- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 9 miles/15K, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
Picking up my bib was a breeze. If you're willing to park a few blocks away and come when the expo first opens, you will have no problem finding parking. They were setting up for the St. Patrick's day block party in the afternoon so I made sure to get downtown before it got too hectic. At the expo, I picked up my bib and got my sweet pullover jacket. I'm loving this year's jacket. You can always count on Hot Chocolate to give you the best swag. After making my stroll through the expo and trying out their sweets, I called it a day and came back to rest my legs.
I woke up race morning with jitters. I was worried I'd get there late by trolley since it seemed like it only ran every 20 minutes and figured if I just went straight to the start line and just parked a bit further away, it'd be fine. Turns out, I was right! Parking on the street on Sundays in downtown is free and if you're willing to walk maybe half a mile away from the start, you can find parking pretty easily, assuming you've also come an hour before the race starts. I had a blanket in my car and slept for a bit before walking over to the start where I met up with a few people. Everything is pretty spread out and there are a lot of landmarks where you can meet people.
Let me tell you, this course is not easy in the slightest. I ran it two years ago and remember it being hilly. My memory deceived me. It was so much worse. LOL. :P I must be a masochist or something because after I finished, it didn't seem that bad. LOL
The race starts on a hill in downtown and for the first 2 miles, it's a steep incline. There are very short stretches where it flattens out or declines, but for the most part it's incline. After the sharp incline, you get a short break and you start a more gradual incline until mile 4. From mile 4 to 5.5, the course plays with your emotions. LOL. It goes up and down quite a bit. You think you're done with the hills, but guess again! LOL. After 5.5, you get a really nice break where it's just downhill for a good mile or so. The view is beautiful here. You get a great view of the Coronado bridge and you just think you can do anything at this point. At least, that's how I felt.
Then you get to the last stupid big hill, which crushes your soul (I kid), and then you're back in downtown where you sprint to the finish and get your fancy schmancy medal and finisher's mug. :) The finisher's mug consists of hot chocolate, dipping chocolate, marshmallows, pretzels, rice krispies, and a banana. I inhaled that hot chocolate. Hehe.
I had all sorts of leg issues during the race. My ankles were hurting at the beginning and throughout the race, I was getting what I think was plantar fasciitis. It was a struggle, but I just kept breathing and pumping my arms on those uphill climbs. I also walked when I needed. It also helped to see friendly faces along the route.
Despite all the leg issues, I did manage to squeeze out a PR. When I crossed the finish line, I looked my time and thought 1:20:41 was an okay time. I hadn't run a 15k in over a year and I couldn't remember what my last 15k time was and based on how I felt crossing the finish line, I didn't think I did well. But LO AND BEHOLD, I was wrong! I had actually beaten my time by over 5 minutes! :) Thank goodness for Athlinks keeping a record of how I did previously. I was able to find my result from 2 years ago super quickly. :) Hooray!