What could be a better location for spending time with family and racing a marathon than Long Beach California! While you are suffering trying to keep consistent minute miles, your family have done there duty and cheered you on at mile 6, gone for a good breakfast of pancakes while you are digesting your Hammer gel at intervals and taking endurolytes! They are watching over 18,000 people of all different shapes and sizes still going over a bridge they saw me on an hour back! There was a marathon, half marathon, 5km and a 1 mile kid’s race! That’s a lot of people to organize!
The fun started on the Saturday when I could not go to the expo as I had to teach an underwater navigation class, so I had my friend Sinta pick up my number. On the evening I prepared my running gear, I soaked my Brooks insoles with Kool n Fit a great product which actually makes my feet feel they have the ability to run a 50 miler! I put in 5 Hammergels and a pouch of endurolytes into my pink fuel belt, I put on my Polar running watch, then I put out my Pink Hammer tri top and Brooks running shorts, both are embossed with the AVON breast cancer crusade logo as with this event I will raise $183.40, to add to my growing account for a cure against breast cancer for AVON of Puerto Rico! It also helps me keep running when I think of the suffering these people and their families go through!
Race Day! I had arranged to meet my friend Sinta at the bag check in tent at 6.45am, So we set off from my home with 2 hours extra time needed and as we approached Long Beach only 2 miles out we were greeted with rows of stationary traffic then the long wait began! We crawled at a snails pace as the clock seemed to go faster and before I knew it, it was 7.10am and I was still in the car! So I left my husband and the girls and did a sprint warm up to find Sinta and Tony at the bag tent, I literally had minutes to spare as we made our way to the starting line?? Duh! I said starting line.. We were so far back that I looked up and saw the sign for a 6.30 marathon! The National anthem was played and then the gun sounded we were off on a 26.2mile journey around Long Beach! I probable for the record ran an extra mile dodging walkers, baby strollers and joggers, but by mile 5 the road started to become more accessible and my mile splits began to settle into a routine.
I had a good solid marathon and really enjoyed miles 16 to 19 as I ran through Long Beach University and all the Frat houses were out cheering on the runners, there was hip hop, brass bands, lacrosse teams, track teams and alumni, it really helped pass the miles, then at mile 20 I saw Hubert from Kool n Fit and had my legs sprayed down with conditioning spray. Only 6 miles left and it would soon be over, I ran past a retirement home where all the people lined up in wheel chairs waved on the runners, then it was the final 3 miles just a wee 5km left, I felt strong and was still chipping away at 8.30minute miles and suddenly there it was the turn into the finish chute! As I ran across the line and foot met the finishing mat I heard my name being announced and a huge square medal was put around my neck. Awesome: Job finished, my phone went and my husband was calling me with the children. Family time we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific to relax and enjoy the tropical fishes, sea lions and touch pools.
My time was 3 hours, 41 minutes 54 seconds, 66th female overall and 10th in the 40 – 44 female division! 2 minutes faster than last year! My thanks to Kool n Fit for providing my entry fee, To Hammer Nutrition for the great fuelling products, Brooks running shoes, Rudy Project glasses, Fuelbelt , my polar watch for providing consistent splits, my friend Sinta for waiting to give me my number, Avon of Puerto Rico for being their athletic ambassador for their Breast Cancer crusade and most importantly my husband and the girls for getting me to the race and cheering me on, that had to be the highlight of my race.
photos Janos Schmidt