Results from the Martian Invasion half marathon:
Time: 1:59:18 (8:54 pace)*
Place: 688 of 1836
AG: 35 of 136
* The course was 0.3-0.4 miles too long, somebody put the turn around point too far down the road. The 8:54 pace is calculated assuming as distance of 13.4 miles (a half marathon should be 13.1). If you do a percentage based adjustment, my time for 13.1 miles would be 1:56:38. However I'll leave my PR at my official time, it is what it is.
The race went very well, aside from me getting there late and without money to pay for parking (three cheers for one of the guys in my running group for loaning me a $20). I got to warm up by running to the start line and jumping in the already departing crowd. Most races use chip timing these days, which means your race time is calculated between the time the RF ID in your shoe tag triggers the start and finish mats. If you start in the back of the pack, or even late (I was 10 minutes late to my 2nd marathon) your time doesn't start until you reach the starting line.
My goal was a sub-2 hr time, so I paced myself to run at 9:09 pace for the first 7 miles, even though it felt pretty easy. My plan was that if 9:09 was felling too easy, I was then to run 8:50 pace for miles 7-10 and 8:35 pace for miles 10-13.1. I held to that pretty well. However, once I realized that the course was going to be too long (I knew the mile markers were off after mile 6, but I still assumed the finish line would be at 13.1), and I still really wanted a sub-2 hr time, I managed 7:47 pace for the last 1/2 mile. That's only 2 seconds slower than my most recent 5k pace. Being that I had that much left in the tank at the finish, I probably could have pushed harder earlier in the race, but I'm still very happy with the results. Maybe next year.
I held up really well mentally for it being an out and back road race. I swore off all road marathons last year, they're just to painful and boring, but this wasn't bad at all. It will be fun to do at least one a year and see if I can get my times to improve. Trail races are still better though.