Race Review: Surf City Half Marathon and the Cowabunga Challenge

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Surf City Half Marathon and the Cowabunga Challenge as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Welcome back from Surf City! 4th time’s a charm for Surf City, right? I first ran Surf City in 2013 and then came back for the past few years starting 2017. I flew out to Orange County on February 1. If you ever go out for Surf City, John Wayne Airport is an awesome alternative and about 25 min from downtown Huntington Beach and you miss flying through LAX. I took a Lyft to the hotel and checked in before finding dinner at one of the neighboring hotels with a wine bar (score!).

Saturday morning, after having breakfast, I ran into one of the physical therapists from work (mind you, Spokane), who was with family and doing a trip to Disney Land. We had a group Bibrave Pro text message going on and poor Fallon will probably have the best story of all of us. Rain decided to show up to Southern California that led to flooding in some areas, which meant that Fallon got rerouted. I went to the expo and picked up my Cowabunga bib and picked up Fallon’s Bib (quick and easy with the QR code) and dropped the extra stuff in my room.

The Cowabunga challenge took place on the beach itself. To make things interested, winds were hitting close to 30 mph. This was the first year for the Cowabunga Challenge Mile, so why not do it on the beach with ridiculous winds. The first half mile was a breeze, but the second half was right Into the wind and slowed most of us down. I’m pretty sure I was dealing with sand in my ears and my legs look like I had chronic venous issues just because of the sand!

Afterward the 1 mile run, I went back to the expo and within 20 minutes it was pouring down rain. I’m just glad it didn’t happen earlier! I picked up my half marathon bib and shirt at the legacy longboard table. My bib got stamped and I was able to get my half marathon and legacy status shirt. I may have gotten the wrong size. Whoops. The expo is huge and has a ton of vendors, races and things to look at and do (really one of the better expos I’ve been to). Take time to enjoy it when you’re out there! After searching the expo, I went and found lunch in the hotel in order to stay out of the rain. I napped in the hotel for a bit before Fallon made it into town and picked up her bib. After going to church and catching some dinner, I headed back to the hotel for the night.

Race morning showed up and somehow it wasn’t raining! We were all excited about that and the wind wasn’t horrible. After grabbing some breakfast and getting changed, I spent a few minutes getting my stuff together and letting fellow Bibrave Pro Mai avoid the port a potties and use my hotel bathroom. We made it down to the start of race and met up with all the Bibrave Pros. The skies still had us wondering about the rain status though!

The race itself is spread out. The full marathon starts at 630 AM, the 5K at 7 AM, and the half marathon at 7:45 AM. I get wanting to spread the half and full marathon out, but I’ve always thought switching the 5K and half marathon made more sense in terms of time. The course itself though is mainly on the Pacific Coast Highway. The first three miles out is on the highway before turning into one of the neighborhoods. It was flat briefly before we hit some hills after mile 4 or so. You get a view of the city before heading downhill and back out to the Pacific Coast Highway. After hitting mile 8, we came back into town and ran against 5 miles of wind (or so it felt like it). We were dealing with some sprinkling rain on and off for a little bit and another hill around mile 10 that I seem to always forget about. The last mile the crowd support picked back up heading back into the finish line. Aid stations every 1-1.5 miles with water and Nuun. I don’t get a long with Nuun in terms of flavor/texture so no electrolytes for me :-(.

Post race, there was plenty of food, water and you got your medals. Food trucks, beer gardens, massage tables galore and plenty to do. I hung around some before heading back for the million dollar shower. After packing up and checking out, I headed back to the airport for lunch and to fly back to Washington.

Overall, always a fun race and always well run. Love the addition of the Cowabunga Challenge (hey, we got a cape!), always a great course. Medals are always awesome and surf board themed. If you’re looking for a great race and a good winter get away, look into Surf City!

Advertisements

Race Review Bahamas Half Marathon

I’ve been sitting on this race review for a few weeks thanks to work (the noon to midnight shift really takes a toll on you!), but with the coldness of winter and the Polar Vortex that is the Midwest, I figured it was appropriate to think back on the Bahamas.

I went to Nassau with a friend of mine from residency, because let’s face it, it gets depressing over the winter in the PNW. One can only take the cold so much. I left Spokane on the Wednesday prior to the race. No trip is a trip without flight drama as our flight form SLC to ATL was delayed and we somehow got on a flight from SLC to KC and KC to ATL before making our flight (and grabbing lunch) to Nassau. We spent Thursday and Friday enjoying island life, taking in the rum distillery and the sites of downtown.

On Saturday, after running the Koman 5K, I showered enjoyed some beach time and lunch and then took a cab out to the expo at the Melia Resorts. The big issue I had with the expo was that the only time you could pick up your packet was from 3-7 pm. If you missed it, you were out of luck in a sense. The other issue is that it was at least 3-4 miles from downtown and not close to the start/finish or where anything else was.The expo itself was pretty simple, not a whole lot there. I was in and out in about 5 minutes.

Race day itself started early. At 6 AM sharp. I stayed about a 5 minute walk from Junkanoo Beach, so it was fairly easy to get to. Everyone started together and relay participants were shuttled to their locations if they were points later in the race. Though it started early, it was already warm and humid. You started running towards town the first mile and then went over the bridges to Atlantis before coming right back over the opposite way. We headed towards Montegue Beach before heading back towards town and the start. After 6.5 miles and getting back towards the start, we headed towards the Fish Frye and Melia. You were right on the coast, so you got good ocean views the entire time. About 10 miles, the half marathon did a U turn and headed back towards town. The heat, humidity and early hills took its toll but I finished in 2:20 or so. There was at least water and gatorade every mile or so starting at mile 2, which was so needed. Post race, you got medals, food and water as well as some beach partying. The race itself only had roughly 375 half marathoners, so it’s a good smaller destination race.

Overall, good race, but be ready for some humidity and hills. One thing I’d look at is the expo location as it’s not close to anything. If you’re looking for a good winter get away, take a look at this!

screenshot2019-01-31at5.30.38pm

 

 

 

Surf City Race Week!

Disclaimer: I’m Promoting The Surf City Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Race week!! Granted, I spent some time in The Bahamas with a friend of mine from residency a few weeks ago, the Washington cold is kind of sad and depressing. On the flip side, I’m also not in the Polar Vortex that is the Midwest (stay safe guys!). This is my 4th year doing Surf City and third in a row, so I’m excited to hit Legacy Status. Legacy status gets you extra swag (long sleeved shirts) and some extra race day perks.

Things to keep in mind for this weekend:

Runner Tracking: take a look here

Expo: At the Huntington Beach Parking Lot (21291 Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach, CA 92648

  • Friday Feb 1 from 1-7
  • Saturday, Feb 2 from 10-4
  • Can’t make the expo? someone can pick up for you, HOWEVER, people picking up for others can only pick up for 2 additional people and must have copies of Driver’s Licenses

Cowabunga Mile: Saturday, February 2 at 11 AM by the expo (and enough time to get your bib before hand!). **no gear check and does NOT count towards Legacy Status

Race Day Sunday, February 3:  Marathon Start 6:30 AM, 5K start at 7:00 AM and Half Marathon start at 7:45 AM

Things to Do in Huntington Beach

  • Plenty of shopping and restaurants downtown
  • Short car ride/Uber/Lyft to Newport Beach for more beach time and restaurants
  • Enjoying the beach (if the sun cooperates with us, fingers crossed)
  • Old World Village

Keep an eye out for all the Bibrave Orange and enjoy race weekend!

 

 

 

Race Review: Citrus Heritage Run Half Marathon

The first weekend of 2019 (how are we here already?!) has come and gone and this is the earliest I’ve had a half marathon scheduled and completed. Did I nearly forget about it until like 4 days before? Absolutely. I was dealing with getting to the Rose Bowl to watch my Buckeyes play and due to a last minute flight delay causing me to switch airlines, I realized I had signed up for the Citrus Heritage Half Marathon in Cali, and had hotel/air reservations to boot. Whoops.

Needless to say, I did a quick Rose Bowl Trip and then turned around and went back for the race. I flew into Ontario, CA’s airport (so much better than LAX) and was about 20 minutes from the airport. After getting checked into the hotel, I was able to get in a few miles outside, before finishing on the treadmill and heading to dinner in downtown Riverside. I ended up calling it a night and let me tell you, 10 hrs of straight sleep does you good when you’re incredibly sleep deprived.

Friday, I went shopping out an outlet mall I found 30 minutes or so away. Did I need more thermal Nike tops? Absolutely not. Did I get some? Absolutely yes. After dropping my stuff off at the hotel, I headed over to the packet pick up, held at the Arlington Sports Complex. Quick and easy, open from noon to 5 pm the Friday before the race. All you need is your bib number and ID (or ID of friends if you’re picking up their Bib). No vendors, but I’m ok with that. Did a little shake out run while I was there (when you live in a location where it’s 30* and you dress in multiple layers, you take advantage of running in tank tops when you can).

Saturday, I was up bright and early. Bright and early enough to feel like I was working out with my trainer on days where I go into work at 7 AM. The race itself is a half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids fun run with the half marathon starting at 6:30 AM. They do have packet pick up available starting at 6 AM on race day if you couldn’t make it Friday. The race starts/finishes at the Arlington Sports Complex and parking is available there and 2 local schools close by. Weather was 40s/50s, though I didn’t feel like I needed gloves.

We started promptly at 630 AM after the national anthem. I probably headed out too fast, but what can you do. The race heads out on Victoria Ave and through the streets of Riverside before heading into the Citrus Heritage State Park. You get to run through ALLLL the citrus. The downside? About 4 different terrains that were not agreeing with me with all the switches (think roads to dirt sidewalks, to gravel to whatever dirt the oranges, lemons, etc grow in. Then there were hills. All the hills. All within the first half of the race. By the time we hit the last of the hills, my legs were shot and telling me I probably didn’t fuel right for the race. After we got out of the citrus fields and finished the out portion of the course, we headed back through the streets of Riverside and got back on Victoria, that took us to the finish line. I happened to finish as the 5K was starting and we were finishing with some 10K runners that had started around 730 AM.

Water stations on course: they were there, some with Gatorade, others with oranges, though there seemed to be no clear length between them. They were scattered if that makes sense.

Post race, water, fruit and medals were available right at the finish. There was also a post race beer tent (1. Too early at 9 AM and 2. Not a beer fan). No chocolate milk though, which is always sad.

Overall, I feel like it’s a good local race. It got me out of the cold for a few days, though I don’t know if I’d come out for it every year. Good local race to support though!

Surf City Half Marathon: I’m Coming For Ya!

Disclaimer: I’m Promoting The Surf City Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

 

The holidays have come and gone and 2019 is a week in the books. How did that happen?! I’m still trying to figure that part out. In Washington, it’s getting dark ridiculously early, and I’m luck if I can get a run outside with my work schedule (hence the love for noon to midnight shifts for a bit…). With the new year comes my itch travel where it’s warm and for the past few years, it’s meant heading to Huntington Beach, CA to run the Surf City Half Marathon. I’ve ran the half 3 times total (2013, 2017 and 2018) and am gearing up for year number 4. I’m super excited for this year because it means I get Legacy Longboard Status. What’s Legacy Status? It means you’ve run the half/full marathon 3 years in a row (consecutive is key) and get some extra perks! The extra shirts were revealed and I’m excited to get mine!

📸: @runsurfcity (Twitter)

New this year is the Cowabunga Challenge. Surf City is introducing a 1 mile run on Saturday, February 2 and if you run the 1 miler in conjunction with the half or full on Sunday, February 3, you get more bling!

Other awesome things to look forward to is racing along side (not on!) the beach, an awesome Expo that takes place Friday and Saturday before race day along the beach, sun (let’s face it, winter’s depressing when you live in places that involve cold, snow and running in 5 layers) and a whole lot of positive vibes. The swag is also fun, as you get a tote bag (I use mine for groceries/shopping if that says anything), long sleeved tech shirts and a bunch of other goodies. It doesn’t help that they also entice you with other races that are in warm weather! Did I mention the surf board bling?

Aren’t convinced? Check out my race reviews from 2017 and 2013 on why it’s a must do race! Don’t forget, you can save 15% off registration with SCMBR10!

12K’s of Christmas 12K

When out of town on vacation, one looks for races. Or at least I do. I was in Scottsdale for a conference and figured I needed to see what races were happening, because let’s face it, it’s 30* in Spokane and running in 5 layers and gloves is kind of depressing. I ended up finding two separate races and signed up for both of them because who doesn’t like extra medals to boot?

The 12K’s of Christmas 12K and 6K (plus a kids/Sled Race of 1.2K) is in it’s 10th year in Gilbert, AZ and a little over 30 min from where I was staying. I’ve been doing endurance races for close to 10 years and the 12K is a first for me, also a sad thought since I’ve been in Spokane for 2.5 years and we have Bloomsday (the largest 12K I think) and I’ve had to work the past 2 years on it.

The race was on Saturday, but I decided to get my bib on the Thursday at early packet pick up. It was at San Tan Ford in Gilbert, and I kind of wish I would have just waited until race day. Pick up was from 3-7 and part of the issue was not enough parking for people running in to get their bibs and swag. If you were local, it was useful, but since I was coming from further out, it took a bit of time to get there. You could get prior years socks for $1 and get some other fun looking stuff too though.

Race day was December 8 at Freestone Park. The packet pick up and vendor area opened around 7 AM and there were about 50ish vendors there. The goal of the race is to raise funds to get pets adopted and they encourage dogs to come with their humans if you have a furry 4 legged friend who likes to be outside. With that said, if your dog doesn’t like other dogs, not the race for them. Plenty of things to do pre race with some holiday themed singing and music going on. I got there just after 9 AM and there was still plenty of parking (free!). I browsed a little bit, but there was a lot of hurry up and wait. The 12K started at 10 AM and the 6K at 10:15AM.

The start/finish: in the park itself. I appreciated that runners without strollers or dogs were started first for the 12K and runners with dogs or strollers started in the back (yes, I’ve nearly been tripped by leashes or run down by strollers during races).

The course itself is a mix of gravel, road and sidewalk, so my legs were feeling the terrain change on more than one level. Distance markers every 1K with water stations every 1-2K or so with singers at quite a few of them. The course itself was flat and an out and back course that had two off shoots of an out and back as well to get you the full 12k. It was fun to actually costume watch while running. I ended up running down a Cindy Lou Who (hair and everything) at one point close to the finish.

Post race, food and water at the finish with little bundt cakes for the finishers. Good medal too! Keep in mind, if you do the 12K and the Scottsdale Half Marathon in the same weekend, you get an extra medal (who doesn’t like extra bling?). I also ran into a fellow Bibrave Pro, Emily after the race and caught up with her for a hot second before racing back to my hotel to shower and check out/switch hotels to be closer to the Scottsdale Half Marathon start/finish area (I kind of got kicked out of my hotel room. Whoops.).

The New York City Marathon: A Way Too Late Race Review

The New York Marathon. It’s been 5 weeks since marathon #10 and one that I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about for awhile. I even did the Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K the day before as a shake out run.

I ended up leaving for NYC a day earlier than expected. Last minute, someone from work needed a day covered the Tuesday after the race, so she took a shift for me that allowed me to leave on the Thursday prior to race day. I got into NYC a little after 7 pm and took a Lyft from JFK airport to the hotel. After checking in, I found a little Italian Place for dinner close to the hotel. I walked around Times Square some and then called it a night. Friday, I woke up and headed out for a run in Central Park, and everyone was out stretching out their legs. It’s always fun to see the energy to a bigger marathon, especially leading up to it. After a quick shower, I headed over to an ASICS pop up shop off 28th (ish) street and found some pretty good deals. I checked out of hotel #1 (I had to book a one night last minute hotel with the leaving earlier than expected thing) and switched hotels before heading down to Penn Station and finding lunch in the area.

Around 1 or so,I headed over to the expo. I met up with quite a few of my Bibrave Pro friends and we walked around for awhile and I tried to save my bank account as much as possible. Trust me, I really don’t need another Garmin at the moment! I took the rest of Friday to walk around a little bit and just relax.

Saturday, I was up early and over by the UN for the Abbot Dash to the Finish 5K. I’m all about getting in as many races as possible over a weekend, let’s be real. Afterwards, I got a quick shower and before meeting up with the Team Animal League runners at our pre race brunch. Pretty sure we’re the only ones who had puppies at our brunch (for what it’s worth, their names were Salt and Pepper). Post lunch, I took a load off and watched some college football and found a Saturday night church service to go to over in the Broadway district. After finding dinner, I headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

Sunday. I always appreciate when we fall back an hour on a race weekend, because that means I get an additional hour of sleep. I woke up ridiculously early and headed over to the NY Library to pick up the buses to Ft Wadsworth on Staten Island. We got there just before 730 which meant I had about 3 hours of time to kill before I had to care about getting into my corral. I wondered the runner’s area, went to the bathroom about 5 times (oh hydration), found some bagels and therapy dogs and made sure everything was charged. When it finally got time to line up, we made are way into the corrals where there’s no turning back. I ran into my friend Andy (fellow Bibrave Pro) in the corrals and we chatted while waiting to get to the start. I forgot about the hike to the start from where we were at (I got to run on top of the Verizzano Bridge this year, unlike 2011 where I was on the bottom!). Once we were finally off and running, the real work began.

The first 2 miles are on the Bridge and I wish I could have gotten pictures of it, but I also didn’t want to get run over. The first mile was uphill, the second down hill. Once we got off the bridge, we spent a good 10 miles in Brooklyn. The quite quickly turned into the start of a party and everyone was excited. 3 miles in, the corral from under the Verizzano Bridge finally met up with us and some people were confused as to who they were. I enjoyed the flatness, that’s for sure. I lost a little bit of time because of a bathroom break, but whatever works. We made our way into Queens and we weren’t there for long. I was not excited about the Queensboro Bridge though. Mentally up until mile 15 I was doing pretty well, but the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan took a lot out of my legs and I felt it the last 10 miles. Coming off the bridge and onto First Ave, it was fun to be back around a good fan support. We headed towards the Bronx and joined in on a few street parties to boot. We didn’t spend much time in the Bronx and when we were coming over the last bridge back into Manhattan, the best sign I saw was “last damn bridge” and it was the best sight I’d ever seen. We chugged along into Central Park, and as my mom put it, I was probably really glad to see it. Yup, I really was. You forget how hilly Central Park is until your legs are really tired after 23 miles or so. By that point, you’re just trying to finish. Once you get to 6th Ave, you get diverted out to road for a little bit until you hit Columbus Circle and sent back into Central Park for the last .3-.4 miles.

I ended up finishing 30 seconds (ish) faster than my time in 2011, which I’ll take. It was light out and I was still standing which is all I really wanted. I forgot how long it takes to get out of Central Park post race though. I didn’t check a bag and went with the Pancho option instead, but I felt like we walked a good .5 mile at least just to get out. I appreciated that they just handed you a bag that had food and fluids in it, but the finish is still fairly congested (beware). The finish is at 67th and the first exit for the poncho group was at 77th. After showing them my bib with the P on it and my wrist brand that said give the poncho (that I had to tape on because it was flimsy), I finally started getting somewhat warm (yes the ponchos are fleece lined and really nice). We had to walk another .5 mile just to fully get out of the finish area. I tried to get a pedecab back to the hotel, but they were grossly overpriced so once it was all said and done, I’m pretty sure I walked another 1.5 miles post race. At least it kept my legs loose.

Overall, I love the NYC Marathon, but I’d be ok if this was it. It’s a fun race, but it’s also pretty crowded in terms of the sheer amount of people running it (52,700 or so this year alone). There were also times where the crowd (I loved them) was getting so close to us on the course it made it difficult to get through. It’s a fun and exciting race, just be ready for a little bit of a long day!

50 in 50 Marathon Quest

A fun look at life and running in the Pacific Northwest and my journey to run a marathon in every State.

Daddy, Did You Win?

Juggling being a husband, a father, work, and running

franklyrunning

Follow my journey in running, hiking, biking, and the outdoors!

Out Running

outrunning our goals together

athlettuce

Eating Plants and Running the 50 States

Mountain Maven

My outdoor adventures in the Last Frontier

Angie Runs

3.1 - 6.2 - 13.1 - 26.2 - 50k

for the love of nike

for the love of nike

The Fit Wanderer.

forever wandering

Kara Runs

Wellness. Happiness. Balance. Motivation. Encouragement.

Keny'inz 2012

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

the fight and flight response

running through the wall, one goal at a time

Simple Speedy Snacks

Recipes and stories about snacking

bearrunner

Just another WordPress.com site

Fear The Hat

Because I don't just report the news...No, actually, that's it. I just report sports news.

Run The Long Road

hard work, determination, and a little luck...

f my injury [dot] com

Screw being hurt. It's time to get healthy.