2010 Quad Cities Half Marathon

Last night: shoulder was ok, but I felt a twinge on the inner lateral tendon; I thought about not going at all. The pain wasn’t severe. But I noticed that it was raining outside; therefore the twinge was probably a weather ache.

So I went.
Short version: 2:39:13 (walking 100 percent of the time), 1:00:11 first 5, 1:59:57 at mile 10). Final pace: 12:09. Knees: slightly soft except for the metal grate portions, where they were outright bent.

Place: 1470 out of 1727, or 67/71 in my age group.

In perspective: my PR is 2:17 for the half marathon powerwalk (2003); I walked this course (more or less) in 2:25:13 in 2008. In 2009, I walked the QC marathon in 5:28 and the Rockford Marathon in 5:14 (faster pace).

But on the other hand, I had meniscus surgery on my right knee on July 9, 2010 and hadn’t had much training either prior or afterward; I’ve had a few 30 mile weeks and only one 10 mile walk.

So, my expectations were low and I feel drained but ok with my effort; it felt good to be out there again! πŸ™‚ Of course, I wish I had walked faster (but hadn’t trained to do so) and I felt a emotional twinge at the first place where the marathon split off from the half. Don’t get me wrong; it would have been stupid to attempt the full; I wouldn’t have broken 6 hours but I might have broken my knee and shoulder. πŸ™‚

Long version:
The drive from I-74 was uneventful except for the final rest stop (between Galesburg and Moline, where the race started). I got out, used the bathroom and I see some skinny guys in running shoes…then more…and as I exited the building, more! We wished each other luck.

The weather was crisp (48-50 F, 9 C) though the course was wet in spots.

I started way in the back of the pack; the idea was to take it easy and walk easily. My posture wasn’t the best and I am sure that my knees were slightly soft.

It took us 5 minutes to get to the start; I started my watch and just strode it out. The marathon and half marathon stay together for over 7 miles. So, I went out among others.

We went up on the I-74 bridge

which had some good views and brought us to mile 1.

I just kept is steady and got to mile 2 in 25:03 (my watch time).

We had one extended uphill:

The next uphill mile took 12:22 and I got to mile 5 on the Davenport bike path in 1:00:11.

Though it was slightly crowded here, I liked this stretch as you have the water on one side, a soft bike path and you can see the scenic Davenport waterfront coming at you. The sun is behind you, so the women’s spandex wrapped rear ends just shimmer, shine and make interesting light shows. πŸ™‚
I did have some mild rotator cuff pain here and some LEFT knee pain at times.

I walked each of these miles under 12 minutes each (11:29, 11:51, 11:59, 11:52) but let up a bit when the marathon split off. Still there were people to work off of. I began to realize that I could not sustain this pace.

We turned off across an old railroad bridge (on the vehicle deck) and this part was kind of tough; you could walk on the wet slippery metal grate or walk on the rug which was bunched up at places (I tripped once). Then when you come off of this bridge you do a tiny stretch on Arsenal Island on a bike path and cross another slippery metal grate bridge; here I walked flat footed and bent kneed to keep my balance.

Then you left Arsenal Island and used a bike path; here you had marathon runners on their 19.5 to 23 mile segment. Needless to say, those runners were moving 6-6:30 minutes per mile.

I had entertained some thoughts of picking it up, but I really didn’t push; my legs were tired and my knees didn’t hurt. So I just maintained; the steel grate mile was 12:37 and the last three miles were 12:41, 12:42 and 12:39.

Then came the finish line.

The marathoners finished on the left; the women’s overall winner ran past me in this region and finished in the 2:42 range (clock time).

As I finished, Joe Moreno (the RD) mentioned that a “racewalker was coming in” and said that “I made it look easy”.
Well, in fairness, I wasn’t going that fast; I was in my protective cocoon.

The medal was huge.

(more photos here)

Race and Course notes
The race is well organized and part of the course are scenic. The only down side is that there is a lot of concrete on the new course (miles 19.5 to 22.5 for the marathon). That won’t keep me from walking the race, but that can be tough on runners.

September 26, 2010 - Posted by | knee rehabilitation, marathons, racewalking, shoulder rehabilitation, time trial/ race, training, travel, walking | ,


  1. Great work! You appear to be healing nicely. Want to join us in January for the 50K? You should :)!

    Thanks for the race report and pics. Looks like a nice course for RW, for sure! Nice & flat, and pretty.

    Comment by Tammy | September 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Aside from the slippery bridges it is a good RW course (the full marathon avoids the railroad bridge and is even more RW friendly).

      Judged RW: the right knee still only completely straightens with difficulty (e. g., weights pushing on it) so judged RW might be a thing of the past for me.

      Comment by blueollie | September 27, 2010 | Reply

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