This Saturday, I'm running the Alston-Bird Corporate Cup Half Marathon in Charlotte, NC. For kicks, I mapped the race route using the course map they provided in order to look at the elevation profile.
I was not surprised to find that the race is hilly with a net loss of about 17 feet. All this means is that I'll be waiting for the Race Director to claim it as, "Charlotte's premier downhill Half Marathon!" The hills don't really surprise me, as a lot of this course is run on Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon.
By my estimation, I can also look forward to running a bit more than 13.1 miles on Saturday. This also does not surprise me, and I'm sure I'm in for lots of bragging from said RD about how the course is "100% certified". Which in RD-speak means the course is about 1/2 mile long to prevent some tangent running mofo from cheating.
Anyways, I'm curious to see, given this race's profile, what racing strategy YOU would take.
Perhaps there are more options than this, but would you:
1. Run a faster first half (or 10K) and hang on.
2. Try to run negative splits (start conservatively and speed up).
3. Run an even paced race.
This is a test, people. You have 2 days to turn in your work.