Two Cities Half Marathon Race Review & Recap

 On November 1, I ran the Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno, CA.

I am subtitling this Race Review, “The Tale of Yet Another Bonk”.

As you can tell from the subtitle, I had a great race.

No, no I didn’t.

I still ask myself, “How in the world is it possible that to bonk on my 9th Half of the YEAR?”

For reals.

 Anyway, on to the race.

I will begin my review, by stating the positive things about this race.

The packet pickup was at the Vets Hall in Downtown Clovis, which was easy to get to and seemed to be well organized.

Score one for Fresno.

Not only do race participants receive a short sleeve race T, but they also receive a long sleeve technical half zip at the finish!

Two for Fresno.

The race also has the option of running two Half Marathons (one in Fresno, or one to Clovis and back).

This is one of the few races that I know of that offer two options for Half Marathons.

Three for Fresno.

Lastly, the Finish Line offers a huge assortment of food for the finishers…

Scrambled eggs, potatoes, pancakes, coffee, hot chocolate, ice cream sundaes, fruit… the list goes on and on.

It was an amazing sight to see after running for 2 hours.

Four for Fresno.

 Now lets get to the negatives… I have to be honest here people.

Surprisingly, I only have one.

The Fresno Half Marathon course, the one I decided to run, is pretty challenging.


I felt like I was running up hill the entire time.

As you can see from the elevation chart… it kind of was.

Allow me to start at the beginning.

This will give you a better idea of where this race went wrong.

Terribly, terribly wrong.

The week in between Rock n’ Roll LA and Two Cities was filled with lots and lots of fast running.

I felt very confident that I would do well, especially since I had run the course (in Marathon form) in 2009.

I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Well… a lot.

Let’s take a gander at my mile splits, shall we?

Lets… and allow me to narrate what I SHOULD have been telling myself during this race.

MILE 1-  9:35.7 (A little too fast there buddy)

MILE 2-  9:42.3 (Slow, slow, sloooow down)

MILE 3-  9:52.9 (Still a little too fast)

MILE 4-  9:51.2 (Are you serious?)

MILE 5-  9:53.0 (SLOW DOWN, DUMMY)

MILE 6-  9:45.3 (Whaaaatttt are you doing?)

MILE 7-  9:45.0 (Why do you keep getting faster? You are blowing this.)

MILE 8-  10:06 (Much better. Geeze… it only took you 8 miles)

MILE 9-  10:27 (Okay, now you are going TOO slow, pick up the pace)

MILE 10-  11:11 (Are you bonking?)

MILE 11-  12:04 (Yep, you are bonking)

MILE 12-  12:47 (Yep, you are DEFINITELY bonking)

MILE 13-  11:59 (Well that sucked)

Finish time: 2:18.34

Not my slowest time by any means, but definitely not my fastest.


Looking back on this race two weeks later, I realize now that I went wrong in four places…

1.) I was overconfident in my training.

Yes, I am getting faster, but am no where near being able to hold a 9:45 pace for 13 miles.

I went into this race without really giving my race plan much thought.

2.) I thought, “Hey, I bet I could run a 2:10… no problem!”, without really looking into what that means from a pace standpoint.

Which leads me to #3…

3.) I failed to study the course map and elevation chart prior to the race.

and lastly…

4.) I tried to keep up with the 2:10 pacer.

I broke one of my cardinal rules… run your own race.

Had I taken all of these failures into consideration before running the race, I think it could have ended much differently.

But, I am chalking this one up to another learning experience.



9 thoughts on “Two Cities Half Marathon Race Review & Recap

  1. Melissa @ See Dav Run says:

    Girl, I know your pain. I ran a half with a friend who hadn’t trained much, but I was in marathon training. I strutted like a peacock, not running my own race, until I realized it was too hot and hilly at mile 9 to even dream about the pace I’d tried to keep. It happens to the best of us, but it sounds like you’ve got a plan and learned from it!


  2. sanderroosendaal says:

    Study the course map is an important one, especially in hilly terrain. Study the course map and know where to push and where not, based on your strengths. Now you know how not to do it. Next time, same course: success!


  3. unironedman says:

    I feel your pain alright, though sometimes you just have to try and hang on to the coat tails of a pacer and go for it. My best half of 1.49 happened when I decided to stick to the 1.50 pacer. Never would have done that without making the call at the start of the race. Didn’t think I had it in the legs. Next time…


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