I spent the weekend with Jeanette and Johannah (of the Tour de Palm Springs weekend).
The day before the race, Jeanette drove us up the first half of the course (which was mainly all uphill). (Awesome.) I learned that we would basically be running on the sun. (Oh no, not again.)
It was really nice to have people around who thought ahead about the half marathon (knowing the elevation changes and weather forecast before going out on the course). A novel idea, huh?
Last time I learned to forget vanity and routines. I scrapped my normal race outfit in favor of pajama pants and a white tech shirt. Best decision of the day.
With an incline for most of the first half, mixed with running on fire, I figured I’d basically take a 13.1 mile stroll. (Johannah knocked it out of the park, finishing in 2:06:38.)
I had a nice time walking through the course, doing light jogging here and there. As the crowd thinned out, “Disturbia” came on my iPhone. I start moving my hips as I walk, hoping maybe that’d be some kind of additional workout.
I start to get lost in my tunes, seeing myself onstage at Madison Square Garden, going full out popstar mode. That’s when I see Jeanette with Gatorade. We’ll pretend I wasn’t just completely embarrassing myself there.
Jeanette showed up at a few points along the course to be a personal water/Gatorade station for Johannah and I. Incredible, right?
The course was really well supported for the first few miles. There were volunteers everywhere. The first water station was there before I even hit the first mile marker.
As I was taking a nice walk through the Redlands, the course became less and less supported. Even though there were still a couple of groups of walkers behind me (far enough to where I couldn’t even see them anymore), I came across volunteer after volunteer leaving as I passed.
I got to a water station where people were in the midst of dumping all the water, and warned them more people were coming.
This was a little disheartening. I had a person looking out for me if I needed water or Gatorade. And I’ve done plenty of half marathons, so I don’t need the encouragement that maybe a first timer would.
A pair of women caught up to me later. They were both doing their first half marathon, and they went miles without seeing a soul.
We weren’t going to come in right at the time limit either. We were on track to come in at least 50 minutes before the course closed.
I understand that we were going quite slowly, and I appreciate the race director putting such a relaxed time limit on a hard course.
But, my opinion is that if you’re going to take away all the support before a number of people get to it, make it known that support will stop after a certain time (or just make a tighter time limit), please.
The back of the pack was really spread out. At first, I was thinking I enjoyed the scenery and alone time… Until I realized that everyone in Redlands has a dog.
I’ll pick up with dogs tomorrow.