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Race Recap–Surf City Half Marathon, Feb. 3, 2013–Paige Sato

Super Bowl Sunday is also the annual running of the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, California.  Lucky for me I had a business trip to nearby Long Beach, so I eagerly registered for this race way back last fall.  Unlucky for me, I injured my hip/hamstring soon after than which, at the time, didn’t seem so bad, but 6 months later, I’m still working through this injury.

Back to the race: Holy cow! Could the weather in Southern California be any better?  This was my first long-ish (6 days) trip to the area, and now I totally understand why some people never leave.  Although it had been cool in the area while we were having our deep freeze, race day started out at 61F with morning haze (or maybe that was smog, hard to tell).

The course was a mostly flat out-and-back along Pacific Coast Highway with a slight 3 mile detour through a neighborhood.  I don’t really like out-and-backs, especially long, flat ones, but I figured the views of the ocean would be worth it.

And it was.  The race was very well attended–there were crowds at every point along the race.  Also good access to bathrooms, and plenty of water and electrolyte stations.  I think they added a few at the last minute as the temps quickly rose to be close to 80F during the race.  The rising temps did cause some problems–many people were over-dressed, and soon started dropping like flies.  I’d never seen so many emergency vehicles and gurneys in action during a race before.

My race went well. Working through the hamstring/hip injury, my goal was to finish around 2:30. I actually did much better than anticipated and finished in 2:16:05, which is only :34 off my PR.  There were two hills on the course, although I didn’t realize we were on one of those hills until I heard a runner near me complain to his friend about the “freakin’ hills.”  Later, my Runmeter app showed a 34 foot incline over .25 miles.  There was a steeper bridge incline at mile 10, which sorta sucked the life out of the entire pace group I was with.

This race had lots of positives: awesome medals (see photo), great food bags at the end (cliff bars, fig newtons, plenty of fresh fruit), 2 (!) good beers (not schwill) at the beer tent, and plenty of logistical support.  The race is also part of a 3 race series that includes marathons and halfs in Long Beach and Orange County–the bling for doing all 3 (in one year) is also amazing. If you happen to be on the left coast for any of these races, I recommend it!

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Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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