::Six tunnels Half Marathon round up::
Right off the bat I have to say I’m going to be in for a great challenge in St George, Utah and the Six Tunnels Half marathon was a great experience and test of the type of terrain that I’ll be racing in. After a quick 35 minute drive from the resort in Las Vegas we ended up Hacienda Hotel and Casino. Right away we saw the stream of people heading towards the race start from a narrow path.
After quick pee in the desert, we started searching for the start. There was a little panic just before since there was no start sign or anything showing which direction to start. After a mega phone yelp we faced the opposite direction and were ready to start on the paved trail.
8 am take off with the sound of the horn. 2-3 miles uphill on a nice paved path, right away I was like dam up hill!?. After the first mile I looked down at my watch and saw that I didn’t start it. “Here we go again,” I thought and started it up when I saw the next mile marker. My second mile was over 7 miles! That this point I am obviously worried, there goes the 6 minus miles that I needed.
After 3 miles I was in fourth and as the race went on, I stayed fourth and raced alone. I battled hard to make up the time on the downhills and had a few sub 5 miles. After the 7th mile we transitioned onto a trail and headed toward Hoover Dam. I was feeling good despite the tough hill start and a little head wind.
A few super mean hills thrown in at mile 9 and 10, then we turned around and headed back to finish, which again didn’t have a sign and was in a different spot then the start. After having a few close calls with a few people who didn’t leave a lot of room for people to come back the same direction and some yells at people, I finished up with a 1:21. Happy with that result after the tough course, grabbin my own water, and a shoe lace stop.
I have to admit I really enjoyed the course, but feel its more of a great training run. Tough to PR on this one. They did have mile markers every mile and had enough water stations, but not enough people handing them out and did feel lost a few times. One of the major issue I had was the view of the dam wasn’t on the course so I didn’t get a chance to see it or the bridge. The tunnels were really cool and interesting but would have liked it a bit more if the main attractions where actual part of the course.
I ran this race in my green silence from Brooks. They worked pretty good but I don’t think it would be a good idea to switch from a racing flat, to a trail shoe half way through the race.