Nittany Valley Half Marathon, State College, PA 2,1

Elevation Gain: 449'; High Point: 1240'

December 2, 2012 - Unlike my previous outing at this event the weather 
proved perfect.  A 37-degree start with little to no wind promised a good
morning of racing without the encumbrance of heavy clothing.  I took up
with Oil Creek founder Norm Pattison before the start and ran with him
talking old runner talk through the first three miles at a very pedestrian
pace - comfortable and conversational the whole way.  Once on the roads
and headed out onto the rolling flat past the airport I let gravity pull up my
pace to find a sweet spot that would enable me to glide past the masses
of runners ahead of me. From mile three onward I pulled back probably more than 200 runners who started faster than me to finish in nearly the same time and place as my previous effort two years ago. It was nice moving on the field as I did. Playing catch up is much more enjoyable than trying to hold position toward the end, fending off those with more ambition, youth, or simply better conditioned. As it turned out, in a field of about 700, once I shifted into racing gear I was passed only by three people near the end, one because she was a better runner on this day and two young bucks who decided to put on a show near the finish line and sprint. Those days are over for me. I came away very satisfied with the effort, but moreso with my judgment of my current fitness level and for choosing an effective competitive strategy. During the event I took up with a couple 60-ish gents who I was not able to run away from. One was John Swauger from Indiana whom I had plenty of time to get reaquainted with. Coming down to the last three miles I was able to best these gentlemen just by out-toughing them on the rolling hills and climb into the finish. The event leaves me optimistic that my rebuilding is coming along fine, and hungry to return to the trails and do some longer events. Am glad that it is winter and time to kick back a notch or racing and enjoy running the bacfroads and backwoods trails more.

Aerial Map