Today marked the first ever Encinitas Half Marathon. I was not in any way “race ready” but how could I miss a half marathon in my own backyard along the route I run every week? I decided to register just days before the race and I am so glad I did.
The beauty of running a race just a few miles down the road from home is that you can sleep in until 6 a.m. and take your time getting out the door. It was glorious! I drove to Sheri’s and we carpooled with Natalie down to Moonlight Beach (which is like 2 miles from Sheri’s house).
Everything from the expo to the finish line was seamless. It was such a chill race atmosphere and right up my alley. I was actually surprised to see 6,000 people show up and race today. It’s exciting to do your normal route with so many extra friends.
Sheri, Natalie and I took off together and stayed together the entire race which almost never happens. We were all on the same page about running for fun since none of us trained for it. I am shocked that none of us decided to take off and go for it (especially Natalie – she normally wins half marathons).
Our first mile was super slow because of the initial crowd but we were able to pick it up a bit after that. We ran into Jenna pretty quickly in. I also saw Nicole along the course which was super exciting because she’s training for Mountains 2 Beach and she’s going to CRUSH IT.
I’m used to running races in other cities (Boston, NYC, St. George, Orange County, Ventura, San Francisco) so I don’t really get to see familiar faces along the way. Running in my own neighborhood meant mile after mile of seeing people I knew and it was such a pleasant surprise. Hometown races for the win.
Brittany and her friend Melissa rode their bikes to the race to cheer at mile 8ish and near the finish. I wasn’t sure if she was coming or not (since I wasn’t “racing”) but she was there!
I felt my foot start to bleed (as always seems to happen in races) around mile 10 or so but I just did this thing where I convince myself it doesn’t actually hurt. It’s just a feeling. Not good, not bad, just a feeling. That’s how I get through marathons. When I looked down, I was shocked to see my whole shoe all bloody. It was pretty gnarly but we sprinted it into the finish anyway and got our medals.
I kept running into friends and ended up hanging around way longer than I usually do after a race. It was fun knowing so many people who ran. We eventually made our way to Better Buzz for some coconut milk lattes and then walked back to Sheri’s house.
From the super convenient race expo in the parking lot of Moonlight Beach to the beautiful coastal route to the finishers’ coffee mug at the finish, this race is ideal. It’s not flat but it’s also not too crazy hilly. I would HIGHLY recommend it and I plan to run it every year, without a doubt. Maybe next year I will even train for it. 😉
Oh, and in case you’re wondering (because I know you are) we ran a 1:42. 🙂