Sep 14, 2015 8:30:00 PM
I really wanted to run in the Sweathouse Half Marathon last year, but a bicycle tour in the San Juan Islands happened to overlap during the same time period and the trip to the San Juan Islands won out. The opportunity returned this year and I was able to make it happen.
The Sweathouse Half Marathon takes place in Victor, Montana and takes place on a mix of paved and dirt roads that traverse the foothills to the Bitterroot Mountains. The course gains altitude for the first 7 miles and then returns the favor towards the end except for one steep climb just after the start of mile 10. I really enjoyed the course and its great views of the Bitterroot Mountains as well as the valley itself. The gravel roads were in good condition and only had minor washboards.
This was my third half marathon this year, but I was a little concerned with how much I trained leading up to this race. With family comittments and bad forest fire smoke during what should have been my peak training time, I was forced to run less and indoors as well.
In the end, I think the rest may have helped my body and my increased focus on trying to start slower and finish stronger payed off. I beat my previous personal best by a mere 8 seconds, but I felt better the last few miles than I usually do in half marathon races.
The small field allowed me to obtain second place in my age group and an overall top 20 finish as well. I probably won't race another half marathon until next year, but I happy with how my last half marathon of 2015 went.