Monday, November 12, 2012

Seacoast Half Marathon 2012 - Race Report

When Masher McBuns met his new friend Doddy Blue at the Wallis Sands Triathlon in September, he had no idea that they'd be meeting up again in Portsmouth to run the Seacoast Half Marathon. Masher's original running buddy had to drop out of the race last minute due to a last minute flu, so Masher asked his friend Blue if he wanted to race. He wasn't sure what Blue would say, but knew that he'd be in good shape to run if he didn't push for a PR. Blue had just run a half marathon 3 weeks ago, and had done a 9 miler a week earlier, so he was in good shape to run. He said yes!

The beautiful Seacoast Half Marathon course
It was Masher's ideal temperature for race day. Mid 40s to start, low 50s at the end, just cool enough to not overheat, but not so cold your ears fall off. The ocean breeze was light and not too hard even right on the coast. The skies were overcast so Masher didn't worry about baking in the sun. (Labbits do not like to be baked!!) The course is gorgeous, starting at the Portsmouth High School, heading out of town and then winding along the coastline for beautiful views and sea salty breezes. It's a well organized, wonderfully volunteer supported race and it usually sells out months before race day.

Masher and Blue split up before the start of the race. Blue's a faster runner, even on a casual day, and Masher had to make several stops in the bushes to pee before the race. His last pit stop caused him to race to the start line with only 30 seconds to spare! He cut it way too close, but was glad he made that last stop. It wasn't just a nervous pee...he would have been very uncomfortable running if he didn't stop one last time. Along the way, he met another labbit in the bushes, doing just the same thing! His name was Moritz and he was racing too! The two decided to run together.

Masher started out strong - a little too strong - to keep up with Moritz, who despite a longstanding pain in his right rear paw, was a fast runner. The first 3 miles went quickly as Masher and Moritz tried to catch up to the 9 minute mile pace group. The next 2 miles went by quickly too, but Masher started to feel he was pushing it too much. They made it to the halfway point in 58 minutes and some seconds, well on the right pace. But around mile 7, Masher's hind legs felt heavy like lead and he started to tire quickly. He grabbed a chocolate gu from the volunteers and downed some more water, but by mile 10 it clearly wasn't helping. His paced slowed a lot. At mile 11 he decided to try some Gatorade (which he hates) but it was too late in the game. His legs were in a lot of pain and he did everything he could to keep moving forward. He dug deep and focused hard on one hop at a time. He knew if he went to a casual loping pace, he wouldn't be able to bring it back to a hop to the finish. Moritz did his best to encourage his friend and boost him up but Masher was already giving 100%. In the end, Masher made it across the finish line with his running buddy, and that's a win.

He didn't meet his goal, which was an overly ambitious sub 2 hour time, considering all the short course run training he had done for this summer's triathlons. But there will be other races, and he'll be better trained and better prepared for the next 13.1. He's still happy with having completed the race even though it was a tough one. He remembered watching Kona 2012 and cheering on Rinny Carfrae to the finish. She was the favorite to win 1st place but came in 3rd, dealing with glute pain and missing out on nutrition on the bike. Masher remembered seeing her cross the finish line and collapsing into the catcher's arms. If the pros can have bad days, well, so can Masher. He learned he could still have a bad day and make it across the finish line.

Doddy Blue had a good race, and while he didn't shoot for a PR, he's happy with his time, and best of all, he happened to run into an old friend and they ran the race together. Blue also gets a kick out of having had the chance to do a half marathon in a whim, with less than 24 hours' notice.

The best part about racing is meeting up with your friends with your medals and getting some post-race recovery food. The three labbits met up at Agave Mexican Bistro in downtown Portsmouth to hang out and talk races. Masher got a custom made fresh lemon-lime seltzer from the bar, while Moritz and Doddy Blue decided to rehydrate with some tequila. They shared a freshly mashed bowl of guacamole and nacho chips before digging into their own meals. Mexican food after a race really hits the spot. Then it was next door to Byrne & Carlson for chocolate! All in all, a great day at the races for these fleet footed labbits. Way to go, runners!

Seacoast Half Marathon Results
Doddy Blue 
Total Time: 1:50:16
Pace: 8:25
Division Place: 56/141
Overall Place: 248/1094

Masher McBuns
Total Time: 2:11:14
Pace: 10:01
Division Place: 160/238
Overall Place: 749/1094

Total Time: 2:11:14
Pace: 10:01
Division Place: 139/238
Overall Place: 750/1094


  1. Great job Masher!! Everyone has bad days on the racecourse, and the important thing is that you kept going and didn't give up. :0) Dr. Duck is heading into his second half-marathon this coming Sunday with a rather ambitious goal too (considering his complete lack of runs over 8 miles since the marathon last month).

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Looking forward to reading about Dr. Duck's latest marathon adventure.

  2. Haha - LOVE this race report! Well done, Masher and Moritz :)


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