|Seals at the beach at La Jolla near San Diego|
I hoped for a respite from the winter cold and it was certainly warmer but also rainy almost every day on my first trip to SoCal. The course itself is mainly along the coast but has more hills than your average marathon and my Garmin came out with 900ft+ of ascent. After only 60 miles of running in the previous four weeks I knew I'd be a little rusty but it was a good way to kick-start the season with a 2:43 for 9th. Hard but satisfying. Plus it was a chance to catch up with Devon Yanko who was the clear favorite for the women's marathon but had some issues with nutrition pre-race and ended up DNFing.
However, the best aspect of it was unexpectedly meeting some of the fastest people I've ever been lucky enough to meet, from Kenyans and Ethiopians to speedy Americans. Chatting to guys who run 27-min for 10,000m or 60-min half marathons gives a great perspective on running. It also shows how relative things are - those guys are unbelievable athletes who work very hard and make me feel like I move in slow motion, yet they can't get their heads around running 100 miles in one go. Well...they only need to run for just over two hours at most so it's not surprising, even if they run 150 miles/week every week. Was great to bump into my speedy Scott team-mate and reigning USATF 50k champ, Joe Gray, before he ran a disappointing (for him) 1:08 in the half.
I've hyper-motivated now to get in some fast training this year and at some point it'd be fun to really focus on the marathon for six months but I can't see when I'll get around to that.
Mario Macias (2:19:43)
Lauren Kleppin (2:42:17) - yes, I got chicked
Half Marathon winners:
Stephen Sambu (1:03:02)
Belainesh Gebre (1:12:10)
Full Carlsbad results here.
|San Diego zoo - a diamondback rattler. Somebody I don't want to meet on the trails but probably will one day.|