Monday, January 14, 2013

Race Recap: Allstate 13.1 Half Marathon Los Angeles

My Take on the Race 
(Don't worry, I have also recapped the official details of the race later in this post)
My Time: 1:55:57
The beautiful view from the start line, just before sunrise.
My Experience: I did it!!! I finally came in under 2 hours which has been a long time goal of mine; I definitely am glad I had my Garmin 405 watch on for this race because it really helped me with pacing. It actually was a lot easier than I had thought it would be, probably because I was very diligent about tapering this time and about my pre-race nutrition. I also would have to say that it is partially due to pushing myself more in some of my training runs than I have in the past....and it was worth it! In general I really liked this race and had a great experience. It was a no frills, straightforward, and small race made up of mostly (if not entirely) local runners. The course was mostly flat and beautiful, and I really appreciated that it was by the ocean so that we could breath in that fresh, salty sea air during our run. I  would run this race again in a heartbeat and my dad felt the same way about it. I didn't get to run the race with my Dad since I was really trying to break 2 hours, but I started it with him and I got to see him during the race once I had hit the turn-around point. Even though we didn't run it together, my dad also set a new half marathon PR for himself of 2:13 (although I don't know if this actually counts as a half marathon PR because when he ran a marathon he ran it in under 4 hours which means less than a 2 hour half marathon.......but that was like 25 years ago so maybe it doesn't count?).

The Official Stuff 
Distance: 13.1 miles (half marathon)
Size: Small; 2000 runners.  
Course Description: Relatively flat with beautiful views. Almost entirely along the ocean and Venice Boardwalk. It is a point to point race but they provided shuttles back to the start line from the finish which were plentiful and very convenient. 
Mile Markers/Timing: They had markers at every mile with a board displaying the time since the race started. 
Restrooms & Hydrations stations:  There were port-a-potties at the start and every few miles along the course as well as public restrooms along the beach; I think they had the perfect amount of port-a-potties for this size event. They also had water and gatorade at every mile.
Race Finish/Expo: I didn't really spend much time in the finish village, but there seemed to be lots of free treats as well as a Beer garden. It looked like people were having a lot of fun, but I rushed to the shuttles so that I could get back to our car and stretch. 
Packet Pick-up: I don't think they had a packet mailing option since the race was so small but that's fine. They had packet pick-up on the Friday and Saturday before the race
Parking/transportation: Parking was super convenient. There were public parking lots that were a 5 minute walk from the start line, and the post race shuttle service took us back to the start line and the parking lots. The post race shuttles were plentiful, and I didn't have to wait at all to get on one and head back to our car.
Bonus: Good on course entertainment every couple of miles. There were live taiko drummers and all sorts of different musical performers along the course. 

This is definitely one of my favorite races thus far! Does anyone have any favorite half marathons or suggestions for races to run in the future? I'd love to hear about them in the comments, I'm looking for a new race to get me excited ;)

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