My embarrassing performance at the Berlin Marathon did not sit well with me, and I was eager to redeem myself soon. I sought a half marathon, and Virginia’s local Danville Half Marathon, taking place on October 16, 2021, in the eponymous city caught my eye because I observed the forecast that the morning should start off cool and the course was advertised as mostly flat. I still waited until minutes prior to the online registration deadline because my employer hosted an annual nearly all-day Olympics the day before; not knowing what I would be required to do, I wanted to be sure my body felt fine, which I thought it did until I woke up the next morning with aching thighs. This became my second consecutive race starting on sore legs.
To my unpleasant surprise, the 13.1-miler kicked off already full of sunlight and heat, likely reaching almost 80 degrees, and I could feel its impact on my body especially with four miles to go. In spite of my gradually slowing down, I refused to walk and maintained a relatively steady pace, allowing me to pass several strong-looking runners who had to mix in walking throughout and towards the end. I crossed the finish in an unnecessary sprint, thinking the man behind me would be attempting to catch up to me when he did not, in 2:01:51.24, more than sufficient for first place in my age group of 30-34. Albeit I arrived expecting a comfortable sub-2:00:00, once I felt the heat from the get-go, I knew this generally easy goal to be an uphill battle. I have no doubt once the weather finally cools off, I will regain my speed, so I will remain content in simply giving my best for now.