At the beginning of March I ran the Encinitas Half Marathon. This was a new course for me as I did not run the inaugural last year, but had heard great things about it!
The race starts at Moonlight State Beach parking lot (where the expo is held) and the course offers 7+ miles of ocean views! It has a few rolling hills throughout with an elevation gain of about 300 ft.
I went to the expo the day before to grab my race bib and it was sprinkling when I got out of my car. I grabbed my stuff and hurried back after snapping this picture. It started pouring as soon as I closed my car door!
I really had no idea what to expect in the morning, weather or course wise since I had never run this race before! Sure you can always read the course description, but there are typically still little surprises on course they leave out!
Laying out a flat runner the night before is the best way for me to get myself dressed on race mornings before coffee, when I am operating like a 4-year-old. Dumb it down for me, baby!
The morning of the race I arrived early because races in the beach cities in San Diego County can be rough to find parking.
It was a beautiful morning and a tad on the chilly side, which is always my preference!
I did a mile warm up taking in some of the scenery, and basically trying everything to stay on flat ground. The start line area is hugged by rolling hills.
I bumped into some local girls at the start while we were standing around shaking out our jitters!
When the race started the sun had come out and I wondered how that would play out. My favorite thing to do on race morning is stress myself out about the weather. If you are a So Cal runner, you know the struggle of how hot our finish lines can be (year round) while other states are shoveling snow.
Once the race was underway I knew when mile 1 beeped on my Garmin this race was going to be a struggle. How? Because my mile 1 clocked at 7:24 when my miles usually start around 7:10 for Half Marathons. I could just feel it — not going to be my day! When you run enough races you just KNOW.
Thankfully I had the views of a new (to me) scenic course to take in as distraction!
Going into mile 8 things went from bad to REAL ugly when I threw up on my own arm. I had a guy run past me that was sweating worse than anyone I had seen on course, he was in a cotton t-shirt and the body odor was just FIERCE! I have worked in gyms, taught Spin and Boot-camp, and run many races and NEVER experienced anything like this. I slowed up to try to create some distance between us and as he went by me his sweat started flinging all over me, and combined with the smell it just gut punched me and I just turned my head and puked.
I’m nauseous again just typing that. After that I just couldn’t get my life together out there, my stomach was hurting bad.
By Mile 10 my eyes were filling with tears and I was literally thinking – “Omg girl, you are not even going to finish this race.” In all my years of running and racing I have never not finished a race. I wanted to walk so bad, but I am so stubborn, I just slowed up a ton and eased my way in the last 3 miles. Coming into the finish line I was disappointed in myself. That was my 31st Half Marathon and my one a month before it was not good either. I hate that I get so hard on myself when I know how far I have come, but I know you honestly can’t run that many races and expect them ALL to be good.
I finished, and I am healthy and for that I am happy and thankful! Also, my shorts looked a couple of sizes bigger than when I started the race.
This event had some great sponsors, and in addition to your medal at the finish they gave out some hot chocolate and this cute souvenir mug with a blueberry muffin!
Boxed Water was another one of the sponsors so we got one of these at the finish as well!
We almost had too much to carry coming out of the finish chute! Haha!
Encinitas is a swanky, upscale part of San Diego County and that was apparent in the presentation of the race as it is a very health oriented city. Lots of holistic, natural, healthy products and environmental petitions happening throughout the event. Our race goodie bags were even a hemp style bag, very cute! To be honest, I was almost expecting it to rain granola at the finish line! A very well put on and organized race for sure.
I was happy to run into a few more friends at the finish. Running has brought so many amazing people into my life! I love how many friends I bump into and new people I connect with at races now.
The Medals for this race were awesome — they did a great job on them!
They did have a beer garden (and gave a free beer ticket on your bib) but that was not right on sight of the finish, which is probably the one thing I heard people complaining about. It was only a couple blocks away, but still – it is nice to have it right at the finish line.
It was set up as a Bazaar style area, so you could shop and drink if you wanted.
The shirts for this race were actually pretty cute as well. I never usually wear them but I wore this one for my run the morning after the race. Love how it matches the medal so well.
This is definitely a race worth checking out! I will run this again next year for sure — I want course redemption! I love repeating courses I have already run, because you know what to expect and when (like the hills) and be better prepared for it!
Love to hear what you thought of the race if you ran it as well!
Run happy my friends!