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Keeping in tradition of writing race reports for all my races…here’s the rundown on the Mercer Island Half Marathon (1/2 marathon race report, I know kind of boring).

This was my first race of the 2011 season and my longest race since Ironman. This half marathon course is around Mercer Island, this is a route I ride on my bike frequently, however, I had yet to run it. The elevation profile tells the whole story, its either up or down…nothing flat.

Mercer Island 1/2 Maraton Elevation Profile

The weather had been total crap leading up to race day but we lucked out and it was a sunny and relatively warm morning. The other bonus was the later-than-used-to 9am start.

Being that its a hilly race my plan was to be really conservative the first half and see what I could do on the second half. I was shooting for a 8:00/mi pace for the first six or seven miles, however, the pace ended up at 7:30/mi. I was still able to negative split the race and ended up with a an overall average pace of 7:15/mi.

Its a good race, I’d suggest it to anyone looking for an early season 1/2 marathon thats not afraid of some hills.

Race Time 1:35:19 (Personal Best)  

Div place 28/139 overall place 157

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#132 Owl Attack

I promise I’m not neglecting my blog, there just hasn’t been much to cover lately…that is until my run Tuesday evening.

After work I headed out to make the most of the beautiful weather with a run. Being tired of the same old loop I decided to mix it up by going in a different direction. A couple of miles in I was running up a path in the Mount Baker Park (South Seattle, not the actual Mt. Baker), it was still light out and there was plenty of visibility. I heard a strange noise in the trees that I attributed to a dog whining from a house that borders the park. A few seconds later an owl buzzed me from behind. I’d say the wing span was about three feet and it was light brown in color. After the pass it landed on a tree branch about 15 feet up in the air. I turned around and walked backwards up that past to get a really good look at the bird. We made eye contact for about 15 seconds seconds and it was obvious there was some serious attitude here.

I turned around and continued running up the path, about five steps in the owl hit the top of my head. I never sensed it coming, first I felt its claws then the weight and force of the bird. It scared the hell out of me and was really exciting at the same time. After pass number two I decided not to turn my back on the bird again.

On the way out of the park I let a couple people know about the owl, one person mentioned that the owl frequents the area but they had never heard of it actually hitting people. Not sure if it was trying to chase me away or thought I looked like a good dinner…

After doing a little research online I’m pretty sure its a barn Owl. Needless to say I’ll be running the same route tomorrow!

Barn Owl in flisht

Barn Owl

Photo Credit: Jürgen from Sandesneben Germany (Creative Commons 2.0)

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