Surf City Marathon was held only 15 mins away from where I live, but this was only my second time doing this marathon, the last time I ran this marathon was back in 2007 when they were named Pacific Shoreline Marathon, but they had a different course back then, so basicly this was my first time running the Surf City Marathon. The surfboard medal looks way too cool to pass up. =-)
I went to the Expo on Saturday afterwork because I couldnt make it on Friday since they open at 3pm, had they opened earlier I would have gone there instead because I worked afternoon hours. I was having hard time finding parking spot since there were just too many people going to the expo at the same time. When I finally found a place to park and walked to the expo, it was already 4:30pm and the expo closes at 5pm. The good thing about going to the expo late was there wasnt very long line going into the expo since I have seen a huge line just too long ago.
I quickly went to pick up my bib, my long sleeve shirt and my free Surf City tote bag, which looks really cool. The expo was pretty small, it was in a parking lot right next to the beach, so I was done within half an hour.
My friend Stephanie had organized a dinner party at 5:30pm at the Bucca di Beppo in Huntington Beach, which was only a few miles from the expo. We had like around 24 of us so we had 2 separate tables. Bucca di Beppo always have fantastic food, I always love eating there.
I woke up at 4am and left my house by 4:30am, drove to the parking lot by 5am, race starts at 6:30am so I got plenty of time to get some last min rest in my car. Our Maniacs get together for a photo shoot was scheduled at 5:30am, it was great seeing all the Maniacs together, I always enjoy meeting new Maniacs at races.
One of my favorite Maniac is Joe "Marathon Show" Taricani, he is the host of his internet radio show "The Marathon Show http://www.themarathonshow.com/ he interview runners before, during and after the race, lots of energy!!
Then an another Maniac who also has LOTS of energy is the one and only, Endophine Dude. He always wearing his cape whenever he does his races.http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Am-Endorphin-Dude/146353102063414?v=wall
The race started at 6:30am, I was starting pretty close to the front cuz I wanted to start early and on my way, the weather was pretty nice and cool with foggy sky, perfect running weather. I was on my comfortable pace right from the start, BUT I did not have my Garmin with me cuz I couldnt find my charger!!! So I was hoping to follow a pace group and just go from there. Fortunately I found a 4:00 pace group within 2 miles, my goal was to just hang on with them for as long as I could!!
The first 2 miles was running on the northbound on Pacific Coast Highway(PCH), then we made a right turn and heading toward the Huntington Beach Central Park, which was a very nice quiet park with a huge lake, I cant believe I have never ran thru there even though I live so close by. I was still running comfortable with the pace group and was able to chat a little when I caught up with my friend Christy. We came back out on PCH after Mile 9 for 3 miles before we made a turnaround and started running on the southbound on the PCH for another 3 miles, the weather was still breezy and foggy, couldnt have asked for a better weather condition to run. Then after Mile 15 just before we had to make a left turn to run on the bike path along the beach, I felt my left hamstring started to tighten, so I had to pulled aside and stretched a little. After that I wasnt able to keep up with the 4:00 pace group as I began to slow down.
The next 5 miles on the bike path wasnt a lot of fun cuz I had to stop and stretch every once in a while. I tried to followed the 4:15 group but I couldnt hang out for long. Then at Mile 20 we had to make another turnaround for 5 miles, I saw a lot of my running friends on my way back and I always say hi to them as they pass by. Then at Mile 22, my friend Casey caught to me, so I decided to start running again and see how long I could hang on, after Mile 23 the 4:20 pace group caught up to us so we began to follow him, I was surprised that I was able to hang on without pulling over to stretch my left hamstring.
Then about Mile 24, the 4:20 pacer needed to slow down cuz he said he was ahead of the pace, so I just decided to run on my own and tried to finish the race ASAP, when I got back on the PCH after Mile 25, there were lots of walkers on the street so I had to dodge a few of them. I was keeping my head down as I kept running toward the finish line, then as the finish line getting closer, I sprinted toward the finish and finished in 4:19.18!!! Barely finished sub 4:20.
After the race, there was a long line to the Beer Garden but I had to skip because it's just not worth it to wait that long just for 1 beer!! I headed back to my car and to change and headed back to the finish line to watch my friend finish.
Overall, the race was nicely organized, great volunteers, the weather was perfect, but the course was a bit dreadful the last 11 miles with the out and back on the bike path. I will stick to the half next time. =-)
One mile to go!!!
Sprinting toward the finish line.
Next Race.....................10th Annual Mercedes Marathon, Birmingham, AL, 2-13-2011