Sunday, December 4
Weather - Overcast and chilly
After running the California International Marathon in the 2012 monsoon, Heather really wanted to run it again, in better weather. We were originally registered to run in 2015, but after a lack of training, we deferred to 2016.
A was already at Heather's house, I had taken her over the night before. I got up a bit later than I should have, made coffee, and drove to the off-site lot to drop off the car. I arrived at the airport a little over an hour before my flight, but security was a breeze, so it was no big deal. Charged my phone a bit before boarding, and even though I was in "B," managed to get a window seat in the second row. Now that Netflix has the download option, I was able to watch the Amanda Knox documentary and the first episode of Bates Motel. Both were good.
Heather had already landed and was waiting outside my gate. We took an Uber to the host hotel, the Sheraton across from the finish, and checked in. We went to the expo and picked up our packets without any issues.
|Phew! I actually registered!|
|"California fall" outside the convention center - this is the last quarter mile of the course|
|Sunset from our hotel room|
Sunday, Race Day
Alarm was set for 4:40. However, I hadn't slept well and had gotten up around 4:15. By the time the alarm went off I was ready to go. We made coffee in the room and walked down the street to the shuttle bus pick up at the convention center at 5:00 am. The bus ride sure seemed long, and NOTHING looked familiar. Had we really run this before??
|A billion buses and a California sunrise|
|GOATS!!! PET GOATS!!!|
Dang! Bummer! I told her I would text her later and hoped she felt better and moved on. I felt pretty good for a while, stopping around mile 16 to use the bathroom (the only one on the whole course that did not seem to have a line). Somewhere around mile 19 or so, my lack of road running and actual distance running caught up with me. I decided I would attempt to do intervals, running 5 or 6 minutes with a quick walk break.
|At the "wall" around mile 20|
|The last "hill" - bridge at mile 22ish|
|Action shot from Heather just before mile 26|
There was a big blue arch that you would THINK indicated the end, but NO. The sign right after said mile 26, yet when I crossed the finish line I was closer to 26.5. The race has the strangest finish line ever, with men and women finishing in different chutes.
|This is actually a breakfast burrito, NOT a panini|
Official Time - 5:14:23
Official 10K - 1:10:24
Official 13.1 - 2:35:29
Official 20 Mile - 3:57:31
Overall Place - 5186/6174
Gender Place - 2227/2838
Division Place - 401/505
- The race caps at 7,500 runners. According to results, there were about 1,300 runners that either didn't start the race, or didn't finish. The race does allow deferrals, I believe it cost another $40 to register, on top of whatever we paid last year.
- Expo is in a nice, spacious location at the convention center. Packet pick up was a breeze. There were not too many vendors I was interested in. Unsure what parking would have cost if we hadn't been able to just walk there.
- The shuttles are organized incredibly well. They were loaded efficiently and got us all to the race in plenty of time.
- PLENTY of port-o-potties. Supposedly they had 300! We only waited a few minutes to use one. They also had quite a few on the course, there were always lines for those though.
- The course is very runnable - I didn't find any of the hills very long or unmanageable.
- Tons of aid stations. More sparse in the beginning, with two sections where there was more than 3 miles between them. By the second half they were pretty much every mile - 17 aid stations in all. Plenty of volunteers, with Nuun and water. There were also a few "food" stations - some had GU, bananas, oranges and even baked goods.
- Every mile was marked, with a handful of timing mats on the course. Lots of crowd support and music and "energy."
- Medal is big, but not very interested. Kind of wish the cityscape had a more "bold" outline.
- Nice, long sleeve and gender specific shirt.
- Finish are is a cluster. Super crowded. And the beer was non-alcoholic.
- Would I run again? No. But it's more because it was just "meh" to me, and I've now run it twice. Too many marathons to run this one a third time.