For my July First Friday Flashback, I figured I would recap the Davis Moo-nlight Race which is an evening half marathon (plus 5k and 10k) in Davis, California in July. This race is a mixed bag for me. I have ran this race the two years since I moved back to California, and I plan to keep running it, just to have some benchmark races year to year.
In 2011, the race really wasn’t all that good. They had a complex double loop course and put the wrong volunteer at a complicated spot. He ended up diverting the entire half marathon group the wrong way and the course was nearly a mile short. I knew something was wrong quickly, but there were some last minute course changes earlier in the day, and I thought that it would be corrected. I was wrong.
Being the dork that I am, I turned around in the finishers chute, and ran back a half mile, then returned just so I could have a true half marathon. I was really glad that I wasn’t running for half fanatics, or gunning for a PR, or even running my first half. A lot of people were P.I.S.S.E.D. Plus running in the heat of July wasn’t that much fun either.
And to top it off, the medal, while it did glow in the dark, wasn’t all that great. It was just okay.
I didn’t plan on running it again in 2012, but they suckered me in with bonus bling. A Change of Pace, the race organization, offered a bonus medal if you ran three of the four races they put on in the first half of the year. You would get a pint glass and the medal if you did all four. I was going to do Davis Stampede Half Marathon anyway, because it was the 30th anniversary and I am sucker for anniversary races; plus they had a half marathon in March that I wanted to do. I figured, what the heck, I can do a July race. Plus they changed the course into a single loop, rather than something complex.
The nice thing about the ACOP races is that they are very affordable, usually less than $60 for a half, and can be as low as $45 if you register early. Also, Davis is FLAT. The only real hills are over passes, which can suck, but aren’t as bad as other places.
Also in 2012, ACOP made some changes and started putting out better medals. The Davis Stampede medals were 100 times better than the one the Dashing Wife got in 2011, the Lucky 7 (the March half) was pretty good, so things were looking up for me doing Moo-nlight. There was also a 5k/10k race that I would do, just to get the pint glass.
Also, Petaluma has the Clo-Cow half marathon in September, and Sacramento has the Urban Cow half in October, so I talked a couple of friends into doing the cow-themed-half-marathon-trifecta, and we all decided to Davis Moo-nlight.
The race started off with trying to find a pre-race meal, which for evening races is hard to do. Then the Dashing Son had his kids race. I ran with him during his mile (0.75 miles in actuality), and my hamstrings started getting tight. This was weird because that hadn’t happened before.
During the race, I started off fine, my hammies were tight, but not too bad. At least until mile 8. From then on, things went downhill. I took longer walk breaks than normal, and I made it to about mile 11.5 and I couldn’t keep running. I started walking, which was probably not the best thing to do. They tightened up even worse.
I kept pushing myself to get to the finish line as I watched several pace groups pace me (ACOP usually has pacers in 5 min increments from 1:30 to 2:30 finish times). Finally by 12.75, I decided to suck it up and run the last ½ km to the finish. I made it, but had no push at the end. The next week was spent foam rolling my hamstrings – thank god there weren’t cameras watching me, it looked like I was doing something else to the foam roller.
I grabbed my medal, which was awesome (one of my favorites), limped over to get my bonus medal, which was even more awesome, and my pint glass. One of the race sponsors is Sudwerks, a Davis brewery, and race entrants got a free beer. That was epic.
All in all, it was a good race, and much better than 2011. There were 6 water stops, but a 7th would have been quite nice. I need to figure out my nutrition before the race better. Nonetheless, on July 13th, I will be out in Davis running Moo-light as one of my 4 half marathons this year (down from 10 halves, 2 fulls, and a 20 miler last year). I am hoping that I can run like I did in 2011, with a full course like they had in 2012.
Who else is going to be there?