Monday, September 14, 2015

Race Recap | Ventura Half Marathon

Ventura Half Marathon | Ventura, CA
September 13, 2015

A couple of months ago, I got asked to be a pacer for Ventura - I've wanted to do this race and have just never made it work into my schedule or budget in time, so you know I jumped on the chance to get it on my schedule by being a pacer! Heck yes! I love pacing for Vanessa and Beast Pacing, so it was just another chance to help someone else out on a race!

Doug had football Saturday morning, so I headed out to run club as normal for our 9 race pace miles (whew!) and headed home to do laundry, get packed, and be ready to head out the door to Ventura as soon as he got home. Packet pick up closed at 6, so I knew we'd just squeak in as we didn't get to leave until nearly 3:45. Thankfully the drive was pretty easy so we got to Ventura just about 5:40 - though all the vendors were gone already! Womp.

Ready or not, here we go!
I made the realization on Saturday that this was my first race since Fontana in June! I always seem to forget about that summer stretch where it's too hot to do anything and any of the destination races (ie San Francisco) I just haven't put into my race budget yet. But that's another story for another day. This was ALSO going to be my last race and last half in my current age group - eeeep!

After pick up, Doug and I headed back to Camarillo, about 15 miles away to get checked into the hotel and find dinner. A quick bite to eat, back to the hotel to unpack and make sure I had everything - after San Diego, I was a little paranoid to say the least, so I'm pretty sure I packed everything I could ever think of. I laid down to watch the end of whatever college game that Doug was watching and I'm pretty sure I passed out before even 9:30 pm.

... for a 4:15 am alarm clock, I'd say that's pretty good. Though we had a drive into Ventura, it was super easy and empty at 4:45 am. We were meeting as a pace team at 5:20, so I wanted to be sure we had enough time to get to the city, get near enough the pier and find a place to park. Doug walked me down to the pier, and eventually made his way back to the car for a sort-of nap while the races started and he had to wait for me.

Beast Pacing, comin' atcha!
The full marathon starts at 6 and the half not until 6:30, so we had quite a bit of time to kill before we lined up. I was pacing Team 2:15 with Helen, who's a total badass runner (qualified for Boston at her third full and took her marathon time from 5 hours to BQ in just six months!) but was pacing for the first time ever. I felt like a pro - and still managed to run too fast. Ha!

We lined up about 6:20, just in time for folks to find us by our signage and get comfortable and set where they wanted to be. The full has only about 1500 runners and the half about 4500, so I was surprised there were no real corrals, just signage to help people guesstimate where they wanted to be.

It was a super gorgeous morning, but there was not a single cloud in the sky so it was bound to be a hot day, let alone a warm morning. Many folks commented on how muggy it had been on Saturday, along with some rain, so Sunday felt better, but I tell ya, it still wasn't super runner-friendly.

Helen and I got about a mile out before we started working with our group to see who was planning on hanging with us, who was a first-timer, and who was looking for a PR. We had a handful of newbies and a few folks looking for PRs, so a fun mix of brand new runners and folks who had some serious goals in mind (one lady was looking for a 7+ minute PR).

My Garmin was spot-on with the mile markers up through mile 6 and I knew the turnaround was near, so to my surprise, the turnaround didn't click on my Garmin until nearly 6.8. Heading back, my Garmin was dead-on .6 miles further along than the mile markers! 9 mile sign? 9.6. 10 miles? 10,6. Seemed weird, considering they were spot on up until halfway-ish, so I didn't get too worried. As we counted down miles, Helen and I got louder and louder to runners around us: "2 miles to go!" "1 mile to go!" ".1 to go!" ... and then I looked up and realized the pier was a LOT further than .1 miles away. Awwww man!

Yeah, that's not even close. I usually slide with .1 or so for variance in the course, mostly because I'm a terrible tangent runner, but a full half mile (or then some?). Nuh uh. I heard one of the timing folks announce at the end that "There's a little variance in distance, so we'll see what we can do!" and that's all that was said. By this morning, however, they'd already adjusted times so our adjusted time is a 2:12:20. I think that's well over-adjusted but I won't complain.

I recognize that an RD certainly doesn't have time to check the entire course on a race morning, but I would hope that race staff would know where a race marker is supposed to be and that it is accurately done. Honestly, it's just a half - I'd be more concerned if the marathon had been that far off. Ventura is a huge BQ race and I'd be devastated if their BQ opportunities were ruined because a marker had been placed incorrectly.

All in all, a super fun Sunday with so many running friends all over the place! New friends on the course, folks that found me on Instagram afterward, and folks just cheering in everyone else! I love race days - such a blast! 

These medals don't hurt either - marathon, half, 5K. 
Another successful pacing gig in the books at least, minus the whole distance snafu! Otherwise a great race, despite being stupid hot, with tons of opportunities for PRs out on the course. Flat, fast and easy, though certainly dead in places with little to no course support. I give major applause for free race photos (!), as that is certainly much appreciated!

Have you ever run a race that was significantly too long (or short!)? Was your time ever adjusted?

No comments:

Post a Comment