Race Report: Fawn Lake Half Marathon by Gordon Ducan

I recently ran the inaugural Fawn Lake Half-Marathon.

Honestly, I hadn’t planned any races since the Dismal Swamp Marathon, so I’ve only been maintaining miles. But when a friend extended an invitation, I thought it would be fun.

There were only about 20 runners in-person, and I hear there was a good number of virtual runners. The course ran entirely through the Fawn Lake neighborhood.

We started at the clubhouse, and to my surprise, I found myself in second pretty quickly. The runner ahead of me, Michael, is 56, and he took off with confidence.

We ran a quick loop through a cul-de-sac and then ran straight to the entrance of the neighborhood. It was a nice two-mile stretch. I began to settle in by the turn, and I was feeling better than expected. Around mile 2.5, I had a small accident. I started the race wearing my Fluid buff for safety at the starting line. I quickly realized that wearing it throughout the race was going to be too hot. I wanted to take it off and wear it as a wristband. When I pulled it off, my headphones fell out, so I had to stop and take a moment to get everything readjusted. Then, it was back at it. 

Miles 4-6 were nearly identical pace wise (7:26, 7:26, and 7:28). At mile 9, I was feeling great and pushed to a 7:19.

It was at this point that the course got a bit confusing as it ran to into a cul-de-sac. There weren’t any signs, but the organizers told us that we would be running along a brief gravel portion on the dam over the lake. Fortunately, I could see that entrance and made the correct turn. 

This portion of the race, leading to an uphill climb out of the marina, was the course’s most challenging section. I slowed to a 7:42, but I recovered on mile 11 with 7:28. Once again, mile 12 was uphill and fatigue was settling in (7:41).

Thankfully, the ending was a slight downhill back to the clubhouse, and I finished with my second fastest mile of the race with a 7:23. I crossed the finish line in second. 

My final time was a 1:39:08 with a 7:34 pace. I ran faster in last year’s Blue and Gray Half-Marathon, but considering my lack of prep, I was pretty happy.

The winner finished a solid 4 mins faster than me. He was booking.

This is a great course and race. I hope they can do it again next year with more folks. If so, I’ll definitely train for it.

 

- Gordon


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