PF Chang’s Half Marathon: Montana Made Mojo

I wasn’t intending to race at all.  My run training has been very minimal the last several weeks. I was bummed seeing all my AZ friends racing.  Then, Linsey tweeted that she’d be running the half too.  Now, I’m really bummed.

I drive to Phoenix Saturday afternoon to pick up my bib number, still undecided whether or not I’m going to race.  I was going to make a game time decision race morning whether I’d run the mini marathon (five miles) or just sleep in.

Race day: I wake up at 6:30 a.m. Linsey is on my home turf… I had to race.

I left my house at 6:45 a.m. and did a 5.5 mile warm up run before getting to the starting corrals along Mill Avenue.  I was still fully intending to run the mini marathon.

Then, our eyes meet.

She has a huge grin. We hug. Sparks flew.

I told Linsey I was going to run the mini marathon.  She laughed and made fun of me. Peer pressure is a b*tch.  I quickly gave in.

I lined up with Angi and Linsey in the front of Corral #1.  My goal was to hang with them for as long as possible.  The gun goes off. I’m running with the Corbinator. The 2012 Ironman AZ champion.  Montana’s finest. My dream girl. Linsey Corbin.


We start out at a sub 6 minute pace. At mile two, Steve “Fresh and Loose” Rink, Linsey’s #2 fan, approaches. He’s trying to steal my girl away.  We hit the 5k timing mat at 18:55.

Linsey's wolf pack

Linsey’s wolf pack

I surge a little and opened a small gap. I spent the rest of the race about 30-45 seconds ahead of the pack. I was Linsey’s carrot. While Rink was busy flirting, I was left to do all the work.  I had to warn everyone ahead: “Move out of the way, Ironman champ coming through.”

I even split the first half the race.  5k split was 18:55 and my 10k split was 38 flat.

The last month of running has not gone as planned.  I was in uncharted territory.  My longest run had been six miles, and I certainly wasn’t running at this kind of speed  I didn’t know how my legs would hold up.

I felt strong through mile 9, but shortly after began to feel myself unwinding.  The half course contains several small rollers which definitely caught up to me in the late stages of the race.  Since I wasn’t planning to run the half, I left my nutrition at home.  I downed my one and only gel five minutes before the gun went off.  Running with a small pack of runners, one of the guys was holding a gel packet.  I could feel myself bonking pretty bad.  I got real light headed and dizzy.  I told the runner next to me I’d give him my medal and pay him for his gel.  He laughed and handed me a Blueberry Roctane.  Heaven.

Mile 10 came by and I felt better.  My legs (especially my quads) felt really heavy as I tried my best to keep a high turnover.  I poured water over my head at every aid station as I started to get hot.  I look back every once in a while and see Rink hitting on my girl.

Mile 11.5- I see my ONE Elite teammate, Carlos Mendoza, approaching.  He was cruising at a 6 minute pace as I tried my best to hold on.  It didn’t last long, as he slowly opened up a sizable gap (and ended up beating me by 22 seconds). Nice job Carlos!

Mile 12.5 to finish – The mini, half, and marathon courses all merge together.  There were still quite a few mini marathoners on the course.  I put my head down and ran as fast as I could, crossing the finish mat in 1:21:21.  I beat last year’s time by nearly five minutes. Seconds after, I see Linsey and her #2 fan (Steve) cross the finish line.

Group picture time!

We rocked it.

We rocked it.

I got to run with my dream girl today… could life get any better?

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Categories: Race Report, Races


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3 Comments on “PF Chang’s Half Marathon: Montana Made Mojo”

  1. January 24, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    you’re a psycho. were i to ever do this, it would not go nearly as well. great work man!

  2. January 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    You are a member of corral 1 now……that’s a whole new level of greatness LOL 😉 Well done!

  3. January 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Wonderful race report – Might have grabbed a gel as you were blowing by mile 7. BUT, hindsight is 20/20.

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