Hello and happy day to you!
I am so excited to review and recap this race.
Obviously, if you read my blog post from Tuesday you know that I took over 6 minutes off of my time
I am FINALLY back to running a sub 2 hour half marathon.
I arrived in Costa Mesa around 2 PM on Saturday, did the usual hotel check in and headed over to the race expo at the OC Fairgrounds.
I had been
foaming at the mouth patiently waiting to purchase more Nuun because I knew they would there and usually have a pretty good expo deal (I think it was 2 tubes for $10).
I am not ashamed to admit that I bought 6…
Don’t hate the player – hate the game, folks.
I also stocked up on some GU gels (salted caramel, peanut butter & peanut butter chocolate… see a pattern here? I may or may not have a sweet tooth).
Anyway, I picked up my bib and race shirt and headed back to the hotel.
I laid everything out and did my typical pre-race Flat Ashley.
I fell asleep at 7 PM (surprisingly)- I knew I had to get up early (2:30 AM) to get prepared for a 6:15 AM race start.
I woke up feeling well rested and was ready to rock and roll.
I had spent the last few weeks studying the elevation chart so I knew the course would be mainly rolling hills with 3 large hills at miles 7, 9, and 11.
I will say right off the bat- one thing I didn’t take into consideration was the amount of people running in this race.
The traffic getting to the starting line was insane and as per usual- most people were not in their designated corral at the starting line.
This is something that totally irritates me…
I HATE having to weave in and out of traffic because people are walking or running much slower than they should be- because they went to the front instead of into their correct corral.
It is so annoying.
I know I sound like a jerk, but races have corrals for a reason.
It is not only dangerous, it is rude and inconsiderate.
Getting off my soap box now…
Anyway, despite this SERIOUS annoyance, I enjoyed running the race.
The course starts at Fashion Island in Newport Beach and ends at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.
Runners are taken through downtown Newport (which is gorgeous) and the majority of the course is right on the bay.
The weather was perfect- I think it was about 60 degrees.
And the aid stations are perfectly placed a mile and a half or so apart.
As I mentioned earlier, I had a great race.
After receiving my medal, I was given a bag to put Gatorade, bananas, water, chocolate milk and Kind bars in.
I love it when runners are given a bag to put their food in… it really makes things easier.
I mean seriously, after running for 2 hours, who wants to carry a bunch of crap?
The OC Marathon gets it!
After eating ALL THE FOOD, calling my parents, shedding a few tears, texting the world, and posting about my finish on Instagram… I was ready for a beer!
Luckily for me, this is another thing that the OC Marathon gets…
Runners love beer.
And I am no different.
After going alcohol-free for performance and weight loss reasons for over a month…
I must say that this was the best beer I have had in my life.
And, let’s not forget about the Finish Line Festival.
The band was totally awesome and was playing some great 80’s music.
It was a wonderful experience!
Finish time: 1:59:17
A couple of tips for those who have never run the race before:
- Uber to the starting line or have someone drop you off (it is a total pain the butt to have to get a ride back to your car or take the race caravan)
- Try to start as close to the front of your corral as possible (as I mentioned, I had to weave in and out of traffic trying to get around slower runners and walkers)
- Train for hills. You are going to be tired at mile 11 and unless you are used to running hills, it is going to suck.
- At the expo, park outside of the fairgrounds and walk in, this will help you avoid having to pay the $8 parking fee (which is ridiculous- if you ask me)