|Now that is a sea of people! I circled myself.|
36,000 people ran either the half or the full marathon. I was lucky to obtain an elite start, which placed me at the front of the throngs. I took my place at the head of the race with some heavily pedigreed runners. Needless to say, I felt terribly out of place. I didn’t need any triathlete gear to give away that I am a triathlete. My body said it all. With my swimmer’s arms and broad shoulders and my legs which still carry extra muscle from years of cycling, I felt gigantic. Fortunately, an athlete I coach, Jim Lubinski, was racing in the men’s elite half marathon field (as you can see from the photo, his attire SCREAMS triathlete). He is a rather big fellow towering over everyone there. We stood in the start corral chuckling to ourselves. Maybe we should have worn camo.
The race itself was a spectacle. From running Elvises to spectators proselytizing to bands galore to the stunning course, I thoroughly enjoyed this race. I stuck to my game plan of running conservatively and consistently. I powered up the hills and ran hard down them. I knocked off the miles one after the other and felt strong the entire way. I was very pleased with a new PR and with my second place finish. Ironically, despite the thousands of people in the race, after mile two I ran alone.
|I wanted to go here instead of the race expo, but they wouldn't let me in. The aroma was intoxicating.|
The biggest downside to the large scale race is the morning traffic. The race started at 6:15am. We left the house at 4:20. We were already too late. The traffic was backed up for miles and miles, worse than LA at its worst. After inching forward for 20 minutes watching the digital clock turn over from 5 to 5:05 to 5:10 to 5:20, my stress level starting rising (I was in serious need of a bathroom). My father used his New Yorker fancy maneuvering to navigate us through the sea of cars and get us to the venue with enough time to warm up. I am certain that a lot of people were still parking when the gun went off.
I’ll be back in San Diego in August for the AFC half marathon. Anyone know of a fast, flat half in July?