With perfect weather in the forecast, and a goal to put last year's HHHM in the rear view mirror, the 2012 Hospital Hill Half Marathon was finally upon us. Last year's race, if I need to remind you one more time, was horrific all the way around, due exclusively to the horrible weather. This year, fortunately, was about as great as it could have been. 53 degrees to start, with light sunshine and light wind, would paint the picture of a day worthy of hosting the 39th annual HHHM in the center of downtown Kansas City.
My running partner Sparky and I got down to the Crown Center about an hour before the start of the race (me with my coffee, naturally) in order to get situated and take in the atmosphere. Any more, just hanging around the starting blocks and corrals for a big race is pretty enjoyable. Nice to see groups kicking it, laughing, and basically showing up to have a good time and enjoy the company. It helps to grow the events if there is a cordial aura and friendly nature. Only a handful of people have any real shot to earn money, and slightly more have ambitions of a PR, but the majority of people are looking to challenge themselves, get in a tough workout, and earn a medal while supporting or receiving support from their friends or loved ones. In that aspect, I'd say that Hospital Hill was a resounding success. With close to 300 more half marathon participants this year than last, the 40th anniversary of the HHHM in 2013 is shaping up to be quite the event.
As for the run itself, I would say it went pretty well, all things considered. During this training cycle, I moved from Topeka and had another back lockup. I dropped focusing on improving speed to focus on delivering better and more efficient long runs. I was pleased to drop 12 minutes from my time in 2011, although I think the entirety of it was due to the weather difference from last year to this. Either way, I can't wait for next year to get their 40th anniversary medal. Until next time...later. And thanks for reading.