This weekend will be my 4th year in a row running the America’s Finest City (AFC) Half Marathon. Six years ago when Mike first ran this race he sat on the bus (it’s a one way race) next to a man from Palm Springs who was running AFC for the 25th consecutive year that year. Mike was so impressed by this man’s dedication that he decided to follow in his footsteps and do the same. I have somewhat followed his lead and since the year we met, I have raced every year and plan to continue as long as possible.
The funny part is, AFC isn’t even our favorite race. It’s really not even a great race to do year after year since there is a pretty fast time cut off (3 hours which means no walking if you are 7 months pregnant or injured – hypothetically of course), there are no strollers allowed, and the course has a nice hill at the end which crushes my soul (and any time goals) every year. It is also a 30 minute drive from our house and involves a very early morning since the last shuttle to the 7 .am. start leaves at 5:30 a.m. It takes place in the middle of August which means that typically weddings, vacations, weekend getaways and general life get put ahead of training. Not to mention the heat of summer is at its height.
Arriving at the Cabrillo National Monument just before or during sunrise is pretty spectacular with a gorgeous view of downtown and the harbor. We usually know quite a few friends and coworkers racing so it’s fun to see and/or run with them. It’s always nice to have a summer race to keep you running through the busy months and the race itself has a fun and mostly scenic course, starting in Point Loma atop a hill, winding its way down to sea level for the first four miles and then running along the harbor and into downtown and up into the stunning Balboa Park.
AFC is a fun race to have on the calendar. This year in particular I have no real goals for this race other than to have fun and at least pull off a fairly decent time, at least a course PR (which would be 1:52 something from 2 years ago – last year I was still recovering from Ironman and the heat was pretty epic so it was a very slow race for me!). I know that a half marathon PR is no where in sight, but since it’s my off-season, I’m ok with that. Of course there will be moments in the race when I curse myself for not training harder, as there always are during races I’m not fulling prepared for, but that’s ok too.
So cheers for an epic Sunday full of running, friends, beautiful views and a delicious post race breakfast!
Do you have a race that you run year over year?