It was super well organized, the volunteers were awesome, everyone was really nice and supportive. The Fontana Police was also great, helping on the course and every officer I saw said something encouraging to the runners.
They offered race day packet pick up but I decided to go Friday afternoon and save me some trouble on the morning of the race. It could not have been easier. I got my bib, shirt and goodie bag. Took me less than 10 minutes. The shirt is a black tech shirt. They let me change my original Med to a small, that was nice. In the goodie back was a sticker and a pin from the race with some bars and other samples. Sticker and pin = very nice touch I thought.
After that we headed to a birthday party at the park and I was wearing flip flops...not very smart the day before a race....and I twisted my left ankle....of course I did....so I was a little worried. I iced it as soon as I got home and I put on my running shoes to get some support and hoped for the best.
Alarm went beeeep beeeep BEEEEP!!!! at 4 am. I went to the race alone and Bill and the kids left much later to come support me. Every runner had to take a bus to get to the start, no exception. The first bus was at 5 am and the last one was 6:20 am. Start of the race was 7:30 am. I left my house around 5 am. I had no problem finding a parking spot and I did not have to wait for the bus. I got to the top of the canyon around 6:15 am and I waited for the start. I was nervous so I used the porta potty 3 times...I just kept going at the back of the line. :)
In the lines I spotted Andrea, who is an alternate on the NUUN Hood to Coast team. Her blog is The MF Dre , check it out! It was really nice to meet her in person. What a nice gal she is! I wished her a good race and I went to line up for the start. I went towards to back because it was all downhill and I was a little nervous about that.
The race started right on time, no ceremony just the horn and we were off. The sun was already shinning on us, that was not good for me who struggles in the heat. Even if the temperature did not reach 80 during the race, to me it felt hot running in the sun like that.
It was steep at the beginning. First step I felt a pain in my groin that never went away. Each step hurt on the left side. I have felt that pain for a week now it is not super sharp but it is there. I iced every night. It is still hurting today. :( Anyway back to the race. I tried to not think about the pain and told myself "You waited the whole year for this race now suck it up!" Took me a few minutes to get used to going downhill and I was checking my watch a lot..I did not want to go out too fast only to crash at mile 6 or something so I held back. Looking back I think I was way too cautious. Next year I will not do that. I really liked the course. Going down the canyon it was really nice, no cars just the nature, I loved that part the best. This was like that for 6 miles and all going down, after that the big downhill part of the course is done. At mile 7 I thought I saw Bill and the boys and I started waving like a crazy person and as I got closer I realized it was not them....oooopsy. Next mile he would be there. That is 15 fway behind me, and the van for race. They did have a vehicle on the course like they said they would. I did see many runners taking walking breaks and I saw ZERO runner being pulled off the course for walking.
They had plenty of water at each station with volunteers at all the stations. Several stations had water in cups or runners could actually grab a water bottle and take it with them. I took water at every station even if I had my hand held bottle. I dumped a cup on my head at each station because I got hot very fast in that sun. I took salt sticks 3 times during the race. I hate 2 bites of waffle stinger...that is all my stomach could handle :( I had to stop once for bathroom.. I had asked Bill to have a fresh bottle of water for me ready and I am so happy he was there at mile 8 to give it to me. Gave me a boost to see the kids. I was getting tired. I chatted with 2 runners for a couple miles, that was nice. One was at half marathon #21 and the other was running her first one. Mile 1o: the mother of all side ache. REALLY???? Mile 10! I was furious. I cussed in French. I tried changing my breathing, slowing down, nothing worked. It was so painful. I had no choice but to walk. CRAP CRAP CRAP. I was so mad. I kept saying "Come on!" and I would try to run again..and it would still hurt. It took a whole mile of that to get better. Enough to run again anyway. I did struggle until the end. Once again no strong finish. I had dreams about finishing strong jumping over the finish line...well still a fail on that. One day I will finish jumping for joy. But yesterday I finished like I did 90% of my races...DRY HEAVING....booo hooo. This was before the dry heaves started.
Looks like I am OK....but 2 sec after that last picture was taken, I had bad dry heaves...and a guy came to my rescue and brought me to a chair...all that in front of Bill and the boys. Bill was not too happy but I was OK , I sat for a couple minutes only.
I ran into Andrea who had a great race and a PR!
They also had free massages!
And also free instant picture!
Photographer said to give the thumbs up and he snap the picture too fast! :)
So even though I did have a few difficulties I loved that race and I will do it again for sure.
What? Her time? It was this much:
My first time under 2:20.
1 min 45 sec PR.
I am happy but I did think I would do better than that.
But I am happy.
My first half was 01-23-11 and my time was 2:42:xx so 23 minutes improvement between 1 and 10..that is not bad.
Today my legs hurt. Downhill hurts. But I loved it.
I feel lucky that I get to do this, you know be at the start of a race and be at the finish also.
Sorry this was long.
Thank you for reading!