FIGHT FOR AIR RUN, HALF MARATHON IN DAMONTE RANCH, RENO-SEPTEMBER 12, 2010
The Fight for Air half marathon run proved to be a beautiful course on a stunning day. I had brought a heavy sweatshirt that I could discard after the first mile or so expecting there might be cold morning weather, but I never needed it. The sun had risen and the 8:15 start time allowed for perfect temperatures for a nice run.
The start at Damonte Ranch High School was kicked off by our popular Mayor, Bob Cashell. I dialed up Pandora to stream in some good running tunes and prepared for a nice race moving toward the front of the starting line.
For reasons I can’t explain, the first mile for me was utter misery. I felt like I was gasping for breath myself with my heart rate way above anything it should have been. My Garmin said I was running about a 7:10 mild pace, typical for the start of races when everyone is moving out quickly, but for some reason it felt like I was doing an all out sprint. I slowed down and tried to regroup, but it took a couple of miles for me to find any sense of a running groove. Someday it would be nice to know why these things happen, but I think for most runners we know that some days we’ve got it and some days we don’t.
Into the long, flat, lovely course from miles 4 through 10, I felt pretty comfortable running around 8 minutes miles, not blowing the doors off certainly, but at least no longer feeling like I would need CPR imminently. One section of the course takes the racers onto a nice hard packed trail and most of the course winds through very nice walking trails or neighborhood streets, a most pleasant morning. At the finish, I passed the mile 12 marker and checked my Garmin, which confirmed the distance. Then at about 12.5 miles, where we made a turn toward the high school once again, inexplicably a race monitor was yelling to each racer going by that we all had “one more mile” holding up one finger. I imagine it through us all off a little bit, but made for a very nice and very short remaining “mile”.
All in all the race organizers did a fantastic job and the course was nicely laid out, even and pretty flat, making for a pleasant experience. At one transition from the trail section back to the road there was a little bit of rough terrain to traverse, but nothing serious and I didn’t hear any reports of ankle sprains or other troubles as I left the course.
It’s great to see so many participants in a growing number of events in and around Reno and Lake Tahoe. And the stunningly beautiful Reno September blue sky and sunshine ought to make for a great future for this race.