As the crazy half marathoner that I am or at least becoming, I, of course, would sign up for a whole new set of races after completing San Diego’s Triple Crown Challenge. It must be that addicting runner’s high, right?
Anyway, I’m afraid to travel for races out of my time zone so for the time being, I am running up and down the coast of California. Next stop? Orange County for the Beach Cities Challenge. This challenge consists of three races – Surf City Half/Full marathon in February, OC Half/Full in May, and the Long Beach Half/Full in October. Luckily for me, these races don’t have to be done in the same calendar year and the Long Beach Half marathon was only two months after my AFC Half. It’s fate, really.
Training went well with a few bumps along the way. Southern California has been having crazy weather the past few months and trying to do long runs on the weekend when it wasn’t blistering hot or raining was definitely a challenge. My longest run since the AFC Half, you ask? Yeah, that’d be about 5 miles. I am a bit ashamed, but hey, it happens. Your schedule gets too busy or you make excuses, and then in the blink of an eye, it’s half marathon time.
The race itself, was beautiful. If you don’t live on a coast, this is a really good race to run if you want a great view of the beach/bay. The course has many turns at the beginning of the race, but at each turn, you get really beautiful views of the city/parks/bay. Then, around mile 6.5, you loop back to the start/finish line, which is actually a bit of a tease. You’re so close, yet in actuality, not really. For another 3 miles, you run along the bay and face the sun. This was my least favorite part since the sun is just bearing down on your face, but it was only for three miles. At mile 9.5, you do a U turn and race back to the finish line. You run through the city and it’s just a nice ending view.
All in all, it was a good race. They were organized and they gave half marathoners the option to start at 6 am instead of 7:30 am. I would have definitely melted had they not. To finish off this post, here are a few of my expressions after finishing the race.