It wasn't originally on my schedule of 14 races in 2014, but when I was contacted by the organizer a few weeks ago (he had seen my review for another race of theirs that I ran in last year - the Santa Mile, which I ran with Walt the Wiener Dog) I HAD to put it on my calendar.
As I mentioned, I wasn't planning on running this race, so I had to check with my coach (Krissy from Outrunning the Monorail) to see if it would be okay to split my scheduled 8 miles up into a 5 mile run and then the 5K. She said it would be totally fine, so once I got the green light from her I got Ryan and I registered.
|I had 8 miles at Long Run pace on the calendar, so split it into|
a 5 mile run, followed by the Pacific Beachfest 5K.
If you know me, you know I can't pass up a deal (especially a FREE RACE! I mean, have you seen race registration fees these days?! Ouch!). I also can't pass up wearing SPARKLES and BRIGHT COLORS! Thanks to a friend I had the PERFECT tank top to wear for the race, seeing as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
|How many shades of pink can one wear?!|
I have to say, I got TONS of compliments on the outfit!
I knew right away that Ryan would like the race. The main reason - THE START TIME! The race didn't start until 10:30am, which meant even though we were doing Race Day Check-In, we still didn't have to leave the house until around 8:45am. Ryan joked and said everyone is still hungover from the night before, so no one in PB wakes up before 10am anyway.
We got down to Pacific Beach around 9:15am. We had a bit of a struggle finding parking (we thought we would luck out with street parking, but unfortunately we felt like we were just driving in circles, so decided we would just pay at one of the lots), but were still over to the Check-In tables around 9:30am.
We signed our waivers, grabbed our bibs and timing chips and then went to grab out tank tops. I thought the tanks were a fun way to switch up the participant shirts, but was slightly bummed when I went to grab mine and they said they didn't have Extra Smalls (weird, since the sticker on my packet showed XS, they had the option online, but said they never had that size... LAME-SAUCE).
|Hubby modeling the tank... He wore it for the rest of the|
weekend, so I guess he liked it ;)
The race didn't have a gear check option (which is fine, since I've never actually used it for any of the races I've run), so we walked our tanks back to the car and attached our bibs and timing chips. I used my new Endurance SPIbelt (more on that in tomorrow's post) and was STOKED to not have to attach the bib to my new top with safety pins!
Once we were ready to go, we made our way back down to the beach. They had the kids race at 10am - it was a 1K. The DJ got the kids stretching and psyched for the race beforehand. There weren't too many participants, but the kids that were there seemed to have a great time.
Since the kids race was on a portion of the 5K course (and the start line and finish line were the same), we had to wait to get lined up until all of the kids finished. This was NOT an issue for me, because I LOVE cheering on other runners, especially the wee-ones.
|We had one of the volunteers snap a quick picture of us|
while we were waiting for the kids to start crossing the finish line.
|Buzz Lightyear was the last little guy to cross the finish line, |
but he had a smile on his face and rocked the whole race!
Around 10:20am they opened up the starting area for the 5K runners. Don't get me wrong, I love smaller races (you get more of a hometown feel and shoot, you can probably place better than if there was a HUGE field), but the hard part is that the majority of them don't have seeded starts. Most folks don't really know where to line up (or are worried, even though the announcers mention it MULTIPLE TIMES that it is a chip start, so your time doesn't start until you cross the starting line, that they will get a bad time is they start further back in the pack) so there tends to be more weaving in these races, even with fewer runners.
|This side said START and the other side said FINISH!|
|Ready to get this party started!|
Oh yeah, how could I have forgotten to mention it before now... IT WAS HOT! We were having a Heat Advisory this past weekend (in the high 80s to temps in the TRIPLE DIGITS in October)... I checked my phone before we started and it was already 87 degrees at 10:25am AT THE BEACH! WOWSER! Obviously any other weekend the temperatures would have been much easier to deal with, but with the later start time on THIS weekend, it was quite TOASTY!
|It was 87 degrees but only a high of 82?! |
MOTHER NATURE IS DRUNK!
The DJ got the 5K runners stretching out for a few minutes (this is hubby's LEAST favorite part of races, but I was still having fun busting a move) and then it was time to start. We took one last selfie and then I put the phone away for the race.
The course started in the soft sand (which is HARD to run in and EVEN WORSE when you are trying to weave your way through the crowds). We ran in that for a ways (shorter than I was expecting actually) and then were on the hard, compact sand for about a mile and a half. We then cut up the beach (through the soft sand again) over to the boardwalk. We were on the boardwalk for another mile or so before cutting back down to the soft sand for a beach finish.
I was actually expecting the course to be on the soft sand for a lot longer, so was pretty stoked (as were my calves) when we were on the hard sand or boardwalk for the majority of the time. The course was BEAUTIFUL (DUH!), but I did have a couple issues with it. First, it was short (my Garmin had us just barely over 3 miles). Next, they couldn't close the course, so there were kids on the beach digging holes where we were running, bikers on the boardwalk, etc. Lastly, the water station was poorly placed (they only had one water station on the course and it was in the section of soft sand between the beach and boardwalk, so it meant you were struggling to run through it anyways, then had to try to dodge people stopping for water).
Because this race wasn't one we were doing for time, we weren't really pushing ourselves too hard - just out there enjoying ourselves and soaking in the scenery. We ended up finishing in under 30 minutes, which gave Ryan a 33rd (out of 66) place in his age group and me a 17th (out of 85) place finish in the 30-34 females.
We grabbed our BLING (which was AWESOME, by the way) and made our way over to the water (although we were running next to the ocean, it was still HOT and we were PARCHED!). On our way to take our finisher pictures we saw the Arctic Zero tent... OH HECK YES WE WANT FREE ICE CREAM AFTER A RACE!
|All the BLING!|
|Close up of the medal itself|
|WE DID IT!|
|BEYOND THANKFUL for the Arctic Zero treat!|
Another perk of the race... FREE BEER! And not just one free beer, but each runner got TWO! Okay, if you know me, you know I think beer tastes like pee (although I promise I've never tasted pee... it's just what I imagine it would taste like), but hubby enjoys it, so it was a win-win (I got to run, he got to drink, hehe).
We made our way over to the beer garden and thankfully were some of the first folks inside (since by the time we were leaving for the day the line was LONG - both to get into the area and for the beer). It was sponsored by Dos XX Equis. Again, I'm not a beer drinker, but they had a Dos-a-rita (which was like a beer margarita) so I gave it a try. I thought it was better than the Lima-a-ritas by Budweiser (those just taste like pee). Ryan had one of the lagers and and one of the ambers and tried a sip or two of mine. I found someone who looked like they could use an extra beer and gave them my last ticket (I made sure they were wearing a 21+ wristband ;)).
|Happy Hubby = Happy Wife|
To our surprise, the most interesting man in the world was in the beer garden, so we had to get a quick picture with him. I'm rather impressed he didn't melt though... it was in the 90s by the time we left and he was in his snazzy suit ;)
|He wasn't interested in my recap of the race...|
|Ryan thought he was more interesting than the man in the suit!|
We had a pool party to go to at 1pm and needed to take the pup out for a walk beforehand, so decided we would head back home after we finished our beverages. There were tons of vendors set up around the beach area, along with food and live music, so if we didn't have somewhere to be we could have definitely hung out for a lot longer.
On the way back to the car I saw this GIANT pelly, so had to grab my picture with him. He seemed pretty impressed with my medal. Or maybe it was all of my PINK I was wearing...
All-in-all we had a great time. Obviously Mother Nature is drunk, but you can't hold the hot temps against the race. I would have loved if the course was a legit 3.1 miles and maybe estimated pace signs so runners could have lined up a little better, but you can't argue with the views along the course. And the perks (two beers, a great medal, and a tank top) definitely seem to outweigh the cons.
Have you ever run a race on the sand?