Sunday, June 5, 2011

2011 Inaugural Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon - Race Recap

Date: June 5, 2011
Location: Ojai to Ventura Pier, CA
Time: 6:00am
Finish: 3:50:35 (almost 10 min PR!!)


Mile 1 - 8:09          Mile 8 - 8:08             Mile 15 - 8:29            Mile 22 - 16:27**
Mile 2 - 7:54          Mile 9 - 8:24             Mile 16 - 8:23            Mile 23 - 9:49
Mile 3 - 8:11          Mile 10 - 8:11           Mile 17 - 9:00            Mile 24 - 9:55
Mile 4 - 8:32          Mile 11- 8:03            Mile 18 - 8:24            Mile 25 - 9:12
Mile 5 - 8:33          Mile 12 - 7:59           Mile 19 - 8:40            Mile 26 - 8:48
Mile 6 - 10:19*      Mile 13 - 8:24           Mile 20 - 9:47           
Mile 7 - 8:15          Mile 14 - 8:37           Mile 21 - 9:04

*Bathroom break
**Mental breakdown

I am finally back online after an entire week of travels and lack of internet access or rather just me being too cheap to pay for internet at the hotels where I was staying at this week. I like to think that I am frugal, cheap just sounds...well cheap.

If you don't currently follow me on Twitter, you probably missed my Marathon PR announcement. Yes folks, after 3 or 4 attempts, I finally broke 4 hours! I am officially in the 3:50 club!

I'm going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back because well frankly I think I deserve it. In the span of 5 days, I PR'ed my half marathon time by 4 minutes and my marathon time by almost 10 minutes. This is amazing considering I was on vacation this week and only ran once and spent a butt load of time traveling in a car. By the way, I am so happy to be home because I'm pretty sick of road trips at the moment. What was I saying? Who cares because I PR'ed! Okay, I got it out of my system now.

This past week, I took so many photos that I don't even know where to begin the recap so I am going to just go backwards and work my way back.

So what are my thoughts on this course? Well since this was an inaugural event, all the things you would imagine could go wrong, did. Don't get me wrong, I had a great race but here's my personal list of things that could be improved upon:

1) The host hotel was the Crowne Plaza by the Ventura pier. Um, how can I say this politely? That area is kinda seedy if you know what I mean. Good Mexican food but let's just say it has a lot of character. Also, the hotel walls are thin and if you are a light sleeper don't even stay here because a train passes by in the middle of the night...every night. On the plus side, they allow dogs here so I was able to bring Teddy. He wanted me tell you that he had a nice vacation with momma.

2) Don't know how race organizers still get this next one wrong but please provide more than 5 potta potties at the starting line if you want everyone to be ready to go on time. Five potta potties!?! Gah! Why don't they ever err on the side of over providing these rather then under providing them. I've never heard of anyone complain about there being "too many" potta potties. Never!

3) Could definitely do with more water stations! Like way more...way more! I remember running through stretches without any water in sight and I was carrying my own. I felt bad for those that didn't. It was humid out and for some reason I was really thirsty. Maybe it was just me.

4) This course kind of did a bait and switch on me. I guess after running Big Sur, I was kinda expecting this one to be similar but many parts of this course was weird to me. For example, there were sections where we ran though some oil rigs or pumps and it smelled like diesel. Other parts were really dusty because work trucks where digging some stuff up. And this one I'm sure made some people mad but I just happened to just barely miss it myself was the truck-crossing cutting off the pathway around mile 16 or 17 and people had to wait until the truck passed to continue. I was so lucky, I just made it before they started the crossing. Some parts of the course the organizers did mention but that did not make it any better. Such as running that first 6 miles loop around the school but what took the cake was that part around mile 20 where we had to run on beach sand. That was not fun whatsoever!

Some stuff I did like about this race:

1) Their efforts to be green! They reused old surfboards as mile markers. There was no goodie bag or flyers, just a shirt (light lavender), bib and timing chip. They had a solar panel powered finish-line timer. Super cool!

2) The medal! I think they were made from recycled aluminum.

3) The downhill sloping course. It's downhill but still difficult. Don't think for one second that this race didn't hurt like every other 26.2 that I've ran before because it did.

4) The small size of this race was very intimate and I think I've mentioned this before but I really like small races. I don't really need a lot of frills. Finish-line snacks were great! They had bananas, strawberries from the local farms, cookies, pretzels and bagels. Plus, you can eat as much as you want. I actually stood there and ate for 10 minutes because I was so hungry.

5) Oh and check out this timing chip! It's an ankle strap like you would get at a triathlon. It was weird to me at first but when I crossed that finished line and it came off so easily (Velcro) I didn't mind it so much. I was afraid it would fall off mid run but it stayed. 

Overall, I think the organizers did a nice job for an inaugural event. I understand how difficult it must be to put on one of these events so I appreciated it for what it was and hope that their short comings will be remedied in the future. I think it has a lot of potentials.

Haha, my poor honey tried to get a photo of me at the start but I don't see myself in this photo at all. ^_~

Hmm, he tried again to get a photo of me at the finish...well at least this time I am somewhat in the photo! Haha!

Good thing the professionals were on the job! Finish-line shot!

I've never been so happy to stop running in my life. Okay...maybe just all those other times I went running 26.2 miles in a row.

Some nice person took this photo of us! He told us to say "3:50 club"...I look like I am about to fall over.

You know Who wanted in on the photo action!

In case you didn't know, there are two main things that Ventura and Ojai are known for and that's surfing and their love of art. So in the spirit of running a marathon in these two towns, this is my attempt to be artistic! Tada! These are the same medal but it is a cute-out, so it looks different depending on what you put behind it. I think it's pretty neat lookin' I mentioned above.

Currently gobbling up this burrito from this yummy Mexican food join in Ventura. Can't say much about Ventura but the Mexican food is on par.

Well that's it for now. My gosh I ate so many amazing things in Ojai and my trip earlier in the week to Vegas that it will literally take me the rest of this upcoming week to recap. Also, I missed posting about National Running Day because I was in Vegas without internet access. Maybe I will write a belated post. We'll see how I feel. This week it is back to the grind (work) and my spinning class (yay!) and maybe some yoga (bleh!). Most importantly is that I can finally take it easy with my running for a bit. Phew! Thanks for reading and happy running!


Nobel4Lit said...

Congrats again~! That is really awesome! I'm going to try to aim for 4 in my next marathon. Sorry the race had its kinks. I guess it sounded more luxurious than it really was. But I'm happy that you finally reached a goal of yours (or two if you count Laguna) this week!

SJ said...

I know you posted this a while back, but I just wanted to say congrats on your sub 4 and PR! I have been contemplating this marathon because I do quite like downhill. :-) I'm originally from the area so I'm thinking of doing this when I visit my folks next year...

Again, congrats!

Madison said...

SJ: lots of space to run! If you do decide to do this one, I might see you there as I am thinking of doing this one again.

Debby said...

I'm doing this as my FIRST marathon this year, did some google, and found this! Thanks a bunch for the write-up, it'll help me out! And a late congrats on the PR! (Added note- as someone who lived in Ventura for 8 years, I need to defend it by saying that all locals HATE the Crowne Plaza, because it's poorly constructed, poorly run, and in the seedy part of town. It's a nice town in the right parts. But I'm glad you enjoyed the Mexican food!!!)