Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Tripp Southerland's Account Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon Race Report

Courtesy of Tripp Southerland's Internal Monologue, Here's what the Woodrow Wilson Half-Marathon is Like:

Prerace Thoughts:

Slept better than the night prior, but still not great. Woke up at 5am. Allergies/sickness gone, back hurts a little less. Time to strap it on. Waffles and coffee with a protein shake for the road.

Point to point course starting at Mt. Vernon running north along the Potomac on the parkway. Frank and I park in Alexandria and have his dad pick us up and drop us off. We get to the start at 6:30 am (race starts at 7:30 am). Hit the bathrooms, then find Dustin and warm-up 11 minutes. Legs feel fine. Change, drills, strides, and I'm on the starting line.

Lots of fast guys here. Lots of Africans.

The Gun - Well look at this, Frank and I in the lead. What are the Africans doing? What is Fernando Cabada doing? This could be really fun. The race continues like this for a half mile, then I look to my right and see about 10 Africans. Right before the mile mark, one of them makes a move, they totally engulf Frank and me. I am now 5 seconds off the pack and Frank is latched onto the back.

1 (5:15) - First mile and that's the only split I get. Gerald Greenlaw runs up next to me shortly after this mile and we exchange some words, some of which may or may not have been about the McMillian hotties on the starting line. We run side by side, let them the pack go, and hope to pick off some at the end.

2, 3, 4 - Rolling. Greenlaw is taking splits, I'm not. I'm running on effort. I take the lead on the uphills and he catches me on the downhills and on the flats we run side by side. I hear someone latch onto us briefly, but then he's gone within a half mile.

5 - Big uphill where I slowly pull away from Greenlaw. I decide I will look at my watch for my 5-mile split, but there's a clock there so I don't have to. 27:06. Can I do that again? I don't see why not. My goal is to stay within a mile of Frank. I know he probably came through 5 in 25:00 to 25:30 so I'm executing perfectly.

6, 7 - So smooth, both the course and my stride. I see two Africans in the distance. I'm running the tangents, they aren't. I see JT at 7 and he says some stuff I don't understand. Get to 10! get to 10!

8 - I'm getting serious here. I know I'm running well, I'm about to come up on an African and the bridge is just ahead.

9 - I pass one African just before the bridge and he latches on to me. Alright buddy, lets do this. 9 is at the top of the bridge. Run on effort. Effort. Effort. Effort. Repeat that to myself the entire bridge. Put a surge in once we get to the top of the bridge and immediately drop the African.

10 - Down the bridge and up the exit ramp with tight turns and a spiral down. What's my 10 mile time? I'll look down at my watch, but there's another clock: 54:10. Are you kidding me? Perfect. I get a 10-mile PR by about 2:20, but I knew that was coming. Focus. Frank has to be less than 4 minutes ahead of me. I still have some running to do.

11 - Where's Veronica? Am I going to take the accelerate? Nah. There they are. Form. Be tough. I look at Veronica and shake my head. She knows that I don't want the accelerate. Dustin tells me the 11th mile is 400 meters up the road and that I'm running well. I already knew both of these things but for some reason his words help me.

12 - Definitely my slowest mile. Big hill. My back is starting to flare up. Effort. Effort. Effort. Stand tall. Effort. Effort. I'm at the top. Game over.

13 - Flying downhill. Gravel. Boardwalk. Where's 13? There's Dustin. He tells me to keep cranking. Tells me to use the slight downhill to start my kick. I do. Tells me I have 400 meters to go. Is that a joke? I thought I had like 50 meters left. Form. Form. Form. 5 really tight turns. Veronica and Justin cheering. Looking for the finish. There it is. Clock says 1:10:49 - OH CRAP, KICK. Get under.

13.1 - 1:10:55.point. That's what I'm talking about.

I see Frank and that he ran 1:06:30 for fourth. I ran a 3:30 PR for 9th place. We are happy. Greenlaw finishes up in 1:12:02, good for 10th. Veronica comes running over and I can see on her face that she is extremely happy for me. We chat, take some pics, and then I start to get cold. We finally find our bags, change, and jog really slowly for a 5 or 10 minutes. My legs feel fine. 

Awards - Frank wins $1,200. I win $250. We go up on stage. Not bad. 


37DETEJE TGIRMAMETHIOPIAET25:0949:591:06:081:06:085:033
56BIRHANU MTADESSE26METHIOPIAET25:0950:481:06:531:06:535:07M202925
610CHRISTOPHERMILLS22MFALLS CHURCHVA25:2551:251:07:521:07:525:11M202936
12363SCOTTALLEN25MPORT WASHINGTONWI55:431:12:221:12:225:32M2029712
1432TERESA BEYISAFEKENSA26MALEXANDRIAVA26:2254:591:13:121:13:125:36M2029914
161278RICHARDHARRIS30MSILVER SPRINGMD29:1957:401:15:041:15:035:44M3039415
1721AZIZAALIYU ABATE26FBRONXNY28:1957:311:15:241:15:245:46F202922
1922WAYINSHETABEBE HAILU25FETHIOPIAET28:1857:301:15:441:15:445:47F20293

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