Race Report: Dick Beardsley Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry for the Dick Beardsley Races as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The Dick Beardsley Half Marathon has been a bucket list race for me and I was so excited to finally get there this year. Our family made this one last camping trip for the season and that went off without a hitch (minus blowing a tire on the way down!). My goal since racing Fargo this spring was to work on pacing smart - possibly even negative splitting :) 

After parking the camper, I took a couple of the boys with me to the race expo. The expo was small and mainly featured packet pickup and the Friday night spaghetti feed.

We went on a wild goose chase after packet pickup to find a new spare tire for the drive home. It took a while but we eventually found something that would work and then headed to supper. The night got late but eventually the crew went to bed. 

I ended up forgetting to take a "flat runner" and snapped this quick on race morning: 
I enjoyed the company of one of our camp neighbors on the way to the race and ran into my friend Chels there also. The Dick Beardsley was smaller than I expected but it was very easy to find people before and after the race; and that I like! 

We talked for a while and then jumped into the line up. This race did have pacers available for a variety of goal finish times.

 Line up was quick and then we were off! We started and finished in the Kent Freeman Arena, which goofs with the watch pacing a little, but it's worth being able to wait in a nice cozy arena before the race. 

Free Race Pictures!

This race course usually circles the lake but had to be changed to an out-and-back this year, due to road construction. I had been told that the course had rolling hills and, being from the super flat lands, I wasn't quite sure what was meant by that. Just how rolly are these rolling hills :) 

My original goal was to hang by the 6:30's for the first half and the buckle down if I could for the last half. 

Spoiler alert - my pace goals didn't happen! I was running and thinking I was on pace - yet my watch was telling me a mix from 6:30's to 7:00's. Oye! My level of exertion just wasn't matching the pace, so in that first half of the race I decided to ditch the pace goal and run based on effort. It did feel like we were going up and down constantly!

The rolling hills didn't lend well to my pacing goals but this race should sow some benefits for the next races to come. My splits felt fairly even overall in spite of the climbs and downhills and I was encouraged that my legs didn't feel burnt out throughout the entire race. Even with the smaller race size, I had the company of another runner for most of the race, which was nice. Makes the run feel much easier!

I enjoyed the last few miles and crossed the finish in 1:27:44. This wasn't a PR but didn't feel like a failure either! I grabbed a cookie that the kids could eat and took some ice cream for myself (it was SO good!) at the finish line. 

Overall, this felt like a smart pacing effort and, as CIM training goes on, the "power" will come. Currently, I feel like my lungs have a lot of "umph" but my legs didn't have any speed - though this was officially marathon training week 1 (of 13), so that's a great start! 

Our final elevation gain for the Dick Beardsley Half was 317 ft, which is a whole lot more than I'm used to running and should serve me well for some upcoming October races! This course was beautiful and I do hope to race there again to circle the whole lake. 

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