(#11) Hollywood Half Marathon – Part 3 (No Electrolytes, So I Got My Own!)

April 9, 2012

runners Joe and Aurora on the red carpet finish of the Hollywood Half Marathon 2012, smiling a bit while coming inYesterday, I left off talking about the water stations running out of cups.

So, the volunteers ask the runners to cup their hands out as they run by. All right, that’s not that big of a deal. Then I see a lot of runners – a lot – grabbing the jugs and putting their mouths on them, then running off.

Now, I’m not weird about germs or anything. I know humans have strong immune systems. I share food with my friends, no problem. But, I didn’t think I wanted to drink from a jug that had who knew how many people’s germs on/in/around it. I decided to just forgo water – until around the turnaround, there was a station that still had cups. Yee haw!

At every drink station I passed, I thought, “Maybe the next one will have a drink with electrolytes.” Nope. Next one? Nope. Next one? There never seemed to be any electrolytes to be found.

As the sun came up and started beating down on us, and as we kept traveling up an incline, I really wanted to start shouting, “Will sing and dance for Gatorade!” Maybe, just maybe, a spectator would throw me some.

I didn’t actually start doing showtunes for Gatorade. (And there weren’t all that many spectators, anyway.) At one drink station, I did see a teensy amount of pink in the bottom of a jug.

man spinning a "Kill the Hill" sign at the Hollywood half marathon 2012
a guy spinning the “Kill the Hill” sign (but not near the biggest hill of the course…)

Oh my goodness, they have a drink with electrolytes after all! But, judging by the free-for-all everyone had been having with the water (It was like the Hunger Games out there!) – I decided against drinking it.

For once, I actually had a debit card with me out on the course. There had been a lot of conflicting information about bag check for this race.

It was happening. It wasn’t happening. Back and forth from different information sources on different days. I took the safe route and brought basically nothing extra with me, except my debit card, which I shoved in the back of my phone case.

I kept my eyes peeled for any place that would sell Gatorade. I saw a couple of places on the other side of the (very wide) street, but I wanted a place as close to me as possible. I saw a Starbucks on my side (which would’ve at least had water), but of course there seemed to be a line.

Then I saw it – a 7/11. (Cue heavenly music.) I ran inside, grabbed a water and a Gatorade, got back out on the course, and started downing my drinks!

The streets in LA are like the ones I came across at Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona – they’re tilted. People in cars probably don’t notice, but on foot, you can definitely feel that the middle is higher than the outsides. It was hard to navigate that and try to pick the best parts of the street to stay as even as possible.

As I kept on going, there was this one spectator I kept passing from Alpha Running – a running club in Los Angeles. She was so supportive! I’d met her at the expo, and I saw her at three different times on the course. She kept moving to different locations to see her runners as many times as possible. She kept yelling out, “You can do this, 52 in 52” when she saw me.

10k Finish line at the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon 2012
Look it’s the finish line! Haha. j/k. Only if you’re doing the 10k!

I’ve heard people complain at Rock ‘n’ Roll events that it’s rough when you’re doing the full marathon, and in the middle of your race, you pass the finish line for the half – hearing everyone screaming and music playing.

I got to experience that a bit myself today when I passed the 10k finish line – which was cool, ending right at Hollywood/Highland. (It wasn’t that big of a deal though. I was ready to keep moving on.)

I turned the corner going back toward Universal. I knew ever since those first miles downhill, that I’d end going uphill. Talk about killing a hill – this is where the real hill was. So, I went up. And up. And up.

I was really pushing the time limit on this one. (3 1/2 hours.) I would never let a SAG wagon take me, but I was getting a little nervous that I might see it.

Did I? Find out tomorrow.

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