This is going to be race recap week, as I have 2 more recaps to do before my next race at the end of the month. I’m going to knock them all out as quickly as possible :).
So a few months back, I mentioned to Sean that we didn’t really have any races on our schedule for after we got back from Italy. He was interested in Ray Miller, but one week after an overseas trip, I didn’t think I would be up for a 50k so I vetoed that. We knew a bunch of other people running Revel Canyon City, it was within driving distance from San Diego, near Pasadena and where we went for AC100. I knew @runningwithsd was training for the marathon so I asked her if she had a code for the race. Smitha was the amazing group leader for the SoCal MRTT group and even though I’m not a mom, we were still able to join their group.
We signed up under the SoCal MRTT group so we were able to save $5.00 through their group code and then you could get another $5 off if you announced that you were running the race on FaceBook. I decided to do the half and of course Sean would be running the marathon :). Through the group we were able to purchase a matching race shirt and the group also had a special Spandits print that Smitha had set up for them. I have never tried Spandits yet so I got a shirt but I decided to pass on the crops/skirt.
Communication from race management was great and their website was very detailed. They even had tips on how to train for a downhill race.
The Expo: Friday from 10 – 8pm. Sean & I didn’t get there until 7:20pm and the expo was pretty much over by that point. 80% of the booths were empty but we were able to get our bibs quickly and then they had a ton of shirts, they are one of the few races that said you could switch out your shirt if you got the wrong size. They, like the Phoenix Marathon, use Albion for their shirts.
T-shirts: For women they were pretty good sizing wise, I got a small and it fit me perfectly with no tight neck. For the men though, the shirts ran really big – Sean got a small and it was huge on him.
Swag: Not much, but they did put in gloves and a space blanket to keep us all warm at the start lines. Since we arrived at the expo late, I don’t know if they had more stuff earlier in the day or not.
Bibs: They were personalized and we even registered relatively late, maybe 6 weeks prior to the race. Blue for the half and Orange for the full
Race Day Packet Pick-Up: There was an option for packet pick-up on race day for an extra $20 – because there is so much traffic going into the LA area from San Diego, the Sean & I discussed taking advantage of this next year so we don’t have to rush to the expo after work, but ultimately to save money we changed our minds.
Parking: Finally a race that gives you a pamphlet with parking information vs making you go to the website to see where to go. We had to be bused to the start so to eliminate issues with people going to the wrong start line, there were 2 different areas for parking. Unlike at the Phoenix Marathon, the marathoners got to park right next to the finish line while the half marathoners were a few blocks away. Since Sean ran the marathon, we got to park in the marathon parking.
Busing: There were a ton of buses, a mix of tour buses and school buses. For the marathon they ran from 4am – 5am, would take approx. 60 mins and for the half from 4:30a – 5:30am, which would take about 30 mins. Our bus driver didn’t get lost like I heard a few of them did, but she did overshoot the starting line because someone stole the popups for the half marathon start line during the night. As soon as I got on the bus, I saw our friend Kat, which ended up being an awesome thing as we would end up running the whole race together.
I sat next to a lady who was planning on walking her first half. She was super excited and had all sorts of questions. This was my 26th half and once you’ve done a few races, it becomes second nature. She asked me things like what to do with her bib, and if she just left her bag on the bus. I gave her a few pointers and we chatted for a bit.
This helped me because as we were going up the mountain, I was getting more and more nauseous due to motion sickness. Talking helped a bit.
Once we got off the bus, we were one of the first buses up, Kat & I got our space blankets out & gloves out and tried to warm up.
Starting line: Lots of port-a-potties and they had water and Powerade at for us to keep hydrated. I would have loved to have had some bagels or something though since we had about 2 hours until race time. We were so cold as we waited for the race to start, but I have to say that those space blankets really worked.
Bag drop: There was one truck to drop bags, this was a small race. It was right before the start line. At the end of the race they had the bags set up in order by number. It was really quick & easy to find them at the end.
Start: Since there were no pop-ups, it was very anti-climactic and in reality, I didn’t even realize we had started until we saw people start running. There was no National Anthem or countdown or anything that I could hear to signify that the race had started. Sean said at the marathon start it was just a countdown from 10 to 1.
Aid Stations: All the aid stations were well stocked and the volunteers were awesome. They had water & powerade at all the stations, Gu at some of them and then I think at mile 4 there was some fruit. My only minor complaint, the oranges were cut in the wrong direction so they were hard to eat quickly, but that’s so minimal lol.
Course: This is a beautiful course in the mountains, it went by really quickly. The first half of the course is a very steep downhill, while the 2nd half is a bit of rolling hills so it’s deceivingly difficult. Kat and I took it nice and easy, walking up the minor hills, taking selfies, chatting and just enjoying ourselves.
There were a few points, specifically between miles 7 – 9 where we were literally shocked to see that were were at the next mile marker already.
I was very happy with my finish time, I hadn’t been really running too seriously before this race and I have had a few so so races as of late so this really helped me to get my mojo back so to speak.
Finish line: They did a great job at the finish line. They had a lot of food & beverages for recovery. Water bottles, horchata, chips, granola bars, bananas & pie! When Kat & I went through they had apple, lemon and pumpkin. And there was a lot of food, even when Sean arrived about an hour later there was just as much food there. I actually forgot to take a picture because I was so hungry.
They had a photo area where you could take your own photos, the line was kind of long so we decided to just take our own photo. At the results section, they gave us a card with our results on it. Showing our place, time and pace so that was really cool.
Photos: They offer free photos and they had signs on the course showing that there was a photographer coming up so we could get ready. However, I will say, in my case, unfortunately a few of my photos were blurry and even though we posed for a ton of photos, there were very few in my feed.
They were free however and they even posted them to my Facebook timeline so that we could share them with others.
Medal: The medal was the same for both the half and marathon with the only differences being the ribbon color and that the medal said half marathon vs just marathon. It is huge and super nice. I was really impressed. This is seriously one of the best medals I’ve received.
Other things: A nice thing about this race is that they offer you the ability to transfer your registration so if you are injured or just can’t run, you can transfer your bib to someone else. I believe there was a $20 fee to transfer, but considering so many races won’t let you transfer your bib, that’s a really cool option.
All in all this was an awesome race and I know we are looking forward to going back next year!