Montana Half Marathon — Billings

I’m tired. Still exhausted today with a sore knee from a lot of pavement running in the past few weeks. Making the transition from the trails to harder surfaces should have happened a little sooner in training. That being said, 4 races in 9 days!

Last weekend was the Bozeman 5k and the Bozeman Half Marathon — both PRs for those distances. Saturday, I ran a tough leg in the Ranch Run 25-mile relay. Friday night, I signed up for Sunday’s Montana Marathon Half, because I didn’t want all that training to go to waste with my racing season coming to a close.

Easy runs over the past week felt good, so I felt fairly prepared for this gradual downhill Half Marathon, which starts just west of Billings and finishes at the Senior High School back in town. My fellow Running Ranchers Relay Team member, Christy Gerdes @christyruns, was running it as well, so I was happy to join and put my 3rd Half on the books for 2015.

The race starts with a steady downhill mile before flattening out and rolling into easy, fast hills through residential areas on the west side of town. I got a great start with a 7:24 mile to get ahead of the crowd. Compared to last week, I never settled into a mental zone, but kept a steadier pace throughout most of the race, between 7:36 and 7:53, with the exception of mile 5 which had a bit more of a climb.

Once I got to mile 9, things were a little more difficult, my legs were tired, but I pushed on. The finish was a fast downhill and I was running to beat the clock.

I ended up with a second consecutive Half Marathon PR — 1:41:32, which beat last weekend by more than a minute! — and finished 27th overall, 2nd in my division. Christy finished in 25th a minute ahead of me, also 2nd in her division. It was a great race and weekend for Team Beef!

I look forward to giving the Montana Marathon half another go, hopefully a bit more rested next year.