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  • Larry Payne


My latest half-marathon was more a survival exercise than a race! I had been watching the weather forecasts for about 10 days as the predictions grew more dire. Even the day before the race, with the temp in the low 50’s and light fog, would have been okay. But the big cold front hit just as predicted! The morning of the race the thermometer read 31 degrees, the winds were sustained at 20 mph, and the windchill read 21!! I had worked to layer the clothes, and wore double pants, triple jackets, a gaiter, beanie, my canvas travel hat, and a warming patch on my back! The last layer, my old blue Nike windbreaker, was the gamechanger in the biting breeze. I joined about 300 other insane people dancing to keep warm at the starting line in downtown Lubbock.

Much of the first half was running north into that wind. The last half turned the corner to give a bit of a tailwind. I actually was comfortable when I got going. The north wind had some mist and sleet but thankfully the real rain had stopped. I kept to my plans for fueling with the hydration vest and energy gels. Honestly, the last couple of miles were a real effort since I had burned extra energy in the cold. But the four months of training paid off. I crossed the line just 4 minutes off my tentative goal, second in my division (note: only 5 old guys were crazy like me). The bottom line was completing my first half in 6 years, at age 71, and that feels good. My reward is a new treadmill that should arrive this week, to keep me out of this kind of weather in the future!

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