Monday, February 8, 2010

2010 Surf City Half Marathon - Race Report

EVENT: Surf City USA Half-Marathon
DATE: Sunday, February 7, 2010
LOCATION: Huntington Beach, CA
RACE BEGAN: 7:45 am (wave start)
FINISH TIME: 01:48:12 (PR Half Marathon time)

This year marked the third year that I've ran the Surf City Half Marathon. A couple of years ago they changed the name and course of this race from Pacific Shoreline to Surf City. Since I ran that inaugural course and this being my third year, I am now a legacy runner for this race so this is one of those that I try to run every year. This year as a reward for being a legacy runner, I got a long sleeved shirt with this surf board design on it. It is ok, good for layering but I only wore it 2-3 times since I got it. I am not in love with the design. Here is a photo of my sister (A Case of the Runs) wearing it. Hope she does not get mad that I linked to it. The course is an out and back and for the most part is fairly flat. The return path inclines slightly and at this point in the day, the sun is normally out and in your face, which makes for some uncomfortable running. Bring and wear your sunglasses if you are use to running in sunglasses or wear a hat and lower your head on the return.

But here is the reason I love this race...the MEDAL! It is always in the shape of a surf board. A different design every year. I love these!

This was the only photo I was able to find of me running this race. I think I was over-dressed a bit even though it is February, the sun was out and it was warm the second half of the race.

I was originally going to wear this tutu that I made but chickened out at the last minute. Mostly because it tends to be cold in the mornings in February.


Half Marathon By the Mile

Miles 1-2 Huntington Beach Pier & Main Street

Start on Pacific Coast Highway between the ocean and the Hilton Waterfront Beach Hotel. Running north, the Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street are less than a mile away. At the 5K start banner, look to the left to enjoy the famous Huntington Beach Pier. Downtown Main Street is where you will likely head after your race to watch the Super Bowl in one of the many idyllic beach bars.

Miles 2 -5 Seapoint View

Just past the second mile marker, at the first retro surf band station, turn inland on Seapoint and head toward Huntington Central Park. On this stretch, you will encounter the course's only incline, between miles 3 and 4. Take your turn at the bluff, reenergize at the aid station and head down Seapoint back toward the ocean. Enjoy the ocean view all the way down to PCH.

Miles 5-7 Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Just past mile five, take a right on PCH and absorb the energy from the ocean! Breathe in the fresh sea air as you continue north on the highway. The Bolsa Chica Reserve wetlands roll out to the right. This 300 acre ecological wonder is a sanctuary for wildlife and migratory birds. Bolsa Chica, along with the rest of Huntington Beach, CA, has some of the nation's best birding! Nearly half of the birds found in the U.S. have been seen in Huntington Beach. Sightings of great blue herons, snowy egrets and brown pelicans are common; lucky bird watchers can even spot a rare white pelican at the right time of the year.

Miles 8-13.1 The Home Stretch

Just before mile eight at Warner, turn back south on Pacific Coast Highway. The blue waters of the Pacific Ocean stretch out to your right and you are getting your second wind. Feel the fresh ocean breeze and take in the spectacular view. It's flat, it's fast, and it's all yours for the next five miles! Before you know it you are back at the pier, less than a half mile from the finish line. It's a straight shot from there, and the finish line banner is just ahead. Spectators line the highway to cheer you to the finish!