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Archives for January, 2011

Key West Race Week 2011

Jason: To all the runners in Nassau: Good luck and have fun (even though you are all nuts!) To all the sailors at Key West Race Week: Make way for the Balamena II (we are also nuts!)

That was the post before the Sunday marathon and plane to Key West that evening to begin Race Week. The Balamena II had already arrived from FLL during the race down, which I could not do due to the half marathon. The flight over was alright as I passed out in the airplanes, airports, standing up, etc, due to drinking after the half and before my flight, in the typical quadrathlete way! I was lucky in the my luggage arrived with me, unlike the early arrivals who had to wait an extra day for theirs!

We head home, except for Jason and Jen who decided a good solid night of drinking the day before the races would be good idea.

Up early, head to the boat, and get going. The rest of the crew participated in a practice run the day before, I was probably at a bar in Nassau still…Peter, Tony, Veg, Jason, Jen, Lee and Angela are the lucky sailors aboard the Balamena for this regatta. Regatta rules mandate the same people on the boat for the whole regatta, so we couldn’t technically throw Jen overboard.

There were 3 race courses with several fleets on each race course. Our #3 course had J-24’s, J-80’s, PHRF, and some others. We did two races a day, except the day of the fog where we only got one in.

The Mount Gay sponsored after party’s were similar to RTIA…free booze! We did our best to consume alcohol, at least Jason and I did, and to represent the Bahamas. It definitely seemed like a circuit crowd where people new each other, more so than we did, as we knew no one! Angela mingled more than the rest of us combined.

Unfortunately we did not get to get up on the podium for a trophy. Our best finishes were 5th out of 7th, but on our last race the difference between 2nd and 7th was 2.5 minutes, corrected time.

Between the drinking and sailing, I did not get much time in for anything else, but did get a swim in at the condo. The sailing and moving about I think helped to stretch out the legs from the half, and I wasn’t too sore by about Wednesday! I did try to stretch a bit in the mornings. That’s about all I got for now, a picture is worth a thousand words see my essay below! Also, the link to the results if you’re really interested…

PHRF 2 Results

Tim Wilkes Photography

More Key West Race Week 2011 Photos

Half Marathon Bahamas 2011

January 16, 2011. Nassau, Bahamas.

Early wakeup call of 4:30am, quick cliff bar and protein enriched juice. Off to pick up the girls and head to the 6am race start. Haven’t been up this early in months (woken up this early I should say…)

5:30 arrival and a short walk from Fort Charlotte area to the starting line by Junkanoo Beach in front of the police station. While stretching and waiting for the start, we had a near catastrophe. A volunteer on a scooter panicked and ended up driving through our group braking and going, luckily missing all of us, and crashing into a set of police motorbikes! This helped to get the heartrate up, imagine training for months and getting knocked out 10 minutes before the race!

A few minutes later the gun goes and off we go, I keep pace with the girls for a bit and end up a bit ahead, but at Mile 1 I’m seconds off of my proposed 10 min/mile pace. So far so good. Run with Calvin for a bit, who was doing the full marathon and discussed his pace plans a bit. He’s starting out slower than me and drops back a bit. The bridges are up next, and a nice easy pace gets the crowd up and over the Paradise Island bridges. At the beginning of the first bridge I can already see the leaders at the end of the second bridge coming back. Last time I’ll see them for a while!

Calvin and Lee

I knew a few of the volunteers from the bike crowd and a few bystanders cheering on, was a great inspiration to see people on the sidelines cheering for everyone coming by and especially those they know. As I round Montagu I see my mom, who sticks around and see’s everyone else behind me (hey at least I was ahead at this point!). Around mile 5, the girls catch up and we run together for a bit until they take off a few miles later. I still think I was around 10 min/mile the whole time, but I started missing mile markers and around mile 10 I knew I was a bit below the 10 min/mile pace which was OK.

Lee and (some of) the girls

We had ran most of the run in practice except for the Shirley St leg which was new to running. A great job of keeping the race course closed except for a few times, but nothing as close as the motorcycle incident!!

The water/gatorade spots were well attended and it was good fun trying to run and drink, I had practice at the Conchman so it helped. I tried to only spill water all over me, relatively successfully. There were a couple times I wanted water and didn’t see a spot, I’m not sure of the spacing but it wasn’t life or death.

Nearing mile 8 or so (I think) we started seeing the top halfers coming back. Mr. Conchman 2010 ran on by in the top end of the pack, somewhere around 1:35 I think. Also one of the girls from Marsh Harbour was flying by in her 1:55 race! The rest of our pack was in the 2:00-2:20 area.

Around 9 miles Calvin catches up and we have a brief chat and we then separate and he continues on the Marathon course while I go through the turnaround.

The turn at mile 10 to come back to the finish made me miss my sunglasses, which I had brought but forgot in the car before the start; luckily it was covered by trees and buildings for a lot of the time.

Around Mile 11 or 12 there’s a Nautilus Water table with that and apple juice…that part was great, but then there was at least two tables full of muffins and sandwiches! I think they need to do some research on what racers need next year…

Running into the finish I saw I could get below 2:10 so I did what I could and got a final time of 2:09:49. I was happy with this, being below my 2:15 goal. I was 139 out of 395 competitors (doesn’t explain my half marathon number of 569 though) and I was 13th out of 24 in my age group.

As I crossed the line I was focused on finishing the race below the 2:10 mark, so I didn’t notice Ross, Sam, and Kathryn cheering me on! Promptly saw them holding a cooler and cracked a beer before 8:30 on a Sunday morning after running 13.1 miles! Not a bad feeling!

Lots of post race stretching, nothing fancy, and drank some beers along with water, gatorade, and some fruit. Again, the table of sandwiches was there almost untouched! Ferdi showed up all around the race course on a bike, even at the finish! We had brunch at the Cricket Club. Then it was out to Compass Point and off to catch a plane to Key West Race Week 2011!!!!

Megan Lee Holly

Ross Lee Ferdi Kim

Kristen Megan Lee Alison Holly Lindsey

A finishers album by photographer (not athlete…i’d give him daysailor…maybe) Ross: