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Long Beach Half Marathon

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Member Since:

Apr 28, 2011



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

PR Table and Notable Races

2:21:12 (Chicago); 2:20:41 (CIM)

Half Marathon: 1:05:45 (Long Beach)
10K: 30:03 (Portland)

All race results:
2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016



Favorite Blogs:

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Race: Long Beach Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:05:45, Place overall: 3
Running MilesSwimming YardsBike Miles

Full Report... this is a longer one! :-) 

Pre-Race: When I found out 5 days ago that Long Beach had assembled a very competitive field for this race, I adjusted my race strategy from a negative-split race, to just going with the fast guys and seeing what I could do. All along (which actually means since July), my plan had been to qualify for the trials in Philadelphia, so this was just a "bonus" attempt. Equaling my time from Top of Utah was something I really wanted to do... and there were 2 ways of doing that - either a conservative start and negative split, or just run the OTQ pace as long as possible and risk blowing up. I took the chance on the latter, on the chance that I might catch lighting in a bottle and have a magical race. I figured it was worth taking the chance; I'd regret it if I ran 1:05:15 off a conservative start.

We ran from our hotel to the starting area, then did some strides, typical pre-race stuff. Since we were staying so close, we didn't even have to bother using the bathrooms at the starting area. It was nice. This race was HUGE (~25,000 runners). After the wheelchair athletes took off, we lined up at the start. The announcer tried to keep the crowd of people trying to get up to the front of the line off the heels of the "elites", so he yelled out "If you paid for your own your shoes, stay behind the rope!" That was pretty funny to me.  

The RaceIt was nice and cool at the start, and it was light outside, but the sun wasn't on us yet. When the gun went off, I just felt amazing... I knew it was a fast pace right away, but I told myself I was staying with the pack as long as I could. It was a solid pack of probably 12-14 runners up front, and we were led out by a couple motorcycles, several cars, a truck, and a half dozen guys riding along on Elipti-Gos. I felt like I was in the Tour de France!

The first 6 miles of the course looped around through the waterfront area of Long Beach. Lots of turns, but only one really sharp one. I tucked into the back of the lead pack (probably around 8th-9th place) for most of this time. We were moving... opening mile was 4:56, then 9:46 for the next 2 miles (2nd mile marker was way off so I didn't even click my watch). Miles 4-6 were 4:52, 4:55, 4:54. My 10K split was 30:26. That's 68 seconds faster than I've ever run for 10K, and I'm fairly certain that I equaled (or came very close to) my 5K PR during the some of those early miles. 

Once we got past 10K, we started an out & back along the beach. At this point the pack really started to fall apart. I knew the pace was not sustainable, so I settled into a "comfortably hard" pace. Still, a few guys fell off me during these next 2 miles, and I think I moved into 5th place. I missed the mile 7 marker, then hit 8 miles in 10:20 for the last 2 miles. Ouch. I'm paying the pace for the really fast start. Need to re-focus, but its getting hard. I make a goal to catch the guy in front of me, and get him by mile 9, which is 5:01. My 15K split is ~46:17. That's another PR.

At 9.6 miles we turn around, off the beach, and back on the road towards the finish line. I'm closing in on the guy in 3rd place. I really want a podium spot. The 10 mile split was 5:06... too slow, but I actually closed the gap. He was dying worse than me I guess. 

I missed the 11 mile mark, so the 2 miles from 10-12 was 10:18. Ugh! Fading. This part of the course has no spectators and it quite lonely. The second place guy is 10-15 seconds in front of me. I tried to muster up a little fight, but only managed 5:03 for the 13th mile, and then 28 seconds for the kick to the finish.

Final time was 1:05:45 for 3rd place.  [Update: Don't you hate it when they give you a time (1:05:43) and then 8 hours later they just randomly add 2 seconds to the official results??? Apparently I ran 2 seconds slower. Oh well... same difference I guess]

Post Race: Found my aunts, uncles, and grandmother who had come to watch (they live in the LA area), then we cheered Andrea in. Holy freaking moly... her 1:17:03 was incredibly impressive. She is an absolute superstar. Then we got escorted to the VIP area... but since they weren't giving out awards for quite a while, we cooled down by running back to out hotel, took a shower, then came back to (wait around forever and eventually) get our awards. Went out to a great brunch with my family, then went to the aquarium, walked around the waterfront area, etc. A very fun day. Now we're relaxing in the hotel for a bit and will head back out to watch the sunset on the beach tonight. We're flying back to SLC tomorrow morning.

Quick Analysis: I am proud of myself for taking a chance and going for broke today. I mixed it up with some very accomplished runners and beat most of them. I also paid the price for going out so hard. With more conservative pacing, I think I could have run ~15-20 seconds faster. But that's ok... I am very confident that I can run under 2:19 in November. I'm so excited to get into this last cycle of marathon training!!! 

Not that there is anything wrong with aided courses (especially considering the level of competition we have in Utah), but it feels really good to run what I feel is a very honest PR. There's no altitude / downhill conversions for this one... it is what it is, and I like that.  

While we were walking around all afternoon, Andrea and I talked about our plan for the next month. We feel very confident... we have an excellent training plan... we'll support each other through this last push towards Philly, we have amazing family who believe in us (I think my parents have already booked their hotel for the Olympic Trials!), and we have the encouragement of this amazing community of runners on the blog, which means an awful lot to us. 

Now, lets get ready for Philadelphia!!!

PS - Our Spooky Fast 5K is going to be October 29th. Everyone is invited, and I hope a lot of you will be able to make it. E-mail me for details.

There were about a hundred photographers on the course, so hopefully we'll get some good action shots... here's a few from my camera after the race... 

Post race w/ Andrea... we are pretty happy!

Top 3 men

With the extended family after the race

C'mon, you knew this is how we'd refuel!

Long Beach harbor - the course wound all around this area... it was actually quite a scenic course, which we realized when walking around afterwards... during the race I wasn't paying attention to anything other than running.

From Holt on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 12:59:22 from

Wow Jake, WOW! Great job - excited to hear the whole report. Enjoy basking in the glory... and you are going to kill it at Philly!

Great job to Andrea too!

From Bam on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 13:03:11 from

Jake - knew you'd bang it hard - your training suggested you'd have a cracker today. When I was out this morning, I said to myself, Jake'll come in around 65/66 mins. Well done. Next stop 2.18 in Philly...

From allie on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 13:46:35 from

congrats on a great race, jake! what an awesome day for both you and andrea. i'm looking forward to hearing all the details.

From Adam RW on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 14:27:31 from

You two are such an inspiration. Glad to see the hard work paid off. Enjoy the time with the family and a little rest...

From ACorn on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 14:48:16 from

Way to go Jake! You made the podium which has to feel great and gave it your all. You're a stud! Big congrats.

From Claudio on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 15:04:45 from

Wow! Congratulations on an amazing time! I will be looking for you in Philly, from some distance that is... you'll probably be flying back to the finish at mile 23 or so when I'll be still heading out at mile 17! Go get that OTQ and podium finish in Philly as well!

From seeaprilrun on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 15:42:52 from

Whoa! Amazing! Wow! Y'all will be going to the trials together!!

From Fritz on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 15:56:49 from

Great job Jake. You will crush it at Philly for sure.

From Lily on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 16:10:35 from

YES! Way to run my friend! You WILL get the 2:18 next month. You know it! :)

From Rachelle on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 16:59:56 from

Congrats to you both!! I can't wait to here more.

From Bonnie on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 17:33:03 from

Congratulations Jake! What an awesome performance!

From Hamdog Alum on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 18:25:59 from

Jake you opened some big time doors in fitness with this race! I love the 5K and 10K PR's - freaking awesome!

From Tyler on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 18:48:05 from

Wow wow wow, can't wait for the full report

From MichelleL on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 19:11:07 from

Incredible!!! excited to read more.

From Paul on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 19:31:23 from

Yeehaw, that's awesome! Yes, with a sub-1:06 half under your belt, you are looking GOOD for Philly! Congrats on the PR, and to Andrea too.

From Steve on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 20:09:34 from

Awesome run, Jake!

From Superfly on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 20:58:37 from

"Oh by golly!" as my 2 year old boy Myler would say. Yeah just keep yourself healthy for Philly and weather permitting your in like flin. Good job man!

From Jake K on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 21:07:41 from

Thanks so much for all the support everyone! I can't even say how much it means... I feel like I have an army backing me up in this last push towards qualifying for the trials.

The full report is up now.

From JD on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 21:28:23 from

Very inspirational stuff! Congratulations!!

From Jon on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 21:57:44 from

Man, awesome race. Good job, and go get em at Philly!

From JulieC on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 23:18:41 from

congrats Jake!!! Great report!! You two are so fun to read about!! REAL people doing AMAZING things!! Gotta feel great about that!! : D

From JulieC on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 23:21:01 from

oh , I am interested in your Spooky Fast 5K. Let me know about where and time. Also, about the course. Thanks.

From Carina on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 23:23:49 from

AMAZING!! Way to go, you'll kill it in Philly!!!!

From MarkP on Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 23:48:42 from

Way to kick please do not swear and go for it! I really enjoyed reading the report and will be cheering you guys on in Philly.

From MichelleL on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 00:02:26 from

Ok, trying to decide which split is most impressive. I love the mile 9 split, the mile 10 split is awesome given what you have already done and a 180 turn, where you are bound to lose a couple of seconds. Your mile 13 split is crazy good. So much to admire about your gutzy race. Congrats!

From jun on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 00:28:12 from

Unreal Jake. I followed it through the online splits this morning. Way to go. I won't be running the 29th as I'll still be recovering, but I want to come and see everyone run. Count me in.

From Little Bad Legs on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 00:34:20 from

Don't you just hate it when the best you can do is a 5:03 for your 13th mile? Haha!! Dude, you KILLED it! Way to go. Excellent report and great job today. Going for broke from the beginning rather than running conservative during the first half shows just what kind of runner you are. Philly will be great!

From jtshad on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 10:32:41 from

Congratulations on a stellar race on an honest course. You did great and will kill that OTQ in Philly. That is an amazing time!

From Russ on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 11:14:51 from

Great job! What an awesome race, and great race report. OTQ is looking great for you - it will be fun to watch. Good luck on training this next month.

From JG on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 12:50:25 from

Congrats! Way to go for the gusto from the get go! Awesome running!!

From Jake K on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 16:57:49 from

Thanks again for the kind words everyone!

JulieC - the "course" for our 5K is twelve and a half laps around the Highland High School track... flat and fast!

We're planning to do some kids fun runs (short dashes) too... and we'll get some small prizes to give to all the little ones... make it a fun family event.

From Scott Wesemann on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 18:47:59 from

Wow, congrats on your race. That is very impressive. I really enjoyed the report.

From Burt on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 19:05:09 from

Awesome job Jake. And congrats on being a more popular blogger than allie! In her face!

From Oreo on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 16:57:54 from

Stunning!! Great job on the race. Good luck in Philly!!!

From Bryce on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 00:19:55 from

Really impressive. Great job to you and Andrea all the way through. Very, very inspirational to see the rewards that your hard work gets you. Best of luck in Philly!

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 16:45:17 from

Jake - you qualified for a bummer! Close enough to 1:05:00 to where you are justified in saying that. Few people understand that to "qualify for a bummer" is actually a great honor.

And I think this establishes a benchmark of sorts that TOU half is worth a fast sea-level half.

From Jake K on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 16:19:45 from

Ha I know where you are coming from Sasha, but there was definitely nothing that bummed me out about this one. If anything, I'm FIRED UP for this last cycle of training before Philly! :-)

Andrea and I have talked a bit about comparing TOU 1/2 to a flat sea level half. We can't seem to come to a definitive conclusion... Its hard to know exactly what the "conversion" would be, because we are both in better shape than we were at the end of August. Especially Andrea. But I think its fair to say that your time from TOU gives you a good starting point in terms of how to pace for a sea level race. I will say that the short hills (overpasses) on the Long Beach course didn't feel like anything comparing to racing up hills at 4500 feet!

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 16:30:30 from

Jake - qualifying for a bummer in the half is actually quite exciting. The philosophy behind the half standard is to allow the guys with sub 2:15 potential who have not yet done it to be at the Trials. In other words, they set it high enough so that a true 2:19 guy will never be able to wiggle his way into the Trials by running the half. So if you are shaking your fist at that standard from a 45 second distance, that is very encouraging.

However, there is a reason they require "only" 2:19 for the full. Marathon is a long way to go, and the journey is precarious. No matter how well you've trained and how positive all the indicators are, you can never come to the starting line and feel any safer than on the edge of a cliff. In fact, it is one distance where you are not safe until you've crossed the finish line. A blow up at 24 can send all hopes down the drain. This is not to say that you should panic in fear of the unknown, but remember to be humble as you race and be thankful for every mile on target.

From Jake K on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 16:56:21 from

I knew you meant it as a compliment, Sasha. I do agree that there is a satisfaction is being close to what is really the "A+" standard (the 10K being the A++). But I'm starting to see myself now as a 64:XX 1/2 runner and the times feels attainable to be, hopefully next time around.

I have a ton of respect for the marathon distance, I know there are about a thousand tiny variables that can go wrong, and I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch... but that being said I'm still going into this with supreme faith in myself and the work I've put in. Its sort of like skiing a ridiculously steep mountain... the more confident you are in your abilities, the better the chances of getting to the bottom w/out something going horribly wrong! ie. blowing up at mile 24 :-)

From Bam on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 16:59:42 from

Sasha makes a good point and I've been thinking how well you'll go in Philly. I've looked over your training and races and I reckon, all things being equal, you'll have a good day and surprise yourself. If, as Sasha recommends, you respect the distance, I think you'll bust-up 2.19 and run around the 2.17.30 mark - perhaps do the first half in a cozy 69.15 and come home all guns blazing. Be careful not to over cook the last few weeks; those sniffles you've had are a warning. Anyway, I'm putting 100 cyber bucks on you to go sub 2.18. No pressure man, just a vote of confidence.

From Lily on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 17:04:48 from

If this were facebook, I would 'like' bam's comment.

From Kelli on Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 14:14:18 from

CONGRATULATIONS! Great race, way to hang it all out there. I hear what you are saying about the honest course PR, that has to feel so good! (I, however, prefer aided---I need all of the help I can get!!)

This marathon is going to AMAZING!!! I can not wait to see what happens.

Great pictures, you do look happy, AND those tiny little bowls of ice cream were just not enough. I clearly need to teach you two how to consume ice cream. ;o)

From Jake K on Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 16:48:45 from

Kelli anytime you want to come have an ice cream eating contest against us, BRING IT ON!!! We get wimpy sizes when we eat out, but you should see our freezer at home and what we go through on a weekly basis! :-)

From Kelli on Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 18:15:57 from

OH, you do not know who you are daring!!! BTW, have you two tried Nelson's Custard yet? I know I commented on Andrea's blog that you MUST go there, you live close enough.

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