- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
I ran this race in its inaugural year in 2014 (half was new, previously only a 5/10K). I love this race for a few reasons: local, supports local running groups and students, but awesome tech tees (long sleeve!), beautiful medals and a course you can't find many other places - where else do you get to run through orange, lemon, and grapefruit groves?
I also love that you can do race morning packet pick up. They had run out of my shirt size by the time I got there, but to my suprise, they offered to take my information and MAIL ME the correct size in a few weeks once they re-ordered more. I have never, EVER had a race offer such an option, so I was truly floored.
Note that the race is partially roads, but through orange groves is trail/broken up asphalt. The first half of the 13.1 is a slow uphill, but so gradual you don't really notice until you see the elevation chart off your Garmin! The real, long hill is up to the Citrus Heritage State Park - it's not a super steep hill, but a long, long, long grade up to the top. The 5K turns around at the top of the hill too, so it's kind of a beast. The perk, though, is that once you're at the top, it's an easy coast back down, through the groves and to the straight stretches to the start.
Somewhere around Mile 8, I learned that my watch was not only caught up to the .8 I was short, but we were almost .3 miles ahead now! Um, what? After the race, Sandy found this:
This year, they also had a beer garden sponsored by local Hangar 24 and Sierra Nevada. While I pretty much don't drink beer harldy ever, and never after a race (chocolate milk, please), Hangar's Orange Wheat was de.lish.ous. Beer has never tasted so good after a half. Additionally, local Boy Scouts had a chili booth, where you could grab a bowl of hot chili, complete with all the toppings you wanted. Unique for after a race!
Overall, I was really impressed with this year's race. They definitely took it up a notch and it showed.