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St Pete Run Fest Half Marathon

St Pete Run Fest Half Marathon Brian Kondas

My Second Half Marathon

The St Pete Run Fest is my second half marathon. I ran a smarter and more strategic race than my first half marathon. As a result, I finished strong in 1:57:23 with no injury.

This 13.1 miles course is mostly flat with a few short bridges and long gradual inclines and declines. In comparison, the Safety Harbor Half Marathon has steeper hills.

On Sunday, November 14, 2021, I woke at 4:45 AM to prepare for my second half marathon. Upon waking up, I put on my black Under Armour compression shirt with safety-pinned bib number 1326 and black New Balance running shorts.

Then I slip on a pair of Saucony running socks and my blue New Balance 880 running shoes.

Running Tech and Nutrition

Next, I strap on my Polar Vantage M watch and H10 heart monitor chest strap. I will use these Polar devices to record my running stats during the St Pete Run Fest Half Marathon. For example, my average heart rates and minute per mile paces.

For breakfast, I eat a banana and drink about 8 ounces of G-endurance. Then I fill up two 8-oz bottles with G-endurance and holster the bottles in my Fitletic hydration belt and clip it around my waist. It contains a pouch with six Huma Chia Energy gels and my car key.

Weather and Parking

I open the attached garage and step outside. The weather feels cold so I head back inside. I grab and put on a hoody so I can stay warm during my 35-minute drive to St Petersburg, Florida. I depart at about 5:14 AM.

When I arrive at Dali Museum, a dozen cars wait to get into the lot in front of me. After waiting a few minutes, I pay my $10 cash for parking. There are plenty of parking spaces available, and I park on the second level in the parking garage.

Running Warm Up and Stretching

At 6:15 AM with my hood on and jacket zipped up, I begin my warm-up run. Down the steps of the parking garage, I run North on Bayshore Drive SE passing by the St Pete Run Fest Half Marathon start line. Ten minutes later, I turn around at 5th Ave NE and return to the parking garage in twenty minutes.

Then I return my hoodie to the trunk of my car and begin stretching. I stretch my legs and glutes for twenty minutes. At 6:45 AM, I consume my first Huma Chia Energy Gel (no caffeine). Five minutes before 7 AM, I walk over to the starting area.

Female Runner Stretching Leg at St Pete Run Fest
A runner stretching her leg (quadricep muscle)

St Pete Run Fest Half Marathon Race Start

When I arrived at the starting area, it’s packed with a thousand runners. I walk until I find the 2-hour pacer. Then I grab the top of the metal fence evaluating its stability. I black male runner volunteers to hold the fence as I hop over it.

Within a few minutes, a guy sings the National Anthem as I prepare my Polar watch for the start. Just before the race starts, the announcer hypes up the runners to bounce up and down. I stay on the ground to keep my heart rate down at 100 bpm. Finally, I start recording the run on my Polar watch as I cross the start line.

My First 5 Miles

At the start of the race, I was uncertain if I could hold a 2-hour pace for the whole 13.1 miles. Five days earlier during my last 10-mile training run, I experienced pain in my left calf muscle. During the first mile, many runners ran past as I kept pace running alongside the 2-hour pacer.

At mile 3, I take my second non-caffeinated Huma gel. As we pass an aid station, I drink some water. Then at mile 4, I drink 8 ounces of G-endurance. Still running by the 2-hour pacer, I take my first caffeinated Huma gel at mile 5.

For the first 5 miles, my focus is controlling my breathing and keeping my heart rate low. The following are my minute per mile paces and average heart rates:

  • 9:12 pace and 140 HR for mile 1
  • 9:12 pace and 140 HR for mile 2
  • 8:59 pace and 140 HR for mile 3
  • 9:06 pace and 144 HR for mile 4
  • 9:08 pace and 145 HR for mile 5

I’m feeling good the first five miles.

My Next 5 Miles

When I reach mile 6, I feel a boost of energy from the 25mg of caffeine. At mile 7, I take another caffeinated Huma energy gel. We pass another aid station and I drink a cup of water.

At mile 8, I drink my last 8 ounces of G-endurance, and my bladder feels full. Then at mile 9, I take my last caffeinated Huma energy gel. A car pulls out and stops blocking our running path. We stop and circle around the car.

My paces and heart rates:

  • 9:12 pace and 140 HR for mile 6
  • 9:12 pace and 140 HR for mile 7
  • 8:59 pace and 140 HR for mile 8
  • 9:06 pace and 144 HR for mile 9
  • 9:08 pace and 145 HR for mile 10

After passing mile 10, I speed up and pass the 2-hour pacer.

The Last 5K (3.1 Miles)

The ten-mile warm-up is over and it’s time to race. I increase my pace to 8:31 and heart rate to 153 for mile 11 passing some runners. Then I increase my pace to 8:00 and heart rate to 159 for mile 12 passing more runners.

My final mile is the fastest at 7:33 and my heart rate of 167. During this last mile, I am breathing very heavily and passing many runners. In the final tenth of a mile, I blow past large groups of runners to finish the St Pete Run Fest Half Marathon very strong.

Based on the data from my Polar watch, I ran the last 5K (3.1 miles) in 24 minutes and 49 seconds and is faster than 91% of all runners. However, my half marathon finishing time of 1:57:23 is faster than 78% of all runners. (Compare Running Finishing Times Calculator)

My finisher certificate is below. I placed 388 overall out of 1986 runners. Thus, I finished faster than 80 percent of all runners in this St Pete Run Fest half marathon.

st pete run fest half marathon 2021 brian kondas

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