After figuring out how to hang up our super modern hotel phone... I stumbled to the bathroom and sorted all of my race things out. I had laid out as much as I could the night before.
I had asked at the expo what would happen if I tried to get on a shuttle later than my reserved 3:30AM time (one of the only times left by the time I signed up) and they said it shouldn't be a problem just don't wait until the last one. I was aiming to be at Santa Monica City Hall by 4:30 (the last shuttle would leave by 5:30). I got there shortly after 4:00 and found a ton of empty bus'. Security took a quick peek in my hydration pack and then I got right on the bus.
The bus was rather quiet. The man next to me only said one thing: "This seems like quite a long way to Dodger Stadium, we are going to be running this far?". I just put my head down.
When we arrived at the stadium, there was hardly anyone there with 3 hours to go before the start, I suppose it wasn't that surprising. I really wish we had been allowed into the stadium though. I feel like I could have fallen asleep in one of the seats or something. Instead, the only place to sit was the ground.
Above us, the sky was opening up into a beautiful sunrise.
This is the only pre-race selfie I took, check out the photo bomb ha ha:
As we passed through Chinatown, I began to feel some shooting pains in the bottom of my foot. I reminded myself to stay calm and just go slow. My goal was to cross the finish line however I got there. So I didn't want to run so hard that I wouldn't be able to at least walk. I kept to my 10/1s very well other than the major hills. Every time the road would slant in any direction, up, down, sideways, my arch would begin to hurt more. So I walked when I had to and ran as often as I could. I think at mile 10, I finally realized I was going to do this. I still didn't know how long it was going to take me, but I was going to get there, slowly but surely.
I had a spectator take this picture for me:
RBRR's FaceBook page and captioned it "15.2 miles to the beach, we are NOT almost there!"
As I came up on the halfway mark at around 2:30 something, I was pleased. Even if I walked the rest of the race, I was confident that I could get there. That isn't even my worst half marathon time, so all things considered, things were going well.
Sunset Boulevard, was the first taste of what the weather was going to be like for the remainder of the race; HOT.
While I was waiting, I noticed this sign and boy was I tempted to stop, champagne sounded pretty delicious!
Thankfully, I was able to spot Jacki in the crowd and I ran on with her. I figured she would keep going and then I would be walk/running alone for the rest of the race, but she was really having a rough day.
I'm so glad she was with me because look who she spotted on the side of the road cheering, BOB HARPER!
On we went, running when I could, and walking when I couldn't any longer. I started to lose track of where we were when we were no longer on Sunset Boulevard. At some point we ended up in Beverly Hills and from that point on we were almost exclusively walking. I had hoped to be able to run the last 5 or so kilometers to the finish, so I was just biding my time.
Things really slowed down now. Dehydration had totally taken it's toll, I was shivering constantly now, and my mouth was as dry as the desert, no amount of water would quench my thirst. They had run out of Gatorade completely. Everyone seemed really surprised by the heat. I don't know what the exact temperature was, I've seen reports ranging from 28-32 degrees celsius or in the high 80's farenheit. Obviously I knew it would be warmer than at home, but this felt particularly unseasonable.
At some point we ended up on San Vincente which stretched on forever towards the beach. Looking at the course map now, I can see that stretch was about 4 miles long. We were doing our best to walk our kilometers at a 9:30 pace, I'm not sure what that is in miles. There was a slight downhill to Ocean Ave when we could see the beach but it wasn't as dramatic as the elevation profile had made it seem.
When we had about 2 kilometers to go, I wanted to run, but Jacki had developed a blister straight across the bottom of her foot and she just couldn't. We had made it this far together and we were going to finish together. So we walked until we reached the chute and we ran in together.
After the finish, I was hobbling. We had to walk quite a ways to get ice and water. I had my left knee taped and iced and took a bag with me for when it was time to remove my shoe. I could tell that my foot had swelled a lot because I could feel the laces on my right shoe were a heck of a lot tighter than when I started. All I grabbed from the small selection of food was some animal crackers. We somehow missed the cold towels, WOW that would have been amazing. I took a picture with Jacki as she is planning on purchasing the photos and we began searching for my sister and Nikki.
The crowds were intense and it wasn't easy to locate anyone. Finally, we found them and made it back to our hotel.
I'm so proud of Nikki, she got a 14 minute PR in some really tough conditions.
|Nikki and I the next day. Everyone was so delirious after the race, no one thought to take any pictures.|
|Post race food at Buca di Beppo|
Easy and fast. There was convenient parking as well. There wasn't too many exciting exhibitors though, I expected more in that respect for such a big race.
That was the cost for international participants. I'm not sure what it was otherwise. It did include the 5k, but still very expensive. I mean that rivals a Disney race for cost. At this cost, there are expectations, some of which were not met, such as adequate hydration and post race food.
There were enough of them, they had just run out of stuff. I understand that the weather was unseasonably warm, but seeing as how the race released a warning about extreme heat the day before, I would have thought they would have been making adjustments accordingly.
Not as "flat and fast" as advertised. I don't really think I'm over exaggerating either. I ran San Francisco, I've seen my fair share of hills. Was it the hilliest course I've run? No. But I wish the advertising would have been clearer regarding this.
Love them and I love how the ribbon has "Stadium to Sea" on it.