jan holds ahepa suffolk half trophyOn Sunday, March 25, the runners gathered for the annual AHEPA Suffolk County 5K and half marathon. The weather was overcast and on the cooler side, thus creating ideal conditions for running a half marathon. The start for both distances was from the same line. That caused some confusion among the half marathon runners, as the first few miles the 5K runners sprinted much faster. It also caused later some confusion among 5K runners when they missed the turn to the finish line and instead continued running with the half marathon runners.

It was my 3rd time running the AHEPA Suffolk County half marathon and I recall the weather being always similar—cooler and occasionally drizzling. Last time, I was here in 2010 when preparing for the Boston marathon. I missed it in 2011, as that year I didn’t start running until mid-June to prepare for Marine Corps marathon in Washington, DC. And I came again because of the Boston marathon in 3 weeks.

After the 5K runners left the course, the half marathon field was right away more dispersed. Mile 3 also was the point where the rolling hills created some entertainment in to the boredom of almost highway-like course. The rolling hills and “curvy” course is the reason I tolerate the AHEPA Suffolk half. Right past the mile 3 the course descended for about 300 meters allowing me to achieve the fastest pace/mile— 6:19. The same hill on mile 10, was the cause of my slowest pace when coming back—6:52. It started steadily raining about 3 miles remaining to the finish. My total time was 1:26:16. I placed 16th overall (out of 335) and 2nd in my age category.