2017 United NYC Half Marathon – Race Report

What an epic adventure this race was… I did one wrong thing but sooo many things came together…!!! but wait, let me back track so I can show you some pictures first.

Saturday I spent some time at the Experience (what you would call an expo), helping with Course Strategy and the Running Lab area and what not. It is always so much fun to see everyone and help out a bit. First fun note: there was this big picture… where everyone that knew me would strike a pose:

the hot husband

crazy 88 and the other crazy

well, the other two crazies… Patricia’s faces are famous at this point. Just go with it.

Then I entertained myself, and hopefully a couple of other people there…

let’s sing a bit. this is hilarious to me.

so, then you make a left into the West Side Highway…

and then you keep running straight. Basically, behind all the other people. Or just follow the lead truck.

Yeah, my life is so hard

The big issue all week was the weather. Everyone was freaking out because we were told by the “meteorologists” (people who make meteors) that we were getting about 55 feet of snow on Tuesday and that it would be SO bad we all had to be scared that we would never be able to dig out of it and have a race. Then, we got like 2 inches of snow. Then, we were told it’d be snowing Saturday, the day before the race, on top of all the other 3 million feet of snow we were getting. Then, we were told it would be snowing and/or raining ON SUNDAY. Anyway, of course, NOTHING HAPPENED, the weather was beyond amazing and I was completely overdressed (see above, I did one thing wrong: I was wearing two shirts, TWO! stooopid!).

Race morning, one thumbs up, a major thumbs up actually. I managed to figure out race morning pre-race fuel: two cups of rice, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and loads of Himalayan salt on it. It was perfect. It worked. I already feel like a winner when my stomach is not freaking out during a race.

Juan and I were jogging the two miles to the start. We took off with Lina (Perez) from downstairs, we picked up Courtney (Reidy) about 10 blocks later, and Carolina (Pena) 2 blocks after. I literally felt like I had a train going to the start, even trying to pick up strangers, the more the merrier!. We all looked crazy in our throwaway gear, but it was 30 degrees and there’d be at least 30 minutes waiting in the corral!

So, we dropped our bags, went through security and lined up in the C corral in wave one: Patricia, Courtney and I. Carolina and Juan went up to their corrals up in the wave. We soon caught up with John and Raul and Devang (Honerkamp, Damas, Patel!) in the corral and we had a little fun thing going were we whined about how cold we were. It was 33 I think, feels like of 20 something, so I was planning to run in a short sleeve shirt, with a long sleeve shirt on top (the one with the bib) and capri tights. I figured I’d be cold so I layered tons of stuff on me I could throw off (a light fleece jacket, hat, headband, buff, gloves, arm warmers, hand warmers, etc.) but taking the pants off in the corral made me squeal.

The thing about this race is that… it always just goes by so fast. From the second I sign up in December, it’s a moment later and it’s March. You think it’s enough time to train and do specific speedwork but it always goes by so quickly and I usually freak out about 3-4 weeks before! Then, race weekend is here. Then, I am at the start and then I am leaving the park. Puff, I finished. How?? I have no idea, but it’s the same every year.

So, I get to the start, we jog the last 50 meters to it, thinking that I wasn’t ready, please someone slow down my life!!! I knew I wasn’t in PR shape, but gosh was I so happy to be racing this half!!!!! No idea why, just excited. I had no pressure, I thought I’d have fun out there, had Courtney and Patricia with me… let’s do it. Things are so easy when you have no expectations… I had figured I’d be around 1:37 or 1:38 (in my giveaway) so the first mile would be around 7:40 or 7:50. Mile 1 – 7:49! Right on the nose! Patricia and Courtney were running together and I was a bit off, trying to let them go (they’re usually faster than me) and I run better tangents. Then comes one of the few flat/downhill patches of the course and I yelled at Stacie (Brown Kallenberg), so happy to see her! Mile 2- 7:23. Kept seeing Patricia and Courtney around still at this point, but I didn’t want to follow them, both are very strong runners… By then, I was SUPER HOT. I started dismantling. I threw out my beanie, my buff, arm warmers, and hand warmers. And the turnaround! I yelled at Carolina, I saw Juan for the first and last time. Mile 3- 7:26. Going back into the park, I was on fire. and pissed that I was wearing two shirts and capri tights… UGH. I took my headband off and put it in my bra. I took my gloves off but didn’t want to lose those, I love my gloves. Then, perfectly timed, I saw Alison (Desir) and Amir (Figueroa) and their friends on Harlem Hill, oh yeah, I yelled, threw my gloves out and kept at it, thought I had yelled like a crazy person and was out of breath fast! Mile 4- 7:30

Then the most ridiculous thing happened. I decided I was still really hot and wanted to take my shirt off. Also, I didn’t want to lose this shirt, it was my Berlin Marathon shirt… but what to do? I was wearing a short sleeved shirt (my Berlin shirt) UNDER the long sleeve shirt that had the bib… so complicated. Get ready for a hot mess. I pulled the long sleeved shirt with bib over me, left it at my neck, secured my watch, headband and sunglasses, and proceeded to take off my tight short sleeve shirt, over my head, WHILE STILL RUNNING…!!! OMG. IT GOT STUCK ON MY HEAD, I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!! BLACK SHIRT TANGLED UP ON MY HEAD, HELP, I AM RUNNING, ON THE COURSE, I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING, OMG AN ORANGE CONE IS DEFINITELY AHEAD OF ME AND I AM NOT EVEN SURE I AM RUNNING STRAIGHT ANYMORE. I wanted to stop because I was sure I was going to fall, but what if someone would bump into me from behind??? I kept running AND FREAKING OUT. I COULDN’T SEE. ANYTHING. I have no idea how long it took, could have been 15 seconds, could have been 30 seconds. It felt like a year. Somehow I kept my cool. ONE LAST YANK. SUNGLASSES, PLEASE STAY IN PLACE, I was just so scared of hurting anyone… Anyway, phew, shirt came off, put it inside the back of my pants, put the bibbed shirt back on, and tried to relax and regain my composure. My heart rate through the roof. CALM DOWN! I was spent. I needed a gel (and probably and sun-chair and a massage too).  Mile 5- 7:46

Soon, right by Tavern on the Green, I had a huma. My stomach was fine. Another win. Am I really having nutrition during a race and not feel like throwing up? Wow. How times have turned… Mile 6- 7:26. We leave the park. Are we really here yet? Have I really already run half of this? Why does it always go SO fast??? This is where the race starts. Now, I still have this extra shirt on me, I didn’t want to throw out because I like. And then I see Jessica (LeBron), another savior. I throw the shirt at her. OMG how amazing is it to know this many people on the course? Hello Times Square!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I like Times Square, just this one time of the year… I hear Francine (Alfandary) yelling at me. So awesome. I see everyone taking their phones out to broadcast or take pictures. And there’s space for everybody. I see Dino (Verrelli) yelling in purple. I see Sid and Asteria (Howard). Omg so much love in this race! I see Phillip Mina on the course and run together for 1 second. Oh, I guess I’ve lost Courtney and Patricia!!

Mile 7- 7:15 We turned right into 42nd street and I feel this crazy wind blow me away. OH YES!!!! This will be at our backs in a few minutes, for the rest of the race, how amazing. Got so excited: Mile 8- 6:49 Ooops. To tell you the truth, I knew I was pacing like an emotional idiot, I was hot, I was excited, I had all this gear drama and extra stuff I didn’t want to throw away, I wanted to shed layers all the time so I don’t think there was a time when I was like “hey, let’s focus on what we are doing, what pace are we doing?”. The whole thing was my brain going from one thing to the other and… solving problems… whatever. I think we’re all allowed a race where we don’t race and we just do whatever, right? Mile 9- 7:35 I remember this. I had a gel and I always slow down to digest it. I also run into Jeannie (Tinelly) and John (Honerkamp) and Matt (Powers) right before the November Project cheering station, which OMG, hurt my ears in a good way, it was soooo loud. Across the street were Binu (Paulose) and Ann (Bommarito) cheering too. I almost missed them but Binu was yelling my name like he was drowning, so I yelled back. Mile 10- 6:57 So much excitement. That’s when I saw Patricia right up ahead and thought “oh no”. If I am catching up to her, she might be slowing down… crap. We run together for a bit and I could tell her breathing was super forced, I told her not to kill herself and save it for another day. She had been a bit injured for a few weeks and we weren’t sure exactly in what shape she was. Soon enough, I didn’t hear her anymore. Crap again, bye Patchoux. Mile 11- 7:11 How does this race go by so fast? I remember seeing the Freedom tower just once. And it’s in front of me for like 6 miles.. I was so busy looking at everyone cheering that I missed all the icons. I also missed looking at the watch. I knew I was about 2 minutes off my PR, so I barely bothered to look, but I have no idea where my head was. I almost missed the Whippets as they were a bit earlier this year and wasn’t looking, but saw Michelle (Mason) quickly. Also, at some point around there, I put my hair in a ponytail while running. HOW IS THAT SO HARD!??!? I had no idea… what a hot mess I was!

Mile 12- 6:55 Here we go. The Tunnel. It’s almost over. Everyone in the tunnel was yelling and making wild noises. It was super entertaining. I was breathing hard enough to make enough noise. The tunnel is 1 kilometer long, or FOREVER if you only speak miles. I had my music there, boy bye!

Mile 13- 7:21 OR SOMETHING BECAUSE I HAD NO GPS. Out of the tunnel, into the light. It always seems like forever for that last bit. Last bit- 6:59 pace Wow that finish line loos impressive. I love that I could see the finish line ahead… It was over. So quick. SO SO quickly. Can we do this again? Please? Now????? 1:37:13 finish time.

my splits

I finished and Patricia found me a few seconds after. I did a little interview for NY1 right at the finish and we started walking to grab our bags. Wow, we hugged so much! We found Courtney and Juan waiting by the baggage and omg so many stories!! Plus, we found two kittens:

brrrrrrrrrrrrr eye of the tiger

my medal!

All the race pictures are here. Haven’t bought them yet. You can see all my different outfits, and the mess!!!!

I had such an amazing race this weekend… PRs are never guaranteed so I haven’t been putting that much stress on that. And if I just focus on that, I might always be upset at the end of race (I only had 1 PR last year, at the NYC Half 2016…). I had a strong race, I felt like I was flying the whole way, I was super happy and really enjoyed it, I think that’s where it is at guys. What else can anyone really ask for?

Stats Time:

Finish time: 1:37:13 Average Pace: 7:25

Previous PR: 1:36:03 From: March, 2016

Age Grading:  69.85%

Overall Place: 1,928 of 19,412

Gender Place: 399 of 9,890

Age Place: 40 of 1,314


Giveaway Winner!!

My super official United NYC Half finish time, according to NYRR,  is 1:37:13. So, I just re-read all the guesses and most of you were giving me a PR! WOW guys! And guess what, so many of you were so close…

Congrats youcanrun!!!!! Can you believe how close they all were?

Please email me your choice of prize (from the post), postal address in the US, and name and will ship it ASAP!! And no worries y’all losers, I will be doing many races in the next weeks (there’s actually one this weekend but not sure there’s enough time to post…!) so you’ll have another go at playing soon!

So, who run this weekend? how was your race?? lessons learned??


Guess my Finish Time at the United NYC Half

Two weeks to go (aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!): one more contest!

Rules: pick a time and write in the comments below. Whoever gets closer, wins, If there’s two identical times, the first poster wins! Make sure if you include seconds in there too, and post before Friday, March 17th, 8 pm et. I can bet money someone will hit in the head, as usual!
Prizes... you can pick from:
  • Koss Fitbuds (purple) KEB32p, limited edition
  • Koss Fitclips (orange) KSC32C, limited edition
  • milestone pod, teal or black
  • clip-on running metronome
  • brooks flat vapur water bottle
  • pack of travel bodyglide
  • TCS NYC Marathon Shopping Bag
  • Clif Bar Branded Gear Package (aluminum water bottle, jumping rope, women’s triathlete tee medium black and silver, towel)
  • FitSok, pack of 3 (white, gray, black), CF-2 Shadow Yarn Athletic Sock, size M (mens 6-8, womens 7-9)
  • B2R Split Toe Performance Running Sock, CoolMax, EcoMode, Size M (mens 5-7, womens 6-8), white
  • Powerbar branded crossbody backpack, black
  • NYC Marathon rain (knee-length, orange and white) poncho
  • North Face arm warmers, black with red NF logo, small/med
  • Lock Laces, one size fits all, white
  • KT Tape Roll, hero pink, roll of pre-cut strips
the DATA
My guessI don’t think I am in PR shape. Maaaaybe close but not really there. For example, I did the same 4 miler one month ago, and I was 12 seconds slower this year.. If all goes well, my stomach and the weather collaborates, I should be around 1:37 or 1:38. But who knows… I am gonna guess 1:38:22 …?
GO ON! Place your bets below!!!

Prizes shipped only within the US, but you can pick it up when you’re in NYC if you are abroad! Or have me send to someone in the US.  / Guesses will only count if done before Saturday, March 17, 8 pm, ET.  on the original post / Other comments anywhere else (Runners World, facebook, twitter, etc.) won’t count / If there are two guesses with the exact same time, the first one wins.

February 2017 Recap


hello March! I have no idea where these weeks go!??! I actually freaked out a couple of weeks ago, because I realized it was too late to train for the United NYC Half… these weeks are faster than any of my races!

Well, the month started with the Gridiron 4 miler, which I totally phoned in. What a loser I am sometimes. Actually, that’s why I freaked out, because, seriously Elizabeth, get it together! Why show up at a race and not even try? UGH. I frustrate myself so much sometimes! The next weekend, pre-Valentine’s Day, Juan and I spent some romantic time in the city, NO MORE DETAILS of course. The weekend after that, we raced a relay triathlon, as a Valentine’s Days Weekend thing: the Lovie Dovie Triathlon at Chelsea Piers. That Thursday was Club Night. a fun event to celebrate NY’s runners. Fun. And last weekend I raced the Al Gordon 4 miler, which went a bit better than the first 4 miler this month. Very busy weeks with lots of events and work and life stuff. All of it fun.

Here is my training for February:


  • Total Miles: 131
  • Races: three!!!
  • Ups: it was almost summer.
  • Downs: I need more time before the NYC Half PLEASE!!!
  • Balance: Someone please slow down time. seriously.

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went by ridiculously fast. So fast I didn’t even notice I didn’t post a recap for the Half I did. I literally started the year racing. Or running on a race course.. We did the Midnight Run, which happens right at the stroke of midnight on January 31st. I was signed up for the Kleinerman 10K because I had a little head cold and decided to focus on my health first. I was moving two days later so I didn’t want to overdo the weekend. So, I changed apartments, and I also started a new job (and career). Life got busy. I am also still coaching a lot. I renewed my CPR and AED cert. I led a few runs and coached many biomechanics 1x1s. Then we went to vacation to Antigua, which was more necessary that I had time to realize. January was a bit crazy. But we made it, with decent mileage, 118 miles in. The United NYC Half is dangerously close…

  • Total Miles: 118
  • Races: one (Manhattan Half) though I wasn’t really racing.
  • Ups: a vacation. And feeling the need to RUN on vacation. Who does that?
  • Downs: January was busy so I wasn’t really paying attention…
  • Balance: meh, in a holding pattern for now

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NYRR Al Gordon 4 Miler – Tiny Recap

Tiny recap because my husband wasn’t there, so there were no pictures. It’s amazing how I don’t remember to take one picture!!! And without pictures… can it really be a good post?

I was working on race distribution starting at 6 am (as setting up can take a bit) and by 7:30 am I remembered I hadn’t eaten anything… so I pulled a gel quickly out of my bag as there was tons of people getting their bibs and tried to swallow it while I handled bibs quickly. Next time I looked down at my watch it was 7:55!!!!!!!!!! Race was starting at 8:00 so I pulled all layers off, and run off to the start. I was soooo cold! I had been outside for two hours so it was hard to pin on the bib, put the watch on and stuff with my frozen hands. I barely got it all on me in time to start the race!!! what a rush!

There was so warm up and my legs and feel were not only cold but frooooozen! Mile one has the hill and I was still feeling out for my feet, 7:27. Mile 2 I started to warm up, and feel the rhythm, and it’s amazing how quickly these races go, mostly without a warm up or 5 minutes in the corral to know what I was doing, so I kept trying to wake myself up! Mile 2: 7:11. Half way through mile 2 I started to warm up and feel comfortable, I actually tossed my shorts. All of a sudden I was in shorts in bra. IN FEBRUARY. Amazing. I love this crappy  global warming, YEAH! Mile 3: 6:43. I always tend to speed up a lot in the last mile, or last half mile but I knew (from last year!) that there was a little uphill on the last 800s so I took it all out on Mile 3, to be safe. Mile 4 was just pace maintenance until about the last 300 hundreds. Mile 4 was 6:51.

Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:12 Average Pace: 7:03

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 70.25%

Overall Place: 509 of 5258

Gender Place: 52 of 2539

Age Place: 3 of 619


What a rush!! Also, how lucky am I that I get to work until 2 minutes before a race??? I know you might not know it but








This is the only picture I got, Michael Capiraso came by to take our picture and that’s it!

By 10:30  I was home, showered and off to the Run Center to spend some more time with the rest of the team! Juan had been on the bike all morning.

Next week is the Washington Heights 5K… here we go again…!


A Salute to the Runners that Inspire me

Carolina, this is for you.

I am newly inspired. Even more than usual. I always say I have the best friends but you need a bit more info, correct?
I saw someone last night get a huge accolade that, of course, she wasn’t expecting.

Carolina has no idea. I spend enough time with her every week to tell you this. She loves running. She enjoys running. The rest is just noise. She really doesn’t care. When she was about to run her marathon last year, she had no idea what 6:55 pace or 6:58 pace would do. When she signed up last minute to run an early Spring half after having trained very very little most of the winter, I run with her to the start and she said she would be happy with a 1:28. She went under that by a lot. She also got a PR. But I was there that winter, I can tell you she didn’t train, maybe she did half the miles I was doing and you know I don’t run a lot of miles.

Carolina doesn’t expect the PRs or the awards or the age group wins. She doesn’t train for them. She doesn’t worry about them. Running is fun for her. She has no thoughts on gels and will take what the guys at Jackrabbit give her. She will listen to all my advice and try to remember, and she’s super smart about it, but there’s something in her head that is just not in your typical fast runner’s brain.

I always felt the same way but I never knew somebody who could take it to the extreme like she would. She would pick a party over a race morning. She will pick champagne over proper hydration. She does many other things that most runners wouldn’t even think of doing, because it might mess up your running… but: FUN OVER EVERYTHING.

I always thought FUN was something that we, “slow runners” could get. The “fast runners” don’t get that. O wrote this post a while ago that got some people irked about how it was my choice not to be a better runner.  This is a hobby guys, a lifestyle at best, not the end of the world, and we should enjoy ourselves. Well, enter this Super Star to prove it.

Carolina, I raise my morning apple cider vinegar to you and your accomplishments. If I could pick between the fast times you have and the fun, I will pick the fun. But above everything, I will pick having you as a friend. You deserve this, and the world too! You’re the best, Love you tons!


And, congratsX2, because now we have one more reason to celebrate!

Lovie Dovie Indoor Triathlon. Yes, I (WE) did that!

Some of you know how scared I am of tris… if you don’t, well, I am scared of swimming, I can’t handle the bike, and omg the logistics… ay.

But there it was, an indoor triathlon, plus, it was a RELAY, within a few miles, add my will to try new things and a triathlete husband to reluctantly do all the stuff I didn’t want to do. Basically, I convinced him (not the other way around!!!) to do the bike and swim, and I’d do the run. Also, it was for fun, and somewhat a Valentine’s Day Weekend fun thing.

The event was at Chelsea Piers. The pool is not deep, but I was a bit intimidated anyway. Also, we were the only two not doing it as a relay, so at some point I thought it’d be better for him if he just did the whole thing. He’ll be faster that me, even after the bike, but he had a long run to do, and we didn’t want to mess that up!

Anyway, registration and check in was a breeze, race was starting at 7 am, we got there at 6:35 and by 6:38 we were getting undressed. 6:45 at the pool.


You can’t say he doesn’t look super ready to swim!

I don’t have pictures (because I was distracted?!?!?!) but they did a snake swim. Which is really hard to explain but I am sure you can look it up if you want the details. Once the swim was underway I sort of wished I was swimming and just hung around. Juan got out of the water and transitioned/run to the bike. This is a spin bike Juan, NOT your bike, okay? that was rough for him.



I don’t think he’s ever sat in a spin bike so that was a bit hard to adjust to. He’s crazy obsessed with biomechanics (like I am!) so he was looking at the power and position and stuff that was completely not important. Chelsea Piers does have compu-trainers (whatever that is!) where he could have put his own bike, but we didn’t want to bother with bringing it. There’s options! I focused on refilling his water bottle, so useful, team effort!!!!!!!

When he was done, it was my turn!! Let’s goooo!


hey hey!

It was weird in a way because, as we were all starting at different times, I couldn’t pace with/off anyone… I had to do my own thing. LAPS. Luckily it wasn’t as hot as I had expected, and the views are always amazing. Oh those boats!


I had to do 12×400 so they gave me 12 rubber bands to put on my wrist and I would throw one into the basket with every lap. Best Idea EVER. That’s how I didn’t lose my sanity. I have no idea what’s the trick to count laps. I’ve never been able to do it. I remember when I did the 60K, 9 laps of 4miles, COULDN’T DO IT. And doing an extra lap there would have been crazy… chelsea-piers-indoor-triathlon-7

I would also tell Juan how many laps I had left. Just in case I forgot. I would lose my mind if all my races were laps. Or maybe I would get used to it. Who knows.



Can you tell how happy I was to be done?

My run was 22:12 for the 5000 meters. Not bad after all the crazy stuff I had done that week (and a long run the day before).

They had a great spread, food and drinks. It was about 10 of us…? Can’t remember. Some triathletes, some runners, all cool people. We actually stayed for a bit and enjoyed the quiet Chelsea Piers on a Sunday at 8 am. Juan run back home, to do his long run. I took the train back thinking I had just done a triathlon. Not really, but almost.

If you’re thinking about participating, there’s a few more coming up. Details here. Thanks Chelsea Piers team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was awesome!!!

Fun times!

NYRR Gridiron 4 Miler – Recap

Another short recap, because I really have to catch up and because there’s really not a lot to tell. I have been taking races so easy that it’s scary…

Juan was running this one (wohoooo!!!) so we met up with Courtney and jogged a couple of miles to the start.

As you can see, I still suck majorly at selfies. I have no idea how people do these (or where to look!!!) UGH


They changed the course!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These 4 milers would usually start around 66th st on the east side and run the 4 mile inside loop (cutting across 102nd st) and finish on the 72nd transverse or right before Tavern on the Green on the main road. This one now starts right before the 102 transverse, does the same loop and ends right at the start. The previous course was hard because you had Cat hill on your first mile or first half mile even. This is one is ALSO hard because you have Cat Hill in mile 3 which always ends up being the slowest mile anyway. Plus, it was a bit congested at the start, for about at least a mile. The 102 transverse was super slow.

Anyway, I wanted to see where I was, so I didn’t race very hard. Or much. Or really at all. As you can see:


Also, I was totally overdressed to race. If I wanted to go hard, I probably would have worn shorts and a shirt. It was 33 degrees (feels like of 28), but I got hot quite fast.

My husband was a bit ahead of me!


Carolina and Colleen were cheering and taking pictures and they did an amazing job at it. I saw them on the west side and them on the east side. And they put on a complete mess of yelling when they saw me. YES. MADE MY RACE.


Courtney and I didn’t run together much. She was a little bit more determined than I was. I just didn’t have it. You know, when you just don’t care and you wonder why are you even racing? THAT. I could have done a longer run, why am I pushing these short miles.. but to tell you the truth, it all backfired right on my face the next day. I realized I am 7 weeks away from the United NYC Half and there is no time to waste… my run Monday was FIRE. Tuesday’s speedwork was FLAMES. Wednesday’s run I push as much as I could.

Tide has turned.

We’ll see how long that lasts… but for now, I AM ON.

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:51 Average Pace: 7:13

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 68.67%

Overall Place: 546 of 5156

Gender Place: 87 of 2435

Age Place: 8 of 299


well, there’s another one in two weeks. Let’s see if I can bring my head and fire to that one! Also, if you ARE running Al Gordon and need a race recap with a course elevation chart, here is mine from last year.