Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quicksilver Half-Marathon: short, fast, but...

If you follow my blog and read last week's post, you know what I was after today: getting close to 1hr30. I ran the course twice last Sunday in 1:41 each time, thinking the course record was around 1:30. However, when I was working on my blog later that day, I found on the website a 1:26:00 in the 2002 results which I found amazing for that course. This morning, on the starting line, teammate Sean Lang told me that the course had actually changed two years ago, so the course record was indeed around 1:30-1:31.

It was interesting to see so many new faces this morning: few ultra runners and more a population you see at road races (Agnès caught almost all of us in the first up hill, see my Picasa album). I'm glad our Quicksilver club organizes this event to get people acquainted with trail running and provide this opportunity to visit such a park, so close to San Jose, yet so unknown (as I could again confirm at a dinner last night with people who have been for 20 years in the Bay Area but did not know about this historical place from the mid-1800s). By the way, if you want to preview this park, you will find several photo albums connected to a few articles I posted about various of my runs at Quicksilver. From the comfort of your web browser!Race Director, Adam Blum, gave us some instructions before shouting the start promptly at 8 am. Adam is also a teammate in our RhoQuick ultra-running team (team from our Quicksilver running club and sponsored by Rhomobile, where Adam is the CEO and Founder), along with Jim, Andy and Pierre-Yves who were volunteering this morning, and Sean and John who were running the race today. Sean lined up on the 10K because he had to get to work at 9:30. He immediately took the lead in the first steep hill (the first mile is all up hill), followed by Trevor Hunter. I settled in fourth, already amazed of the sub-8 (min/mile) initial pace. (Last week I was running that section around 9:45 min/mile... but there is nothing better than some competition to push, right? Not to mention I was running a marathon last week.) I actually moved into 3rd before the first aid station then caught up with Sean just as we reached the 10K/half course split at the end of Great Eastern Trail.
I wished Sean good luck on the 10K then got on April Trail. I had already lost sight of Trevor.
I was averaging around 8 min/mile pace when passing Bull Run and got the pace around 7, flying down Mine Hill and Providencia Trails (I love the sign which asks cyclists to slow down, but not runners!). I pushed as much as possible in the next 4 rolling miles of Randoll Trail, passed the 10-mile mark right on 7 minutes/mile pace, and was astonished when someone posted at the Mine Hill Trail turn told me I was lagging 3 minutes and 10 seconds behind Trevor. Yet, I was on a pace of breaking the course record and even getting under 1:30! I finished in 1:29:18 but taking second to Trevor who had just set a 1:26 CR! Like Karl Meltzer breaking the Wasatch 100-mile CR yesterday but only finishing 2nd to Geoff Roes who had just improved the CR by 1 hour and 5 minutes at 18:30 that same day! (It was Karl's 4th 100-miler this year and he won the first three!).I am definitely happy with my time on this course, and even more impressed by Trevor's performance. After the finish I learned that Trevor turned 40 this year (I don't even have the Masters excuse for coming second...), just flew in yesterday from London where he lives, is visiting for one week (work) and happy to win the pair of shoes that Christine offered to the overall winners (she is the owner of Athletic Performance, thank you Christine!). Trevor is with the Handy Cross Runners club, and a 1:12 half-marathoner (versus a 1:15:04 for me at 42) and 2:36 marathoner (versus my 2:37:46 in Chicago at 39). Great competition and "rabbit", he definitely helped me pushing hard today!Adam awarded me a nice "(quick)silver" medal and arm warmers for the M40-49 age group (Trevor already having his prize), sleeves also given by Atheltic Performance (see their website or this post). It was my shortest race this year, after the Napa Marathon and 9 50K to 100-mile ultras. And I like speed... So much that I registered for the Trailblazer 10K at the end of the month, despite running the Sierra Nevada Run (double trail marathon, 52-miles) the day before. I invite you to join us on Sunday September 27th to support the Stevens Creek Trail. Pre-registration closes this Monday.

A lot of running in two weeks then. Take care and Run Happy in the meantime!

PS: again, more pictures, mostly from Agnès, in my Picasa album (I believe she caught most of this morning runners in the first hill!).


Unknown said...

Great pictures and write up Jean and Agnes! I definitely breathed easier after turning off on the 10k section and knowing that I didn't have to chase Trevor or be chased by you:)

Maybe I will join you for the Sierra/Trailblazer double!

Anonymous said...

Good job, Jean!!! Wow! Nice pictures, Agnes!

Anonymous said...

That last message is from Nancy Miller

Adam Blum said...


Thanks for coming out to the race! An honor to have you there. Look forward to running alongside you at Sierra Nevada in a couple weeks.

- Adam

Trevor Hunter said...

Thank you for an excellent write up Jean and congratulations to all, or a tough race in such a gorgous location. It was wonderfull to meet you all. (Sean sorry I didnt get to meet you aferwards, will have to try and get back faster next time :) You certainly helped us up to a flying start up that first hill. Take care and happy running, Trevor Hunter

Trevor Hunter said...

BTW - Thank you Adam for a superbly organised event. If anyone is interested in my Forerunner log and splits, these can be found here.

Jean I think you must have been closing me in the last 3 miles?

Trevor Hunter

Anonymous said...

J'ai lu les deux récits...que d'efforts pendant que nous lézardions!