- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
Santa To The Sea... the big, little local race. :) This was my first one and all of the local runners had talked about it. It seems like a family reunion of races. People dressed up with festive holiday gear to win prizes. There were also some nice cash prizes for fastest runners, so you got the super fast racers as well.
Parking was tight at this race, so they coordinated busses to take us to the starting line. Really easy to find the parking and hop on the busses. Loaded up and dropped off quickly and ready to go! Right at the drop off were tons of portable toilets with very easy access. They also had free Francisco coffee to all the runners walking from the bathrooms to the race start.
Being in Southern California, I can not really complain about the cold weather here, but I will. It was freezing at the start of the race. Maybe 50 degrees? But that is cold in your tiny shorts and short sleeves, or at least out here it is :) The start time was 8:00 am to wait for the sun, which we all appreciated.
The race started at a really cool vintage Santa Claus statue ( http://www.weirdca.com/location.php?location=1) in Oxnard CA and ended at the Channel Islands Harbor. The race coordinators had a Toy Drive before the race and it looked like toys were busting out at the seems. Very exciting to see that. UPS was also there to do gear check and haul our gear to the finish line (13.1 miles away).
There were about 2000 runners all ready to go on the brisk morning. The start of the race was through industrial areas of Oxnard and some farm land. Not the prettiest view, but not too ugly. The one problem with the course was a huge rain storm that happened three days earlier. The course was still a little wet, muddy, dirty with debris. Nothing we couldn't conquer. Loved the Oxnard Police presence helping clear the roads and make the runners feel safe. This isn't a real spectator friendly race, so they had a spectator contest with a few stations for runners to vote on. That actually helped out during the boring times.
Towards the end of the race, you can smell the ocean. Running through a very small community of Oxnard Shores, there is sand on the street from onshore wind gusts. Then, at the last mile, you can see the harbor and all the supportive running friends, fans, and families! The finish line had ample amounts of goodies to devour. Waters, drinks, snacks, fruit, energy bars... all free for the consuming. The expo was pretty small and didn't really have as much runner stuff as I would like. I ended up walking around looking for people to congratulate.
The Tech shirts were cool because they were long sleeved.. I could use that this time of year but no other cool swag. Not even a swag bag :( But I did like the fun Santa Medal.
Overall, it is a fun race to hang with some locals, dress up in Christmas costumes, and have a good time.