Sunday, August 17, 2008
Posted by Christine
Ran America's Finest City Half Marathon today; the final race of the Half Marathon Triple Crown. It was a beautiful course starting at the most Southwestern point in the continental United States, the Cabrillo National Monument. I'd been there before, but it always impresses me. The views across the bay to San Diego and to Mexico are postcard perfect.
The race didn't start until 7 a.m. and there was no marine layer to keep things cool. It was hot out there. The race started at 7, but we had to be a Balboa Park to catch the bus to Cabrillo a 5 a.m. Cabrillo is part of that National Parks Service and there simply isn't room for 8,000 people and their cars. Every single runner must take a bus from Balboa Park. That said, I really wish that they'd start this race at 6 am and have us get to the buses at 4. I hate the early morning, but I hate running in the heat more.
The first two miles are a gentle uphill that's followed by 2 perfect miles of downhill running through the Point Loma neighborhoods. Oh, I lurve me some downhill. This was the only part of the course that I had never run before and it was lovely. Tons of families and kids were out to cheer on the runners. I love that. It makes running so much fun.
Then it was on to the familiar territory of Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, downtown San Diego and the (dreaded) 6th Ave. hill. Amusingly, 6th Ave was nothing. All those Monday nights running up and down that hill and it was just nothing on race day (even at mile 12 of the run).
At the end of the race I got my America's Finest City Half Marathon Finisher's Medal. It is a lovely medal. A nice medal is normally is very pleasing to me. However, I what really wanted my Triple Crown finisher medal. This was race three; I did them all. Give Me My Medal. I had to walk another mile to get it and I was ridiculously stressed out about it. Joanne and I finally found the tent for Triple Crown Finishers. The volunteer gave me the medal and asked me if it was worth it. I knew the answer - after months of work starting in January at the Carlsbad Half Marathon, to the steamy, pukefest that was the La Jolla Half, through the training doldrums of the summer getting ready for today - yes.
Yes, it was totally, completely and absolutely worth it.