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Race Review: City to the Sea Half Marathon

This is a race I did about 5 years ago when I averaged ~2:15 for my half marathon finish times. This was the first race I even got close to 2:00, so I had fond memories. I also have the highest quality friends in the area as well as some stores to work in, so it made for a good visit. With the NYC Marathon just 3 weeks out, it seemed like a good time to test my legs and see how, and if, I could race. This was in fact the first real race I’ve done since recovering from my stress fracture back in January.

City to the Sea Half Marathon

I stopped in Gaviota Beach on the way up Saturday to see an old friend who recently began teaching Yoga. Kara – she is an inspiration! After a morning of peaceful Hatha and fresh juice, I spent the afternoon in her renovated barn house. Just amazing people. I could have stayed there all weekend. But there was a race to be run the next morning and equally amazing friends up north.

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I headed up to Arroyo Grande to meet my friend Lindsey and her husband Jeremy and their two precious baby girls Gwen and Brie. Lindsey  was running (or “participating” as she put it) the race as well. She just had Brei 6 months ago and this was her goal to help her get back in ship shape.

City to the Sea Half Marathon

All day my right leg was doing something weird. It was giving me bad flashbacks from January, the day before the Carlsbad half when my right foot just didn’t feel right. Which turned out to be a big problem. I slept ok, woke up stuffy and was not entirely optimistic Sunday morning. But you know what — put a cup of coffee, a power bar and some running shoes on this girl and I go crazy.

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I had an amazing race. I knew to hold back the first parts and exactly when I could really push it. I ran the first half at 7:45 and the back at 7:15 and mile 12 at 6:53. Well below my tempo paces and finished feeling almost too strong. Final time was 1:39:20. No PR, and in fact nearly 1:30 slower than  my Carlsbad half when I ran with a broken food. But good enough for 5th in my division and 35th woman overall out of nearly 1100. I ran into my Centre Director Sarah at the finish who also had an amazing race.

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This is a spectacularly well run event. In the days of 30-50K participant Rock and Roll events – this small town race is among the best. With just under 2000 runners, the start is crowded, but the course is open. There are rolling hills, amazing beauty along the course and a grand finish with a full breakfast burrito! You really can’t ask for more from an event. I highly recommend this event to any experienced or beginner runner.

City to the Sea Half Marathon

It really doesn’t get much better than the City to the Sea Half Marathon! I’d definitely consider adding it to your race calendar.

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