Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016 Big Sur Half Marathon - Race Recap

This past weekend was the 2016 Big Sur Half Marathon race weekend.  I can't even begin to explain how much I love this race!  No matter how rough of a year I've had, this race always makes me happy.

Race weekend started with a shake-out run hosted by The Treadmill in collaboration with Asics.  It was a gorgeous day in Monterey, CA and the turnout was great.  Nothing beats sharing fun miles with great people and amazing views!

Perfect shake-out run

I mean look at that view

After the shake-out run, I headed to the Big Sur Half Marathon Expo to pick up my bib and get a big hug from my favorite race announcer before heading over to LouLou's Griddle in the Middle for brunch with the Pink Hat Runner and the Trail Snail (the 3:00 and 3:30 race pacers).  Brunch was delicious as usual and the conversation revolved around all things race related.  To say we were excited is an understatement!

My favorite race announcer, Rudy Novotny
After brunch I spent the rest of the day prepping my race gear, propping my legs up and relaxing.  I literally did a whole lot of nothing!  I even fell asleep before 11:00 PM (a huge win for a night owl, insomniac like me!)
Sunday morning I was up as soon as my alarm went off.  A huge thing for me since I am the antithesis of a morning person.  I quickly got dressed, had my toast with peanut butter, and drove 10 minutes to my work parking lot.  I'm so grateful that my office is literally a 5 minute walk to the start line as not only did I not have to worry about finding a parking spot but I also had the luxury of waiting in a warm building and using real bathrooms before heading out to meet my friends at the start line.
At 6:20 I walked over to the start area to meet up with friends and before we knew it, it was time to start!  I was slated to start in Corral D but instead I opted to move back and start in Corral H with my friend who was running her first race since she became pregnant with her 18 month old son.  In fact, her very first run was the Friday before the race and she only got in 4 miles!
The first four miles of the race were crowded which is pretty standard for any race but the energy of the runners and the spectators were palpable.  Everyone seemed to be happy and having so much fun.  The weather was also perfect!  Cool and overcast in the beginning and but warmed up midway through the race with an accompanying light breeze and ocean spray from the waves to keep us cool.  I am not exaggerating when I say this is by far the prettiest, most scenic half marathon that I've ever ran.
As soon as we hit the mile 4 sign, my friend said "well, this is as far as my training goes let's see how the rest of this goes!".  You guys, she killed it!  Not once did she walk or slow down other than four really quick water stops.  At the mile 9 marker she said, "OMG I'm really going to do this!" and she did in a big way.  From mile 10 on, she sped up each mile and at the end even kicked it in to the finish.  She is such a badass!

We did it!

We met up with the rest of our friends at the finish festival and celebrated with some dancing in the plaza followed by beer and brunch to refuel and rehydrate.  Everyone had a great race and two of my friends earned half marathon PRs!

Happy finishers!

Waves to Wine Challenge Complete
The Big Sur International Marathon Events always put on a great race.  If you've never ran this one before, I highly recommend coming out and running it at least once.  I promise you it's worth every second and every mile!

Do you have a race that you ran happy the entire way? What is your favorite race to run?

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