Albany, Georgia 1,1
Elevation Gain: 252'; High Point: 224'

March 5, 2011 - A quick trip south to race in warm climes found me in the home of Ray Charles, Albany, Georgia, for the Snickers Half Marathon. Having thrown in a few miles recently in training at an eight-minute pace. I wanted to test my fitness level at a couple shorter races while on vacation before returning to ultra events in April.

So, dark early I toed the line with about a thousand others to hit the roads of Albany. After driving 16 hours in the past two days, my legs and lumbar vertebrae were tight and seemed to restrict my range of motion. The first five miles felt like I was carrying a bag of cement, managing only a 40:48 while laboring. By seven miles I started to get into a rhythm and could relax while maintaining the same tempo. The back half of the event was even; for the most part I probably gained a few places on the field. Rather than racing hard I worked to maintain my pace and probably finished with a negative split in 72nd of 811 finishers in 1:46:34.

The course was flat with mild relief changes. Temps stayed at about 56 degrees throughout with some light rain. Overall, I was satisfied with the effort, though sometimes I wish I were still young and full of speed. The winning time was slower than many of my half marathon times on much tougher courses. Oh, well. At least I bagged a dozen Snickers Marathon bars - which will keep Annie happy for a week or so. Following the race, we travelled another five hours to Tampa for a 15K I would race there the next morning.