I received an entry into the Long Beach Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.
Six days ago, I ran the Long Beach half and boy, I had all of the feels.
Parking for bib pick up is tricky as the expo is held at the Long Beach Convention Center and so parking is a little difficult to find. We parked a few blocks away and walked over to avoid spending $10+ to park at the center itself. Once parked, bib pick up was easy peasy. They do have metal detectors so don’t be carrying any knives with you when you enter. 🙂 I picked up my bib, shirt, some last minute supplies, found my name on their banner and out I went.
They also sell parking passes for the following day if needed.
The half marathon started at 7:30 so I was dropped off around 7 and made my way to the starting area. The full started at 6 and both the half/full courses circle back towards the start around mile 6 so we all got to cheer on the marathoners as they passed us by.
The start for the half was smooth sailing. I found myself near a 1:55 pacer and ran with them knowing full well that I haven’t been able to run that fast in a few years or so. LOL. I knew it was too fast a pace to keep with my training for this race, but I was being stubborn as usual and held on for as long as I could. Apparently that was 7 miles and honestly, it was a glorious 7 miles. I am a crazy person and love rolling hills and turns and for the first 7 or so miles, there are a lot of it. I had a blast running along the course and seeing all the sights for those first set of miles.
Then, at mile 7, it straightens out and you’re just along the beach for 3 miles before you make your way back towards the finish. That part was brutal. Since the race started at 7:30 am, by the time I got to mile 7, it was around 8:30 and the sun was out beating down on us with no shade. Luckily, I brought shades and a visor, but yeahhhh, I was pretty drained from the sun. For miles 10-12, I was on the struggle bus. I started run/walking and beating myself up for not being faster. I also forgot my flip belt and body glide, which meant that I was holding my phone the entire race AND got some unwanted chafing. No bueno. 😦 Luckily, my friend was stationed at mile 12 and once I saw her, I quickened my pace and headed to the finish. HOORAY!
I didn’t get to enjoy much of the post-race festivities as I was super duper tired and couldn’t reach anyone due to low cell reception. I did enjoy the coconut water, which I chugged down in a minute. LOL.
Bring a hat/shades for that stretch along the beach. If it’s not overcast, the sun will take a toll on your body (unless you train in a hot climate).
If you are planning on meeting anyone, make sure to have a plan before you race. That way, they know where to meet you. Due to the congestion of all the runners, cell reception is extremely poor and I didn’t get reception until I left the area.
If you are planning on getting picked up, walk a few blocks out of the convention center. Your driver will 100% appreciate it as there is quite a bit of traffic due to the road closures.
Enjoy the course! When I wasn’t beating myself up about being faster, I had a lovely time! LOL.
The Long Beach half was my 29th half marathon and in all honesty, it hasn’t felt like that many. 🙂 Every half I’ve participated in has brought up the same feelings – pre-race anxiety, pre-race excitement, on course awe, on course pain, on course “OMG I can see the finish line”, and post-race joy that I finished. And although I’ve experienced these feelings before, it’s still surprising to me that I haven’t gotten bored of them. LOL. I guess, that means that I’m in the right sport, yeah?