I'll begin my Big Sur Half Marathon recap with the expo. On Saturday, my friend Maribel and I drove to Monterey to pick up our bibs. The Expo was at the Monterey Convention center and it was the biggest expo I've been to. There were very short, quick lines to pick up the bibs.
Then we checked out the vendors. It was was twice as big as any expo I've been to but all the races I've done so far have been pretty small.
Basically lots of booths for shopping and they were having runner workshops. We didn't stay for the speakers but we did shop around a little.
Sunday morning Melissa, Maribel and me all met at 5am to drive over to Monterey. It was very well organized and their website and the emails they had sent us had lots of information about where to park to get the shuttles to the start. Parking was no problem, shuttles were all waiting for us and it was a quick 5 minute ride to the start. This was my first experience with corrals and we were way in the back in corral I. We hit the porta potties twice and there were tons of them so the lines went very quick.
That night we kept checking the weather because it had been raining and every weather report we saw said rain throughout the morning. I was not looking forward to a half marathon in the rain. Luckily when we got there the clouds were disappearing and the day ended up beautiful. I just wish I had worn shorts instead of capris because I was expecting cold and wet. And it ended up bright and beautiful.
Here we are waiting to start.
Here is the start as our corral inched its was up. There were 9000 runners!
After running thru the small downtown area we made it out to the water. It was so beautiful and the weather was perfect. It was a realatively flat course with a few rolling hills. Water/Aid stations about every 2 miles. Lots of volunteers , support and lots of cheering crowds.
There was also some bands along the route and these drums were super fun right along the water.
Toward the end of the race, maybe around mile 10 or 11, I saw a lot of walkers so I was passing a lot of people. That really boosted my spirits and I just kept at it. I don't think this would be a good race to PR at due to the crowds. There were a lot of people and when people decided to walk they just stopped in the middle if the road which was annoying trying to dodge around everyone. It is also so pretty a lot of people (myself included) stopping to snap a few pictures. (The key is to step out of the way though :).
It really was so breath taking running along the water and Big Sur puts on such great events. Now I am motivated to try the marathon in the future. Next years marathon is sold out so maybe 2014. Everything was very organized, plenty of water stops, some music, great crowd support. The expo was also great and the after party was huge and packed with people meeting up with their families.
Interestingly, the winners were newlyweds Ben Bruce and Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce. His time was 1:04 and she came in at 1:12. So his overall pace was 4:56!!! When he passed us he was flying! Amazing. On the news the next day they said they were going to use their winnings on their honeymoon to South Africa.
I was using this as part of my long run so I had to go home and run 7 more. I was dreading it but it worked out perfectly and I felt really good. I ran the half in 2:33. Not a PR but I stopped to take pics and once for the potty. Then when I can home I ran the 7 more. Overall ran 20 miles in 3:50 (slow , I know) but good for me! Then I walked one more mile home because I just couldn't run it.
Now I'm into the taper crazies surrounded by Thanksgiving leftovers...very odd combination. 8 more days to CIM!!!