Thursday, February 9, 2017

Surf City Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, February 5
Huntington Beach, CA
Half marathon #159
Weather - overcast
The Wednesday before the race I suddenly came down with one of those terrible colds. You know, the ones where it feels like your head might explode, hot/cold flashes, tons of congestion and insomnia (even though I was exhausted).

We arrived in SoCal the day before the race and I still hadn't gotten any quality sleep and still felt like crap. Heather had purchased the VIP package again, so when we went to the expo we again parked super close to the entrance. Last year I remember it being super crowded and stuffy. Well, it was still super crowded, but thanks to it being overcast and colder, it wasn't was miserable as last year. I didn't buy anything, but there were tons of vendors. We managed to run into Dave and Stacy at the expo - how crazy is that?

Race Day

I woke up earlier than I planned, but the good news is that I SLEPT. I still didn't feel great, but sooo much better. Heather G. arrived just before 7 and we headed over to the start. It is SO nice staying at a place so close to the start line and then the VIP parking is just the cherry on top. Heather G. and I planned on "running" together (she was also recovering from a cold), teammate Heather actually planned on "racing," and Maureen was going to be walking the half. Obligatory team picture before Heather headed to the start and the rest of us used the bathroom line again.
Maureen had gotten permission to start in an earlier wave and I agreed to start with Heather in her wave. The race start is pretty congested, but the signage was easy enough to figure out and we started about 15 minutes after the gun. David, my coach, had told us to listen for a "shout out" at the start - and I heard it! Pretty cool to hear your name and your team in a crowd of tens of thousands of runners.
Start line pic, only one I apparently took during the whole race
The plan was to run when we felt like and walk when we felt like - so nothing scientific. I was breathing better, but the general fatigue from being sick for 5 days had sent in and I was just really fatigued. We caught up to Maureen around the first mile and talked with her for a minute before getting back into running.

The things I remembered about this course was that there were tons of aid stations and and it was pretty much flat. We walked all the aid stations and Heather stopped to use the bathroom around mile 3 - which is about where we saw the other Heather for the first time. I was going to stop too, but the lines were a bit long so I figured I would wait. We walked a bit in the hilly section in the neighborhood.

We were both feeling "okay-ish" and were passing the time by catching up. Somewhere around mile 6 we encountered the weirdest crazy person on the course. I was passing him on the right and he was flinging his arms around and almost smacked me. I was like "oh shit!" and then he proceeded to curse at me and yell "you're in my perimeter!" Strangest thing that has ever happened to me in a road race - especially one of this size. He also said - "just wait until I pass you at mile 9" - spoiler, he did not catch us.
Perimeter guy - I did look at your bib number... Interesting that there are no results listed for that bib number...
Caught up to Stacy around mile 7 (?) - she was walking the marathon.
And this is why I normally wear sunglasses
I stopped and used the bathroom too at some point since there wasn't a line, but I don't remember when/where. Coming up the last hill at mile 10 I got to hit a gong, which actually did revive me a bit. We had a really good last mile, running the fastest split of the day.

Luckily, we weren't running the marathon - I would have been pretty upset with only oranges and bananas in the finish area. We met up with Heather in the beer line, got our long sleeves out of the car and then went back into the beer garden. A second team picture to include Lisa and Jandy, who ran the full.
Heather, Me, Jandy, Lisa, Maureen
Bib #10916
Official Time - 2:38:03
Official 5K - 38:08 (lol)
Official 10K - 1:16:13
Official 10M - 2:00:52
Overall Place - 6613/10305
Gender Place - 3473/6138
Division Place - 558/916
Garmin Time - 2:38:06
Garmin Distance - 13.24 miles
Garmin Pace - 11:56
Mile 1 - 11:15
Mile 2 - 11:56
Mile 3 - 13:26 (bathroom)
Mile 4 - 12:23
Mile 5 - 11:45
Mile 6 - 12:05 (bathroom?)
Mile 7 - 11:14
Mile 8 - 12:05
Mile 9 - 11:46
Mile 10 - 11:44
Mile 11 - 12:45
Mile 12 - 11:41
Mile 13 - 10:53
Mile 13.2ish - 9:45 (see, I had SOMETHING left)


  • Lots of people really love this race. I can't say that I feel the same way. I mean, it's very well organized and there is a lot of "energy," but it is kinda blah.
  • Shirt - long sleeve and gender specific. However, I don't love the fit and I'll be donating. Arms are too short and tight.
  • Medal is big - overall fantastic.
Picture stolen from Heather
  • The price tag is high - $134 signing up in November. The VIP package, obviously substantially higher. 
  • Would I run again? Well, the other ladies are already about talking about coming back next year so we can be legacy runners... so maybe.
We took a picture of all of us in our finisher shirts after we showered.


  1. I guess perimeter guy needed a lot of personal space.. funny he didn't finish. Must have been too freaked out by all the people in his perimeter. Great job on another half marathon.. you really rock them out!

  2. I live within cycling distance of this race. It's about 5 miles from my home to the start line, and I've only done it once. One year I was trained and ready for the full, but got struck down by the worst flu I'd ever had the day before the race. Another year I was ready for the half and something happened and I DNS'd it. I don't remember what it was. The year I finally did it, I was underwhelmed. I felt like it was a route I can run without paying for it and it was kind of boring. It's a favorite for many who live in the area, though.


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