Quick post regarding the results: 1:38:02, AG 27/149, 210/2829 overall. I have a few criteria when deciding which race to run: location and registration fees. I usually run local races in San Diego and have ran a few back home in LA. The only exception where I traveled for a race is SF & Taiwan. I’m a little more flexible when it comes to price, I’ve ran in the bigger Rock ‘n’ Roll races as well as many smaller (and cheaper) races. So when I was asked if I wanted to promote the 3rd annual 13.1 Los Angeles Half Marathon and get a free entry to it too, I couldn’t pass up that opportunity. So this is my promotion of the race, which is basically my race report.
But first some background info on the 13.1 Half Marathon Series. I know Los Angeles is in the 3rd annual, but I’m sure that it has been going on longer in the other 8 cities, which I can only assume is looking to expand to even more cities. They promoted all the other cities on the race shirts as well as on the medals. The official benefiting charity is Team World Vision and if you were at this race, I think you would have seen more of those race jerseys than the official race shirts, they were literally everywhere! And that’s a good thing, to see that many people supporting a charity. I heard the announcer say that the money raised for Team World Vision would provide water for a number of children and communities in Africa. Definitely a great cause..
The start and finish of this point-to-point course were at very scenic locations: Venice Beach and Playa del Rey. We actually ran down the boardwalk on Venice Beach where all of the local street vendors and artists are usually during the day. Of course, the boardwalk was emptied for this race. Most of the race ran along the beach with nice views of the ocean. But there was a point in the course where we ran through a sewage plant, which probably made people run just a little bit faster just to get away from the smell. Looking at the elevation profile of the course, I wasn’t expecting anything too daunting. But the most significant hill we ran into was this giant loop that took place in the latter part of the course, which made things even harder. According to the course map, we had to make a U-turn at one point in the 2nd half of the race, but I didn’t bother to note exactly what mile it took place. Around mile 7-8, I saw the leader of the race coming back, so I was hoping I was near the U-turn. But the leader was just that much farther ahead than me because the turn didn’t take place until mile 9-10!
So for the race itself, I was definitely unprepared but was confident I would be able to run a decent time. Not counting trail races, this was actually my slowest performance at the half and actually matched the time I ran in my first half marathon. But considering how little I had been running, it’s really good. To put things into perspective, I was running 2-3 times a week ranging from 3-5 miles per day and at a very slow pace too. It still surprises me how I can run fast(er) in the races but never get anywhere near that pace during training runs. I was even happier about my splits. I felt like I started too fast, but kept looking back at my watch to make sure I hit a 7:30-7:40 pace throughout the race. And looking at my overall splits, I was able to maintain a consistent pace ranging between 7:03-7:39 (last two miles). I actually have another half marathon next week, which is a bigger race (it’s where I hit my 1:28 half marathon PR two years ago). I want to try and run with the 1:35 pacer, I know I would be pushing it if I attempted to go with the 1:30 pacer.
Final random things that I remembered that about this particular race: parking looked like a hassle (which is why I stayed at my cousin’s place in Marina del Rey and biked the 2 miles to the start), they actually ran out of safety pins (another runner kindly gave me two of his), they gave me a large shirt when I asked for medium, and there was a line for the bag check (only had a few trucks), but they were surprisingly efficient finding the bags at the end (there were probably less runners getting their bags when I got mine..)