Sunday, March 8, 2015

Race Report: The Coaster Run 10K

The Coaster Run 10K | 10th Anniversary | March 8, 2015
Knotts Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

YOU GUYS. Two whole race recaps in one weekend?! Who am I? Well (spoiler alert), I'm the girl that just PRed two different race distances at two different races in one weekend. I'm on fiiiiiiire.

I desperately wanted to run the Coaster Run last year, but it sold out before I got my act together to get registered and stuff, so as soon as I had the cash for it (slash, it was on sale at the Surf City expo), we jumped on it. Doug wanted another shot at a 10K, and I just wanted to do this race! Even being the week before LA, and the day after Dairy Aire, I knew I had to make it happen. Snoopy everywhere? Yes please!

Rise and shine!
The time change hurt a little bit, no lie, but we made it work - in the car at 5:45, down to Knotts-ish by 6:10, dressed and out of the car by 6:30 to make the short walk across the street, into the Knotts parking lot and the madness that was race day pick up, gear check, and the like. I had no idea how many runners would be there today, but it's safe to say that it's one of Renegade's biggest events, if not the biggest. 

Both the 5K and 10K were separated into corrals (see! Tons of people!) and Doug and I were both in Corral 2. Corrals were to be separated by 3 minutes. The race started a few minutes late, but no sweat, as we still had time to push-and-shove our way into the right corral. And then like that, we were off!

I had no real goal for the race - run smart, see what you're made of, but if your legs are tired from yesterday don't push too hard, you've got a big race next Sunday! Enjoy it and let's see where this run takes you! 

Heading into the park at the main gates!
Mile 1 - 8:53 - I honestly thought it'd have been slower than that because of the early congestion in getting out of the corrals, around the first few corners, and underneath the Beach Boulevard tunnel and into the park. Apparently I was still chugging along pretty good, even when turns got tight! This was entirely through the park, which I just love. Who doesn't love running through amusement parks before the rest of the world gets to come in?!

Mile 2 - 8:44 - This even included a stop with Lucy and Charlie Brown! I wish I had gotten it on my phone, but I didn't have my phone out at that moment and I literally ran right into their arms, snapped the photo and kept going. I'll have to wait until the official race photos are out! 

Mile 3 - 8:40 - Just after you pass the mile 3 marker is where it gets boring for real, as you've run all the paths for the main park and Soak City by now, and are officially on nothing but city streets. Lucky for me, I knew exactly where I was - except for a few turns in the park, the Santa Hustle Half took me on the exact same route (and then some), so I knew everything that was up ahead. It was about here though, that I realized my watch was about .10 of a mile behind. No biggie, just hoped it wouldn't be too off at the finish.  

Mile 4 - 8:36 - Nothing but loooong stretches of city streets ahead. Yawn. Again, luckily I knew it was all coming, so I just geared myself up and gave myself a little pep - two more miles! That's nothing! Keep pushing. Mile 4 is by far the worst, as it turns you into the backside of the mall parking lot, runs the length, and doubles-back to put you out on the road again. Snooze! Thankfully, there were tons of people cheering at the U-turn, since it literally ends up being across the street from the finish line, so they could cheer at 4.75ish and then walk across Stanton to the finsh and festival. Easy peasy for spectating! 

Somewhere in here I started doing math for this potential PR. Unfortunately for me, though, I couldn't remember my 10K time - 52:50? Nope, that was the split during the LA RnR. 54:something at Dino Dash, that's all I know. Just beat 54 and you've got this made. 

Adorable, no?
Mile 5 - 8:24 - Last stretch of roads. Cheered for people, kept myself motivated by trying to give others the boost along the way too. Apparently it works wonders for your own confidence! A woman I'd been leapfrogging with the whole way finally passed me at 5.5 and I made it my goal to make her my bunny until the end - she finished just ahead, but not by much! Apparently she works for Brooks (jealous; hi Toni!) and loves to pace people who are wearing Brooks shoes in races... lucky she found me! 

Mile 6 - 8:15 - Um, hi? Where did that mile marker come from? It's almost over already? Let's do this thing. 

52:39. Stoked to have a new 10K PR in the bag, just about 24 hours after setting that new 5K PR too! What an amazing race weekend! To boot, I finished 4th in my age group of 35 ... by 25 seconds. Serves me right for taking that photo with Lucy and Charlie. But still, killer overall and I'm beyond happy. 2:13 off my time from the Dino Dash! BOOM.

I waited for Doug to get in, and afterward made our way to the other coveted finish line token - a free slice of Knotts' boysenberry pie! Truth be told, while it's delicious, it was way more tart than I had expected and not what I wanted post-race. Oh well, it was good and a fun bonus. 

Final course map, per Garmin.
Turns out when I said there were a ton of people ... try 2800+ for the 5K, 1500 for the 10K and all the kids who did the 1K fun run! When I left the park for good outside Soak City at mile 3-ish, they were still counting down corrals to leave! Holy moly. 

So glad I got to make this race this year - and won't hesitate to make it part of the plan every year! 

- Great course! Even the city streets, which get boring, had great volunteers cheering and high-fiving
- Easy course at that (see elevation below)
- Awesome finish festival, tons of vendors
- Adorable medal & shirt (Snoopy everywhere!)

- Just the congestion... but can't be helped with a race so large!
- Oh, and the Nesquick truck ran out of milk. Just a bummer. :( 

Please observe those mile splits closely because I have never, ever run such perfectly progressive miles during a race - not to mention that save for looking at my watch at mile 1, 3, and 4ish, I wasn't clock-watching and going solely based off "feel." I had no idea I was moving quicker with each mile! Bring it on, LA Marathon!

Renegade does some of my favorite races around here (like the trail races I did all summer last year), and I'm planning on supporting as many of their events as I can! Thanks Renegade and team for another great event! See you next year!

What's your favorite post-race treat?


  1. Whooooa. Impressive. Seriously, with the splits and everything.
    Congrats on the PR!

    (also awesome medal.)
    thumbs up all around.

    1. Totally delayed reaction -- thanks, yo!! It was a great surprise and a great way to tap off marathon training. Woot woot!