To Race or not to race? That was the question!
On my post last week, I wasn't sure if I should race it or treat it as a long run. My marathon training sched says I need to do 18 miles for my long run. So after the 13.1, I had to do another 5 miles after. The decision came as soon as the race started. I decided to race it. The adrenaline rush took over! Did a 2:30 Galloway. 2K run and 30 sec walk interval.
LA is about an hour from our place so I was up by 4am and we were on the road by 5:15am. We got a little lost finding a gas station so I could pee! I don't like porta-potties, you see. But, we made it to the start line just in time. I was there about 10 minutes before the gun went off.
The weather was perfect at 7am and I'm glad I wore a thin top and a running skirt instead of tights (Thank you Go Girl Sport for my race outfit!) coz it got really warm later on!
This was my only favorite part, sad to say. On your right you get an awesome view of the beach. It was kindda cool running along Venice Beach. However, even before you complete mile 1, when you turn left on Venice Blvd., the beach view is gone. Boo!
Mile 2 - 13.1
Ok, I'm not in a hurry but there really isn't much to tell.
It was basically and out and back course: "start and end along the shores of the Santa Monica Bay, and head south to the world famous Venice Beach area before heading east along Venice Boulevard into Mar Vista and Palms before turning around at Culver City and returning along the same west side of Los Angeles communities to finish up at Windward Circle in Venice."
- The first placer (not surprised that it was a Kenyan) on his way back while I was just in mile 4.5 (7.35KM)
- A stroller running mama pushing with her left hand and waving her right hand wildly in front of her face...me wondering why...and then it hit me seconds after...BAM! Someone let go off one helluva stinker! Phew! Whattya have for breakfast?!
- 2 blonde men who were also identical twins running side by side in perfect synchronicity.
- A 70+ or even 80 (I kid you not) year old woman passing me at mile 10. What the?
- A barefoot runner avoiding the cracks, potholes and loose asphalt on the road.
- Darth Vader and Austin Powers by the finish line.
My rating for this race is... 4 HOT LEGS!
What I Loved:1. Okay for someone could pick up your race packet - very convenient since it was near Mike's work.
2. Technical shirt - Finally a shirt that fits me!
3. Mile Markers and Timers - who doesn't love these?
4. Corral Start - didn't expect this but was happy to see there were.
5. Running by the beach - even if it was just for a few minutes.
6. Port-a-potties - though I didn't need to use one, I did see a lot.
7. Spectator and Crowd support - there were bands, fire-eaters and cheerleaders.
8. Lots of Post Race Food and Drink at the finish line - Burp!
9. Medal - that little oval where you see the 13.1..it spins! woah! :p
Pretzels, oranges, bananas, gatorade and food trucks for the hungry runners
Suggested improvements for next year...1. Route - would be nice to run longer by the beach
2. Hydration Stations - though they were plenty, I suggest having one on both sides
This is only the second year of 13.1 Series in Los Angeles and comparing the reviews from last year, I could say they've improved. Definitely a good turnout for year 2 -- there were more runners this year compared to it's first year in 2010.
That said, considering that it's a small event, it was pretty okay. I can't really complain since I didn't have to pay the $65 or $80 race fee. Also, I didn't expect a lot since I knew it was a relatively new event. There's still a lot of room for improvement here -- 13.1 LA has a lot of potential to become a really big and fun event with each year getting better (and bigger!).
For those thinking of running this, here are my tips:
1. wear shorts/running skirt, tank top, visor, and sunglasses - it's suppose to be winter still but it got really warm.
2. bring your own hydration belt - only if you're thirsty all the time like me. Even if they have a lot of hydration stations, there were not on both sides. And again, it got warm so I got thirsty easily.
3. bring your own energy gel - there weren't any.
4. don't expect much, just try to enjoy - be happy that you're running another day. Smile and cheer on other runners.
5. bring cash for parking - we were lucky to find a free spot somewhere near the finish line to park but I read you have to pay $8 - $10 for parking. Have the cash and correct change since (I also read) the machine doesn't accept $20 dollar bills.
Well that's it! Oh yeah, I almost forgot...
My last time was 2:24 (Disney Half Marathon, Sept. 2010) and for this race, my time was 2:18 according to my Garmin. Unfortunately, the race results are not out yet.
Anyhoo...6 minute PR, baybehhhh! Thank you, God! Woohoo!
Mike and I drove to The Promenade so we could sit and eat peacefully. We had yummy Persian food!
Beef, chicken, fish and lots of rice! :p
Click HERE for more photos!
Other Photo Credits: ASIphotos