A Better World Running, New Years Eve Race, Half Marathon. Thursday, December 31, 2015. Santa Monica, CA. Sunny 50 degrees.
Josh and I had traveled to the Rose Bowl to cheer on the Iowa Hawkeyes, so of course, I had to see if there were any races nearby. A quick google search and I found this one. It would also be my first race in California.
This race was a laid back event, offering a way to end the year with a run. Participants could choose from a 5k/10k/15k or half marathon. *after searching results, I see 2 people ran a marathon.
Registration: This was available online, or you could pay on race day for only $5 more. Included with registration was a bib and a finisher’s medal. The half marathon was $40 on race day.
Pre-race: Registration and packet pick up (checking in and getting a bib) were happening. Participants could stash bags behind the sign in table. Parking in a nearby beach parking lot. The beach bathrooms were open to use. There were some announcements about the course, it was an out and back and depending on the distance you were running you may have to run 3 loops. No National Anthem, and someone said “go”
Josh and I took an Uber ride from LA to get to the race, so we didn’t have to worry about parking. I wasn’t sure until I got to the race which distance to run, I had walked about 10 miles at Disney the day before. However, go big or go home, so the half marathon it was. There was a small group of Hawkeyes running the race, so we took a group photo before it started.
Race/Course: Out and back on a paved path along the beach in Santa Monica, passing the pier.
- Flat -no hills
- no mile markers, but course turnaround, finish/start marked with chalk and orange cones
- Hydration – water and lemon-lime Gatorade at the finish/start area. In the same paper cups.
- Gels – while it lasted, available at the finish/start area
- Photographer – lots of photos posted to the facebook page for free
- Bathrooms – the beach bath houses were open on the course
- No volunteers on course
- The scenery doesn’t get any better than running along the beach, looking at the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other
- No spectators – just the people walking the path, or other runners
- no medical tent or aid
Finish/Post Race: There was a small finish flag, and someone shouted your bib number to someone that recorded your time. There were bottles of water, small snacks, candy, and a blue re-usable bag to put things in. There was plenty of things to go around, and encouraged taking multiples.
Overall: Laid back race, but well organized. Flat with great scenery.
Personal: I wasn’t setting out to break any records, rather just see if I had a half marathon in me. I have been training for a marathon, but I was tired, hadn’t slept much on my trip either.
Just passed about a mile in, a person came up next to me and started a conversation. Her name was Erica, she was from Cedar Rapids, IA and she too was in town for the football game.
I had a new running friend, we kept up a great conversation and the miles were going by, we even joined up with Rachel for a few miles. It was nice to just enjoy the run. It did get tough at times as the wind had picked up in one direction, and the sun was beating down.
The out and back loops were mentally tough, but passing Josh and other Hawkeyes was encouraging.
Not sure if Erica was struggling towards the last mile, she told me to go ahead, but I wasn’t going anywhere. She had been by my side the majority of the race, so we were going to finish together. We crossed the line at 2:13. Not my best, not my worst. It was a great race!
This race was a nice way to finish my year of running, as it started with a 5k at another football bowl game.
I’ve added the review to Bibrave.com . Make sure to add yours too!