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Friday, August 26, 2011

Palos Verdes Maraton Recap

This was my 9th marathon this year and 82nd marathon overall.

This race was on May 14th and it's overdue for the race report, I have been slacking off writing my race reports, but I am trying to get back on it, in a hurry!!!
I have ran this event for the past 4 or 5 yrs, since it's the 2nd oldest marathon in the US just behind Boston Marathon. It's a small marathon unlike Boston, plus with a lot of rolling hills, definately not a first timer friendly marathon. But I enjoyed the beautiful oceanview along the course, that's why I go back every year. Plus I have ran my first sub 4 at this tough course, so that makes this race kind of special to me.

But this year they have made some major changes to this race, before it was a simple out and back course, but this year it was out and back AND out and back, which means you go out 11 miles out and back, pass the finish line, then another 1.5 miles out and back, then run the same course for the 2nd time, so you get pass by the finish 2 times before you actually finish. They did this changes just to minimize the closure on the main road because of budget cuz I guess. So this year we ran thru alot of residential streets with beautiful houses near Rancho Palos Verdes with ocean cliff view.

Race Day

I met up with my friend early morning so we could carpool together, we drove to the designated parking structure at local mall so we could take the shuttle to the start. It was really cold in the morning around 5am so we just hung out at Starbuck to keep ourselves warm. There was a little drizzy but not too much. We hopped on the bus and got ready to head to the start. The previous years they didnt require shuttle service since the race was start and finish at the same location so everyone would just park at the parking lot near the finish.

So after we finally arrived at the start after a couple of turn arounds since our driver got lost, or didnt know where to make a turnaround so we passed the start area twice. We then headed to pick up our bib and timing chips, the t-shirt will be picked up when we finished. One of my friends was gonna run this race but she couldnt make it so I used her timing chip and ran for her, which mean I have 2 chips on my shoes. =-)

The race, both the marathon and half marathon, started at 7:30am, it was nice and cool weather thru out the day, even a little misty drizzy when I come back around Mile 11,  perfect condition for a marathon. When I passed the finish line for the first time around Mile 11, I had to run a dreadful and boring 1.5 miles out and back to the finish AND do the same loop all over again. It was a small marathon with only around 220 runners doing the mararthon distance, around 1000 doing the half marathon distance, so the course was pretty wide open. At one point during my 2nd loop, I found myself alone running by myself with no one in sight,  infront of me or behind me. There were little spectators on the course so it's unlike other huge marathon events where they have spectators every street corners. But the volunteers were awesome, even there were little kids came out and volunteers, something that you dont see that often in a race.

I finished the race at 4:31.13, then I went to pick up my t-shirt and was looking around to see if they have any food like the previous years which they had banana, orange, watermelon, begal, etc.. But this year they have NOTHING but water, so I was really disappointed that they couldnt continue to provide enough food for the race. Plus, they seems to raised the price of the entry fee a bit this year, and with no post race food, it's gonna be hard for me to run this race again next year.

After we got back from the race, my friend and I went to California Kitchn Pizza for our own carbo reload. =-)

Overall, I think this race could have been better had they not changed the course a bit, the reason I enjoyed the prevous years was it's a small marathon, nice and quiet but challenging course with great post race food and entertainments, but this year they seem to gone down a notch a bit. Hopefully they will improve from this year and make some changes for next year's.

Next Race..........................Running with the Devil Marathon, 6-25-2011

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