This Super Bowl Sunday I ran the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach again – it’s a Southern California favorite of mine! It happens every year on Super Bowl morning, and they offer a 13.1 and 26.2 course. This year for the first time they even added a 5k. The full marathon is also a Boston qualifier, if you are looking for one of those.
The half course is flat and fast (usually, hahaha), if you have ever run the Surf City 10 which is a 5-mile out and 5-mile back course, it is that same course, with an added 3-ish mile loop to make up the half-distance. I recommend the Surf City 10 as well, I run that one every October — I love out and back courses.
I didn’t get to go to the expo this year, as it just didn’t work out, but thankfully, my sister was able to go and grab my bib when she went to pick up hers.
The expo is always set up right next to the beach where the race starts, so you can sample a little taste of your course views.
Since this race was also nearing Valentines Day, I let that have some persuasion on my flat-runner.
I get a lot of messages on IG when I post these about products I use, so I will do a separate blog post in the coming week about my training/race day essentials, and share any promos that I have for the products as well!
One of the best things about this race is that so many people come to it. Lots of people come running from their snow states to soak up a little sand and sun mid-Winter.
My sister also became a Legacy runner this year, running this race 3 years in a row!
Last year although it was humid, we had cloudy skies the entire race, which made for much better racing conditions. This year – not so much. It was HOT and there was zero cloud coverage. I knew standing at the start line we were in trouble.
The first couple miles of this race were my favorite, I got to run with my friends — Utah’s cutest couple; @kkapinos and @whydoirun — Neil wasn’t racing, though he ran a couple miles with us, and then was on course, cheering people on and playing race photographer.
I feel like things got ugly quickly for me this year on course; last year I ran a PR here and this year they started the Half Marathon at 7:45am — bad idea in my opinion. We live in Southern CA, and when we experience temps in the 80’s twelve months out of the year, there is no need to start a race that late.
I realized early on this was not going to be my day, but at least tried to get in some tempo-ish miles in the beginning. I threw in the towel on all of that by about Mile 6. For the Half course, there is a turn around at Mile 8 or so, and then you come straight back down PCH for the last 5 miles, a straight shot into the finish chute. I knew last year I saw my sister on course around Mile 10, so that gave me something to do, looking for her. And I saw her almost in the exact same spot as last year, and she took this picture of me as I ran by!
I got a bit of a surge from that, and then I hit a rough patch, I was looking for the bus stop to get on the ‘struggle bus,’ just as I came into Mile 11 and saw Neil again out on course. He was able to momentarily get the look of death and defeat off my face to get this pic of me.
I ended up finishing around 2 minutes slower than I ran this course last year.
I ran into these beauties on my way to the beer garden, we’re basically neighbors as we all live in the same area, and over the Summer I was getting in some group runs with them back when I could (sort of) keep up! Haha!
When I got to the finish line, I had been prayin’ to the good Lawd that beautiful beer garden I saw over in the sand was not a mirage.
I loved that they put the beer garden out in the sand this year!
Found good beer and good people over there.
This is my friend Jodee. We met before our kids were born, and our boys were born one week apart in March. Just love her to pieces and hoping to get in some beach camping (read: wine/beer drinking) with her this summer.
Weather was perfect once you weren’t trying to run 13.1 miles!
My nieces even showed up with my sister’s husband!
Post-race, when you didn’t race your best and you don’t wanna taco-bout it, but you do wanna taco..
Nothing solves problems and post race heart ache/suffering like tacos and beer!
Peace out Surf City, I’ll be back next year – bring cooler weather, would ya?
(Photo Cred: @whydoirun)