being a goal time. He stayed just behind me as I tapped out km after km in just under 4:00/km pace. After 6km I was feeling great and the wind was behind me and without really trying I accelerated to 3:45 pace.

That was when Jochen dropped behind and I started moving through the field. There is a cross-back after about 9km and I counted that the first 8 were well clear, then came 2 groups of about 10, then me. I was pretty sure of catching the 2nd group, but the first would be tougher. 2km later I was into the 2nd group, which had started to splinter. A guy in red was going off the front, but I caught and passed him by 12km. There were a few people falling back from the first group but not enough yet, and man in red was hanging on behind me. I had gone through 10k in 38:42 and then 15km in 58:04, so the pace was consistent and good. After 17km I caught 2 more with man in red still behind me, then came the 2nd cross back (its a 2 loop race). I counted 11 ahead of me, all pretty well clear too, so top 10 was out, but sub 1:22 was looking good. It was only after the 19km marker that I really started to feel the pace and it hurt.

The last 2.1km were purgatory, I knew that any decent pace would get me my goal, but I think the man in red passing me hit me mentally, even though I had expected it to happen. I saw that no one was behind me, so I could just do what I could do, and see what happens. Through 20km I worked out (possibly incorrectly) that a 3:45km would get me a 1:21:30, I fancied that and was even mumbling 1:21:30 with each breath! but Through 21km in 1:21:25 I realised that wasn’t happening but I ran in a self-timed 1:21:49, great!

I got a cup of tea and saw Jochen sprint in a 1:24:58 (somehow rounded up to 1:25:00 by someone!), to round off a very successful day. The results were soon posted and I was 13th overall, and 3rd in my age group 🙂 So I got a little easter basket for my effort, which was nice.

So there is not much more to say – don’t F up the last 2 weeks to Bonn, and run and even paced 2:59! Vdot says I can do a 2:50:45, so 2:59 should be easy… right!