I hesitate to call this a “race report” as it was certainly more of a training run than a race. And it was a blast! It was so nice to not worry about any of the pre-race logistics or deal with nerves. Instead, Mike and I ran together without timing chips and enjoyed the scenery!
There were a few reasons why I ran this race at all – first, it’s one of my favorites since it takes place in my hometown and second, my dad and step mom (who live near Yosemite full time now that they rent out their OC home) came down for the race and it was a great way to spend time with them. There are more reasons why I didn’t “race” this race. 1) I need a racing break after a year of BQ searching 2) I have not done any speed-work or hard runs of any kind to prepare 3) I just finished running 31 days in a row, right after barely running for 3 weeks in a row on vacation 4) I didn’t feel like it!
The half marathon starts at 7:45 but we planned to start with my parents and their wave didn’t start til after 8 a.m., so we planned to meet them near the expo tent at 7:30. That meant that Mike and I had the pleasure of sleeping in until 5:45 and arriving around 6:45. We parked about 2 miles from the start and instead of waiting for the bus (which had a huge line), we jogged/walked to the start just in time to make our 7:30 meet-up time.
We started with the 2:45 pace group which was wave 8 or 9. I typically start in the first or second wave, so it was definitely a change to wait so long after the gun went off to go! We weren’t even in our corral for the National Anthem and I ran back to the bathroom after we waited in the corral for 10 or so minutes and yet still were pretty far away from the start. Once we did cross the start line, we ran a few yards with my parents and then started to make our way up. Our mistake was that the 2:45 group has a lot of run-walkers, so we would often get cut off mid stride by someone who suddenly decided to walk! Although we weren’t going super fast, we were going significantly faster than the 2:45 group so needless to say there was quite a bit of weaving.
There’s not much to really write about the actual race. We stopped for the bathroom (and even waited in a line) which I never do in races (because I usually just hold it or am too dehydrated to have to go!), fully stopped 3 times to fill up our water bottles (one time I just took the jug from the table and filled it right up – I saved countless paper cups!), and took our time. Without a timing chip there wasn’t even a real need to prove anything or get a decent time. It was warm, but I didn’t really care. I don’t even know how long it took us to finish this race, but it was fun running side by side along a beautiful coastline with my husband for 13.1 miles of a race for the first time.
Because we started so far back, unfortunately I didn’t see any Oiselle teammates except for when I saw Emily who was racing the full marathon coming back on the other side of the road around mile 2 for me (guessing 15 or so for her). I ran over to the median and screamed her name and cheered her on. She’s a rock star and pulled out another BQ that day despite the warm weather!
After Mike and I finished we put our legs up for a while and then headed back to cheer on my Dad and Denice as they crossed the finish line. Then we walked the 2 miles back to a car for a total of 17.1 miles of running/walking for the day. I am so proud of my parents for running yet another half marathon, even though they weren’t able to train as much for this one due to my Dad’s international travel schedule for work. They are inspiring!
As I’ve always said, I highly recommend Surf City Marathon for anyone – beginner or someone looking for a PR. It’s a well organized race with a pretty fast course. And bonus points for burning off your Super Bowl feast in advance.
What have you learned from running a race differently than you normally do? Would you want to run a race on Super Bowl Sunday?