Monday, December 28, 2015

Race Report: San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

December 27, 2015 | San Diego, CA 

I ran this race at the super last minute last year, had a blast, and was excited to be able to get picked up as a pacer for this one to run it again! Sidenote: I was supposed to pace 2:10 and then we were supposed to be up in the mountains for Christmas so I cancelled, and then plans changed again two weeks later so then I got to jump back in for team 2:45. Still a win and a good, long slow run in the books for a beautiful Sunday morning run.

My sister decided that she wanted to come down and watch (who knows why?) so she convinced Doug to come along too. He was my spectator last year so at least he knew the course and places to hang out and catch me along the way! We left the house at 5 and were down to the start line right about 6:30 in time for our pacers' meeting with Beast Pacing.

The entire pacing team!
With a start time of 7:30, we headed into corrals at 7:15 to get lined up. While we were told there would be signage to split folks up by pace, the corrals were only marked and people only knew what corral they were in by their bib number which apparently corresponded with what they put as their finish time. *shrug* But I had no clue, so I just plopped myself in and we figured it out from there!

The course is super PR-friendly, with one good hill in the first 1.5 miles and one slight incline in the mile 6 zone, but otherwise is a pretty good net downhill (700 feet or so). Being point to point, it's also super spectator friendly, so your fam and friends can find multiple points to stop and cheer you on - if you're a super speedy, that's a little more difficult, but at my slow pace yesterday, Doug and Andi were able to see me twice on the course and be at the finish well ahead of time, too. 

Naturally, my Garmin died again in the corrals, so thankfully my partner Robin had hers and we just followed my printed pace band to stay on track. We were definitely banking time so in the second half we definitely had some good stretches to walk in - still had fun, helped people keep track knowing that we had an x-minute lead and giving people the confidence that they'd finish in a time they were stoked with. Nearly everyone who started with/around us finished pretty ahead of us once we realized we could walk nearly the entire last mile. That's fun! I love pacing and helping people meet their goals. :) 

This race certainly seemed more organized than last year and with the new start line at the Doubletree Golf Resort rather than across the street in the Albertsons parking lot, there was a lot smoother start, announced and organized (minus this apparent missing signage). 

It was a perfectly gorgeous morning (though freeeeezing at the start) and by the time I finished, I was plenty warm in my 2XU Hyoptik tights and long sleeves. A few fun photos on the water (which, by the way, the water is higher than I've ever seen here) and we were on our way to breakfast and back home... 
Thank you, Southern California, for the prettiest racing weather ever. All. Year. Long.

Last race of 2015 in the books! Look forward to my racing year in review later this week!

What was your last race of 2015? 

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