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What a great course!  One of the things I love about running is getting outside and enjoying Mother Nature.  The Big Sur Half Marathon is truly a course that features Mother Nature in all of her glory.  It’s pretty amazing.

When I signed up for this race, I figured my husband and I could make a weekend out of it in Monterey.  Why not, right?  Race-cation fun!

We left the Bay Area on Friday night and got into Monterey a little bit after 7pm.  We met up with my sister-in-law and had dinner at Hula’s.  It was SO good!  Loved the mai tai’s and for dessert they had a “pot brownie” which was a brownie in a ceramic pot topped with whip cream.  Delicious and a pun, my two favorite things.

Pot Brownie

Pot Brownie

On Saturday, we headed out to the expo.  It was super organized and easy to grab our bibs and shirts.  I really liked the shirt.  It was a pretty purple and my husband’s was a dark blue.  Both long sleeved and I actually wore it for the race!  It was super comfy and matched my outfit.  Which is, really, the most important.  I bought a race tank as well as a pint glass, because one can never have too many pint glasses right?  Right!

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After, we did a little tourist journey and ended up at Carmel beach where we saw some dolphins swimming around.  It was awesome!

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After dinner we laid out our race stuff and set our phone alarm for 5:00am.  Happy Sunday!

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Ready to Run!

Ready to Run!

Once up and ready to go, we jogged over to the start.  I actually had a 15 mile training run scheduled anyway, so I did 2 miles prior to the race to make it count as my training run…two birds, one stone.

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After my easy 2 mile warm up run

After my easy 2 mile warm up run

 

Got some photos at the start and got into my corral, which was corral F.  After a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem was sang, corral A (which my hubby was in) was off and it seemed like they let the following corrals out every 2 minutes or so, and I roughly calculated that my corral left about 10 minutes later.

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Once we were off, I realized how chilly it was!  I thought I was warm from my 2 mile warm up run, but there was some chilly willy wind happening.

The first four miles was through downtown and the neighborhoods.  I think my favorite part of this was after we were on Cannery Row, there was some guys holding giant jelly fish and octopus.  So fun!  I also loved one of the signs “You’re running better than the government!”  and two boys holding their sign “Hurry up mom, we haven’t eaten yet!”  LOL

Once mile 5 came along we were running along the coast, and boy was it beautiful!  I absolutely loved running along the ocean.  The waves were awesome and the clouds were keeping the course cool.

Before I forget to mention this, the course entertainment during this race was AMAZING!  I’m almost 100% positive this race had more bands than a Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon.  Almost every mile they had a keyboardist, or a bagpiper or a blues band or taiko drummers.  It was so great, seriously, I can’t even remember a race with so much entertainment.  You can tell the community supports the race as they all come out to cheer and it really made a difference.

Right before I hit mile 6, I saw hubby running back towards the finish line, I waved, he blew me a kiss, it was all very romantic.  LOL.

After I saw him, I hunkered down and kept on running.  I hit a little bit of a bump around  mile 8 and slowed a bit.  I felt like the turnaround took FOREVER to get to, but I finally made it.  I was trucking along, but there were a few rolling hills that felt like Mount Everest, so I did a little bit of walking around mile 10.  Finally around mile 11, I thought to myself, okay, you’re almost done, just get ‘er done!

When I hit mile 13, I saw Rob standing off to the side and gave him my happy face as I ran by.  I hit the finish line and was done in 2:10:23…my second fastest time!  YAHOO!

ALMOST DONE!!  So happy  :-)

ALMOST DONE!! So happy 🙂

I got my medal, which is super cute and stopped to take a photo at the finisher podium, they had a few lines, but then the official photographer said we couldn’t take a picture with our cell phone….LAME.  They should at least have one without a photographer so you can take one with your phone if you want.  Silliness.

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YAY!

YAY!

After that, I tried to get out of the finished area, but the food line was RIDICULOUS!  The food boxes weren’t pre-made, so we had to wait in a very slow moving line while they were individually filled.  Maybe next year they can have the boxes put together to have them ready for pick-up and the line can move a bit faster.

I met back up with hubby and we hoofed it back to the hotel to shower and check out.  We met up with a friend, who also ran, and had some breakfast and then drove back home.  We did make a pit stop on the way home in Capitola and had some beers, because we need to rehydrate, right?

I would highly recommend this race to anyone interested and I really hope we can do this one again next year!

One more half marathon left this year and then it’s Goofy time!!  YAY!

QOTD: Did you do Big Sur Half? Or have you done a race that was mostly on the coast before?? Which one?

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