EVENT:Surf City USA Half-Marathon DATE: Sunday, February 6, 2011 LOCATION: Huntington Beach, CA RACE BEGAN: 7:45 am (wave start) FINISH TIME: 01:33:47
(A [first] guest post by "The Ukrainian" -- show him some love so that he'll keep blogging!! :) )
Hello, I am the infamous "Ukrainian." I am the ultimate workout machine [Julie: that's what he calls himself ]. I've been running for the last three years over which time I have done 6 marathons and about a dozen half-marathons. I have always wanted to run a race but was too scared to do it on my own. Once I met Julie and found out that she enjoyed running, that motivated me to do it myself. My first race was the Laguna Hills Half-Marathon, where I wanted to show Julie that I can keep up with her. And since that race, I enjoyed participating in other running events because of the continuous challenge of improving my conditioning. Before I was running, all that I used to do was work out in the gym for hours and play in a co-ed soccer league team.
I had a wonderful weekend being a participant and a volunteer at the world-famous Surf City race. This was my first time volunteering at the race, and it was very nice to give back to the race community for when I am a runner going through hurdles of picking up my registrations. The registration desk was hectic but very inspiring because I was able to answer all the questions that the existing racers and first-timers had asked me when they were picking up their packets. Due to me participating in many races over the last few years, I was able to answer every single question.
It was a nice cool morning, but it wasn't as cold as it was last year. I was feeling a bit under the weather this year trying to recover from a minor cold, but in the end, I still did a pretty good time.
Me before the race.
The race this year was very nicely organized, especially as you run the course, you find at every mile, there is a water station, which is very helpful to anybody running for the first time. The course, for the most part, is flat with a few minor climbs, especially between mile 2.5 through 4, where you are going through the Huntington Beach neighborhood. It does take a while to make that U-turn on the Pacific Coast Highway, but as a runner, you shouldn't get discouraged because once you make the U-turn, the finish is only 4 miles away.
The volunteers at the water stations were very young and energetic and did a great job passing out the water. They were well-staffed and very supportive of all the runners, which I appreciated.
Since this my third year running this race in a row, I already knew the course, so my mind went blank for most of the course. You could say I was running on "automatic pilot," except with some leaky fluids coming out of my right nostril. :) I was hoping to come in under 1:30 like I did last year, but unfortunately, I came up short by a few minutes. It showed me that I need to run more long runs if I'm going to be ready for LA Marathon. I need to get brand new running shoes.