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Sep 20, 2011

Capital City River Run Half Marathon race review

5 miles on the schedule - done!  Still a little sore from Sunday's race but feeling good overall.

Hey - check out this link!  I did a review yesterday for MyRaceRagz and they put a link to my site and pictures of me in their custom shirt!  Click HERE to see it!  I thought that was pretty cool of them!  I'm famous again!  And you never thought you would know someone who's famous!  Haha!

Also, don't forget to sign up for the SportHook giveaway if you have not done so already - click HERE

Capital City River Run Half Marathon Race Review ----

Short Version 
Official time:  1:39:18(7:35/mile pace)
Garmin time:  1:39:18
Place:  158 out of 1621 overall(top 10%)
Gender place:  121 out of 732
AG M40-44 place:  22 out of 106
New PR by 4 minutes, 48 seconds!!!!

Long Version
It was an early Sunday morning.  I had to get up at 4:15am to get to the Capital City River Run Half Marathon in Lansing, Michigan.  This race takes place in our State's capital.  Believe it or not but I have not been to Downtown Lansing in all the time I have lived here - my whole life!

I had to get up that early in order to be at my running buddy T's home at 5:15am.  From his house, it takes about an hour and a half to get there.  We got there at about 6:50am, found a parking spot which was in a free parking structure on Lansing Community College Campus right across the street from the finish line.  They were setting up the finish line when we got there.  Oops - maybe we got there a tad early.  It was about a 5 block walk to the start line and packet pick up.  Packet pick up opened at 7am.

It was really nice because packet pick up was at the Lansing Center which is a huge building.  It was a little chilly(around 45 degrees) to start the morning so it was nice to sit inside the building where it was warm.  We picked up our packet and got our shirts and took them back to the car.  We also got a couple pictures by the capital building and also by a 9/11 monument.  It had a piece of the medal from one of the towers(pictures to follow)  Here's the shirt:
I got a medium and it's a New Balance tech shirt.  I tried it on this morning and it's actually a little small which is unusual since I have a NB tech shirt already that fits fine.

Because the race is not crazy crowded(1621 in the half), we were able to literally wait inside until 5 minutes before the race started.  Also, bathrooms were inside as well!  It really was a nice day -- sunny and perfect temperature to run in.  We decided to line up right next to the 8 minute/mile pacer.  Each of the pacers were dressed in costumes which was kind of cool and they were holding pacer signs so they were easy to find.  Actually, the 7:30 minute pacer was not too far in front of us either.

It was kind of a crowded start because they had us starting the opposite way of the 5k so we were all pushed to one side of the road.  It did not effect the timing and seemed most people were placed in the proper pace area to run.  It was literally an announcer saying, 3,2,1 and we were off!

Here's the course:

Mile 1-3 - we started off on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Lansing.  We were actually on the same road as the capital building and heading away from it and towards MSU.  This was a straight road which actually allowed for a really quick start.  Not too scenic of a road though.  I started out pretty fast - really fast actually.  I was feeling pretty good.  I passed the 8 minute/mile crowd pretty quickly.

Mile 3-4 - A quick jaunt through MSU campus.  I would have liked to see more of the campus but it was nice to see some of the buildings on campus.  I could easily see how they could change this course to a full marathon if they took you through the MSU campus more.  We actually had to run up three wide steps which was unusual but there was a volunteer there yelling to watch your step.  After I got through the first 4 miles, I was still going pretty strong so I figured I would see how much I could push myself.  I had not really planned anything before the start.

Mile 4-9 - this is a great part of the run through the paved trails.  We were along the river or in the park much of the run and it was great to take your mind off things.  There were several wooden bridges on the trails as well which was really nice for running.  By about mile 4, I saw the 7:30/minute pacer and thought, oh, maybe I can catch up to them and try to keep up.  At mile 7, you did get to see some of the people that were in front of you since there was a circle in the park.  Boy, they looked like strong runners!(probably around the 6:30 pace)

Mile 9-10 - this was through the neighborhood near the park.  I was still with the 7:30 pacer - I could not believe it!!!!  I told him I was trying to stay in front of him.  He thought I looked pretty good and asked how many half marathon's I've done(this was my fourth)

Mile 10-11 - much of this was in Potter Park Zoo.  We didn't get too far into it so we did not see any animals.   I was still with the pacer and thought, I can't believe I am keep up this pace!

Mile 11-13.1 - this was heading back to the finish.  Much of this part was run on the river with boardwalks so it was a really nice way to finish.  Unfortunately, I started to slow down and watched as the 7:30 pacer started to get farther and farther away.  He really helped keep me going all those miles.  My achilles heal has always been mile 12 in a half marathon - I don't know what it is but I always am slower that mile.  Now, my goal was to finish under 1:40:00!  I wanted this more than anything and really pushed myself to get in under that time. Oh, how I wanted to brag about being under 1:40!!!!  Of course, according to Muhammad Ali, "It's not bragging if you can back it up."

I finished with a time of 1:39:18.  Yahoo!!!!  And I didn't even feel like throwing up.  Haha!  I guess I had more gas in the tank - NOT!  How the hell did I come in almost 5 minutes faster than my last half marathon?????  I guess all this running has paid off.  We finished in downtown and crossed a large bridge and then through a park to the finish.  I thought it was a great place to finish the race.
Half Marathon Course
My fastest splits to date!!!!

I crossed just before the finish line and the announcer called out my name and where I was from.  It was kind of nice because they set up a timing mat just to announce your name.  The announcer was doing everything he could to announce everyone that crossed the finish line so you could hear your name.  There were two volunteers at the finish handing out the medals.  Here's the bling.  A very nice medal in my opinion - a nice touch with the capital building on it.

My traditional finish picture at home with medal.
Shirt courtesy of my review)
The race finished in Adado Riverfront Park which was a large park that had more than enough room to fit everyone comfortably.  They had bananas, apples, gatorade, water, apple cider(a nice touch!), bagels, rolls and Pizza.  Plenty of food to eat.  If you wanted, when you picked up your race packet, you could show your ID and get a free beer from a local brewery as well.  I opted to not drink beer at 10:30am on Sunday morning - haha!  My running buddy, T, would have gotten it but he forgot his ID at home so they would not give it to him even though his age was on the bib and he certainly can pass for over 21.  I'm sure there were strict rules they had to go by.  All we had to do was walk across the street and we were at our car.  Awesome placement of the finish line!

This really was a very nice running route and I would certainly do this race again in the future.  The biggest issue I have with it is that it's 1.5 hours from my home.  Also, there were quite a few turns in the course which slowed things down a little.  There was also not much in the way of spectators - they were very sporadic and really none on the trails but that does not bother me since I run alone so much.  Overall though, I would have to say that this is my new favorite course out of all the half marathons I have done.  A really enjoyable run - even if I hadn't got a new PR!

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!!


  1. wahooo! congrats on the PR. Sounds like a great race. I love that medal.

  2. Awesome Job! Under 1:40 is my goal for my next half!

    "It's not bragging if you can back it up"... I love that saying!

  3. Amazing!! You are getting to be so darn fast! It was just this past March at the Rock CF half when you said "I hope to come in around 1:45" and here you are busting out 1:39's 6 months later.

    You're going to kill it in Detroit next month!

  4. Nice report. I'm running my first half this weekend so it was nice to read about your experience. Congratulations on your time.

  5. Congrats on the maja PR!!! I love the river trail and miss training on it. FYI, Lansing will have it's first full marathon next year on April 22nd and will incorporate quite a bit of the CCRR route. Love the shirt and so jealous of the medal!

  6. Nice job on the run and the super fast splits! I love the medal very nice! The shirt cracks me up too!

  7. Wow! Awesome bling; *amazing* splits!!

  8. Quick question! How do you post your splits via the garmin site? I can't figure it out.

  9. Steph - just trying to keep up with you!

    Morgan - I saw that full. Thinking about doing the half though. only one full for me next year.

    Shortgirl - I use a program on my mac called Grab so I can "grab" anything on the screen. I don't know how to do it otherwise.

  10. Great job! It was a nice morning for a run. I was most interested to see your race distance measurement of 13.20. This is not at all what I recorded and I whined about it obnoxiously.