After a 5-year hiatus from my amateur running career, I decided I don't hate running anymore. With group motivation provided by Molly, Ava, and myself, we all trained for and ran the Grand Ridge Trail Half-Marathon near Issaquah, WA. The trail was primarily and out-and-back (or in-and-out as Molly liked to call it) with a slight deviation in the middle.
Looking at past race results, I thought I'd have a chance to do really well based on winning paces of around 8 minutes per mile. It didn't take long for me to realize that this was a blistering pace considering the 2,000 ft of elevation gain and loss over the 13.1 mile course.
The run itself was relatively uneventful as controlled falling on alternate legs brought us up and down hills on terrain that never seemed to be flat. We all ran together until the first downhill, at which point I let gravity take over and started passing people.
I steadily passed people as the race progressed, and almost nobody passed me. I was super happy with this as it meant that I didn't go out too hard and peter out toward the end. Rather, I paced myself well and picked up the pace toward the end.
I was hoping to complete the race in under 2.5 hours. When all was said and done, I finished in 2:18:08 with an average pace of 10:32/mile. While far from making the podium, this was good enough for 17th place out of 161 finishers. Molly came in 37th and Ava finished in 49th, all within about 18 minutes of one another.
Professional photos taken during the run:
Molly and Josh
The run served as great motivation to get in shape, which was my primary reason for paying to do something that I do all the time for free. Seeing as I didn't injure myself during the training or the race, I think I might do something like this periodically as my fitness carrot. But for right now, it's time to wrap up the hunting season and focus on skiing some epic northwest powder!