It never rains in Southern California. Well, Sunday May 7 at the OC Marathon and Half Marathon it poured. Not just a light sprinkle, a shower that soaked every bit of my clothing kind of rain. I smiled and embraced the experience. This run turned out to be one of my most memorable race experiences yet.
Getting ready for the race, I gathered my gear and headed out to get to the starting line. When I got to the parking lot, I sorrowfully realized I had left my race bib at home. I made my way over to race solutions and was told I’d be fine. Fortunately, I had put the race timing chip on at home before leaving. The only draw back was no race photos to see post race. Really, not a big deal since I always look like I’m near death or dying in each of the over priced pictures.
The entire week leading up to the race I found myself apprehensive about the rain. To some of you that might sound silly, but for me it was really an unknown experience. While getting off the shuttle bus to the start line it was raining so hard that I was completely soaked with in five minutes of getting off the bus. Runners really had no way to avoid getting wet as places to find shelter were limited. By the time I crossed the starting line the rain had ceased, for a while anyway. The puddles left every runner with water logged shoes. These are the moments that I smiled to myself and chalked it all up to another running experience.
This was my third time racing the OC, but my first time running the half. The race itself was great! I felt capable and strong as I kept a comfortable race pace. I crossed the finish line in 2 hours 14 minutes. I was hoping for a better finish, but faced some issues with my toes cramping from the rain.
After collecting my finisher medal, I ran into my running buddy Lorenna. We chatted for a bit about the race and our upcoming goals. It’s always fun to chat with like minded friends on race day. I then made my way over the the VIP tent. I had the most delicious omelet and hot coffee. It was a perfect Sunday morning breakfast. I remained there for a bit cheering on marathon finishers before I decided I was just about ready to go home.
Before heading out, I stopped to visit with one of my favorite couples, Alex and Laura. Alex ran the entire 13.1 miles caring the American flag while his girlfriend Laura completed her very first half marathon. It was great to feel her energy and excitement of crossing the finish line. I know Laura is now hooked on running and I will definitely see her and Alex and other races.
My race schedule continues with the Inaugural Beach to Bay Half Marathon. Hopefully, I will be mentally and physically ready to hunt down a new race PR in San Diego!