Matt Liebsch and I went 1-2 in the half marathon this weekend in Wirth Park in Minneapolis. It is pretty cool to do a trail marathon in an urban environment. The pack started out hard and we pushed the pace the entire race. Matt broke away at mile 7 and after letting him gap the rest of the group I bridged up to him and we took the lead. There is a lot of terrain in Wirth Park and a mile or so later we found ourselves running with no flags or trail markers. We had taken a wrong turn somewhere. Luckily Matt was able to get us back on course quickly but we had dropped back to 8th and 9th. At this point Matt took off and I started the chase. With about 2 miles to go we were back in 1-2 with Matt about 10 seconds up on me. I finally caught up to him with 1.5 miles to go. We slowed down, drank our feed bottles and settled in for the battle to the finish. It wasn’t as close as I thought it would be, we threw our feed bottles and Matt took off. My legs were pulsing and on the verge of cramping and we finished 17 seconds apart.
My favorite races are the ones that are hard fought. Matt and I have had many battles in skiing and running. We train together a lot too and it is fun to continually push and challenge each other. Congratulations Matt on your race.
I think this year we are going to keep track of our total time in all the races we do together for a ‘Tour De France” style competition. My guess is we will be in a sprint during the final races of the year.