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<b>Some information about the race:</b><br>
The event has been staged the third Saturday of January for the past 26 years and has featured either a late-morning or early-afternoon start time in hopes of utilizing the warmest part the day. This race is one of the most challenging half-marathons around considering the course and the uncertainty of mid-January weather in Kansas.<br><br>
The race course is point-to-point, starting on the streets in and around the capital city of Kansas and proceeding onto rural roads to the finish in the village of Auburn. Auburn is southwest of Topeka and the course travels primarily south and west from Topeka.<br><br>
The first eight miles of the course are on paved asphalt streets and roads; the next four miles are on country roads and the last mile plus is back on asphalt. The course start is at an elevation of 1013 feet and the finish is at 1084 feet, but with continuous ups and downs throughout most of the route the elevation difference seems greater. The low point is near 1 ½ miles at 956 feet and the highest point at 1190 feet is near 6 ½ miles. There are several steep inclines along the race course, with at least three gaining over 100 feet in elevation.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c232/aphigirl01/CourseMap_2_.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><b>My report:</b><br>
So I watched the weather all week long knowing it was going to be cold on race day. Each day it seemed like the predicted temperature dropped a couple degrees. Last I knew it was going to be 18 degrees. I didn't even bother to check the temperature on race day. I just looked - the high was 14. Brrrrr! At least the sun was out.<br><br>
Anyways, I had a very loose goal for this race - finish under 2 hours. I have done several 10-12 mile runs over the past few months, but this was to be my longest run since the Chicago Marathon. Couple that with the frigid temps, I just wasn't holding high expectations for the day.<br><br>
The race started and all was well. I decided to run wearing my yak trax since most of the roads were still snow-packed and icy, and I knew I'd want them on the county roads. I thought they would be annoying to run in for that long but they were just fine. I warmed up quicker than a thought so the temperature didn't get to me too much. Occasionally the wind would shift or we'd turn on the course and it would feel chilly, but otherwise I felt okay in the cold.<br><br>
Like I mentioned above, the course is quite hilly (yes, we have hills in NE Kansas, thanks!). This is one of the many hills on the course:<br><a href="http://00673d3.netsolhost.com/photoalbum_index.htm/01-19-08auburn_running/images/IMG_0864_s_jpg.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://00673d3.netsolhost.com/photoalbum_index.htm/01-19-08auburn_running/images/IMG_0864_s_jpg.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
The picture doesn't really do it justice.<br><br>
Here is me at the top of this hill:<br><a href="http://00673d3.netsolhost.com/photoalbum_index.htm/01-19-08auburn_running/images/IMG_1076_s_jpg.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://00673d3.netsolhost.com/photoalbum_index.htm/01-19-08auburn_running/images/IMG_1076_s_jpg.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
I felt good most of the race. I had some mild shin issues early on, but they loosened up and didn't give me any trouble. The hills certainly took some energy out of me and I was getting tired by the last mile. Plus that last mile was COLD. It was right into the wind.<br><br>
I started my watch at the start and never looked at it again. I had no idea what kind of pace I was running, I just went by comfort. I finished in 1:58:03, so under 2 hours like I hoped. Certainly not my fastest half marathon in recent years, but I'm good with it given the conditions. I stuck around for the awards even though I was not expecting to get anything. There were quite a few girls in my age group (for a race in this area) so I was sure I wouldn't place. Color me shocked when I placed first in my age group!<br><a href="http://00673d3.netsolhost.com/photoalbum_index.htm/01-19-08auburn_awards/images/IMG_0397_s_jpg.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://00673d3.netsolhost.com/photoalbum_index.htm/01-19-08auburn_awards/images/IMG_0397_s_jpg.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
So for it being a cold-ass day in January, the race was fun, the award was nice, and the pancakes after the race were divine! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Nice race! Congrats on your medal. You rock, aphigirl! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Where's the pic of you on the hill?
 

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Great job, becky!!!<br><br>
This is why I don't race in Topeka... if Becky is in my age group, she'll smoke me! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
I can only see the pic of you at the end, tho. You look fabulous!
 

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Great job. Love the pictures and congrats on winning your age group!! Sure does look cold but I am glad you were able to stay warm.
 

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Another great Kansas runner! I have never run that race but sounds like a good one. Congrats on meeting your goals and your age group win.
 

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Congrats on a great run and your unexpected AG win. <img alt="banana.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/banana.gif"><br><br>
My, you do have hills out there. Color me shocked. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Congratulations! That looks like a really tough course, ouch! You're one heck of a strong runner. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Great job out there on a nice and cold day. And even better that you reached your goal and first in your AG.<br><br>
Congrats
 

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Something tells me that this race was even better than what the final time shows...in fact I'm SURE that it was. All I have to do is take one look at that hill shot. No doubt you earned that hardware.<br><br>
Well done!
 

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Congrats Aphi!
 

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Great job, aphi and a big congrats on the unexpected AG win. I had the same thing happen to me at a 5k back in October; I thought just maybe I would place in my AG and ended up taking home the 1st place medal. Feels great, doesn't it?
 

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Congrats on running a tough-looking course well, and of course on the hardware!
 
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