My first half marathon

As promised earlier, here are the details of my half marathon I ran the past weekend.

I ran my very first half marathon on the past weekend. This was San Francisco Marathon 2005 organized by Runners World in the beautiful San Francisco city of California. This is the longest (13.1 miles) I've run so far at a stretch and boy it was fun! There were more than 15000 runners for the over all race. 

I (in the red shirt in the pictures below) ran with two of my neighbors, Sridhar (with the cap in the pictures below) and Ramanath (without the cap in the pictures below). The wave starts were scheduled at Justin Herman Plaza from 5:20am to 5:35am on Sunday morning so we decided to drive to the city in the morning. Ramanath was kind (brave?) enough to drive us to the city. He had to stop the car on the right shoulder around San Francisco airport because of the morning chill and nature's call. Ramanath served well to the nature's call but the shoulder did not really like us and gave a flat tire :( Anyway, we frantically searched for our tire replacement kit and found that the jack is missing. Searched more frantically, scheduled a service call with AAA and finally found the jack. We changed the tire but then found the air pressure is not cooperating so stopped by at a near by gas station to fill up air. Finally (and luckily), we reached the start line at 5:24am.

There was no warming up with few thousand people around and so the race started right away. The course was a good mix of flats and uphills but there were very few downhills. The highlight was going over the Golden Gate Bridge.  My results are in the table below:

  Place  Time  Pace  Name  Home Town Age/Sex Place Out Of  Bib # Div Place Out Of Age Grade/Plc Gun Time  7.4 mi 
OverAll 404  1:48:50 8:18 Arun Gupta San Jose CA 32-M 318-1768 24906 M 30-39 133-646 54.81% - 831   1:00:33
Men 318                  133-646 54.81% - 831    

I don't know what two "Place Out Of" are for but I'm satisfied with my results, especially since this was my first such run. The uphill in the last two miles was sort of killing so I need to do more strength training for my legs.

Here is how the age grade scoring is calculated. Basically it compares an individual's finish time at a particular race to an "ideal" time achievable for that age and gender. World Association of Veteran Athletes (WAVA), the world governing body for masters long distance running etc. compiles the list of "ideal" times for different age and gender. The fastest person in my age group (30-39) finished in 1:22:48 with a 6:19 minutes pace. I hope I can reach that pace some day :)

You can read the official press release for top finishers and 2005 event details. The complete results can be seen here. Marathon photos photographers were scattered through out the race but they are really expensive ($15 for a 5X7 + $20 for shipping). Anyway, a preview of me running can be seen here.

I think overall, running the race was quite a satisfying experience for me and I got familiar with lot of running glossary as well. All three of us hope to do a full marathon next year, lets see!

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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