Schreader battles through the wall

As if all the local road running
events weren’t enough, Cayman’s speediest woman, Beth Schreader, found the time
and energy to squeeze in a half marathon last week.

The Tampa Gasparilla Marathon and
Half Marathon attracted around 28,000 runners in various races over the weekend
of 27-28 February.

Schreader said: “I ran the Tampa Half
as a tune-up to assess how things are going with seven weeks until the Boston

“My Boston training has been going
pretty well and my goal for Tampa was to run sub-1 hour 25 minutes, but
ultimately I should be able to run a 1:23 at this point.

“The Tampa Half Marathon is part of
the Gasparilla Distance Classic race weekend. There was a 15k and a 5k on
Saturday and then the half marathon and full marathon were on Sunday. The
course is flat, except for a few bridges, and the weather is perfect for

“I felt great on race morning and
was able to line up close to the starting line. The first few miles of the
course are on Davis Island and I settled into a good rhythm.

“After it had been awhile since I
passed the mile 3 marker, I kept looking out for the mile 4 marker because I
was going to take an energy gel.

“The sign never came. A few minutes
later we merged with other runners. This was a bad sign because we were all
supposed to be running the same route.

“Apparently, a Davis Island resident
had moved some barricades, which caused confusion for the lead vehicle that was
guiding the runners and we ended up going off course.

“Those of us near the front ended
up with unfortunate extra mileage of around 200 yards before volunteers figured
out what had happened and closed the barricade. That was pretty frustrating
because that’s quite a bit of extra time added on to the race.

“I felt really good during the
first half and was running even splits. Miles 7-10 are run along Bayshore
Boulevard and then you run back from mile 10-13 in the opposite direction
towards the finish.

“I really like that set-up because
you get to see all the fast runners heading to the finish line. My breathing
felt great and so did my legs, until around mile 9.5 when I hit the wall hard.

“My legs turned to Jell-o and
refused to move. I was not expecting this at all. My splits over the last 5k
were awful and I did all I could to just put one leg in front of the other.

“I lost at least a minute over the
last few miles of the race because of this. This is what happens when you go
out too fast, so obviously I was not in the race shape that I thought I was.”

Schreader, 29, still finished the
fifth overall female in 1:25:23 so should not beat herself up too much.

“Although this is a personal record
for me by 73 seconds, I’m disappointed with the results because I know I’m
capable of better.

“However, a PR is a PR so I can
still call it a successful weekend. There are six weeks until Boston so
hopefully after a few more weeks of training I’ll peak at the right time and have
a good race there.”