Today I ran the half-marathon course of the 2008 Duke City Marathon event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was my first organized half event and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I followed the advice of my running group back home and treated it just like a training run.

Luckily, it was a very well organized event. The “motivation stations” every 2 miles had plenty of water and gatoraide so I wound up not using my water belt much during the race.

The route had us wind through downtown for about two miles before taking us onto a trail system that followed the banks of the Rio Grande. This had the double benefit of being the lowest altitude in the area and fairly flat.

I was concerned about the high altitude compared to the near sea level back home, but it turned out to be a non-issue. My heart rate during the race was the same as home and I never felt light-headed or got a headache afterwards. I completely credit this to my hike up the mountain 2 days before and the pint of beer I had at the top.

I finished the race in 2:09:35 which is about a 9:54 minute/mile average pace. That is just a tad faster than the pace I average during my long training runs so I am really pleased with that result.

Woo hoo; now to try and improve my time at next week’s Houston half.

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