Half Moon Bay 10K Race

In one sentence: Everything went well - zero stomach issues! As I mentioned in Saturday's post, I downgraded from the half to the 10K. Unlike some races, the downgrading process was such an easy, pain-free process. I simply emailed the race director to ask if it was possible, and within the hour, he emailed me back and said, "No problem, you can take care of it at the expo." The advantages of a small race! :)

Expo

I drove out to Half Moon Bay on Saturday morning, which is only about a half hour away from me. The expo was small, functional and well organized. Just how I like it.

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There were a number of local vendors (I scored a free long-sleeved T-shirt from the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company), but I had one mission - downgrade my race. I picked up my half-marathon bib, then walked over to the Solutions table where they exchanged it for a 10K one. The 10K bib was yellow - that made me happy! And since the bibs were all personalized (which I love), they even hand wrote my name on my new bib for me.

Next I walked over to pick up my goody bag and had a nice conversation with one of the ladies working the booth. I was so amazed at how genuinely interested she was in my story. This would be the theme for the entire race - supportive people who really wanted to put on a good event.

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{You gotta love a goody bag that has salt water taffy, right?!}

Pre-Race Morning

Although the 10K didn't start till 7:45 am, I wanted to be there early to get parking and see my friends who were running the full and half-marathon races. I got there shortly after 6 am, got really close parking, then napped in my car for about a half hour until Roadbunner came to get me (they were napping in their car a few spaces away).

We walked to the port-a-potty area (minimal lines), then over to the Start (across the parking lot) just in time for the full marathoners to get on their way. Once they were off, I walked back to my car to drop off my jacket. I was worried that the weather would be cold and windy in Half Moon Bay, but the temperature was cool (albeit slightly humid) and there wasn't any wind. I was very comfortable in a tank top.

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In fact, the race called Half Moon Bay "Running Heaven" and it really is. It was cool and overcast the entire time. The sun never came out once during the race - which if you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that it's my favorite kind of running weather! Note to self: run here more often!

Back at the Start area, I ran into my friend Nanhi, who was running the half marathon - her very first race ever.

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The 10K

After eating a bland diet all week, I heeded the advice of Danielle (my nutritionist) and ate low-fat, low fiber the day before the race. I had asked Danielle, "How do I eat low-fat the night before a race at a restaurant?" She responded with, "How about cooking dinner at home?" I honestly cannot remember the last time I cooked dinner at home on a Saturday night. This was a first for me.

I made plain fusili pasta (as in no olive oil, no nothing) and grilled prawns (no salt, no pepper, but did add mushrooms). I was actually okay with it; it didn't bother me at all. On Sunday morning I ate a toasted plain bagel at 4:30 am, more than 2 hours before the race started and drank lots of water.

It worked. Zero stomach problems. None whatsoever. I was thrilled! It was my one goal for the race, to get a handle on this nutrition thing and I think I'm making progress.

The race itself was so much fun, but confusing. I have no idea how to run a 10K so I was kind of all over the place. The 10K course was mostly on road, but there were a few dirt/trail patches, which I didn't mind at all. And really, when you run along the Pacific Ocean and see surfer boys and sights like this, how can you complain?

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The one thing I will say about this race was that although it was small in size, it was big in spirit. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was so supportive of the runners. We're talking the cheer stations, the aid stations and the other runners themselves. This includes the leaders of the races, the middle-of-the-pack runners and the walkers. Everyone cheered each other on. This doesn't happen in most races, and is one of the things I loved about this one.

I also loved the fact that I saw everyone I knew racing out on the course, including some friends who came out to do some mobile spectating and cheering:

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{photo courtesy of Courtney}

I ran into Alyssa, Courtney and Katie on the way back in and was beyond thrilled to see them! Katie even stopped along the side of the course to ring her cowbell for me! (BTW, she ran double digit miles ringing that cowbell - she is awesome!).

As I came up to the Finish Line, the spectators were cheering loudly and I thought, "Wow, this is awesome, they're cheering for me!" I saw Scott Jurek waiting with a medal in his hand and I thought, "Oh cool, I'm going to get my medal from Scott Jurek!" But as soon as I crossed the Finished Line I was literally yanked to the side. I thought, "Hey, what's going on?" Then I realized the guy who won the half-marathon finished right behind me. Darn, I thought all the hoopla was for me. LOL!

This was only my 3rd 10K but it was in fact the fastest one I've run, so I guess that's a PR! Yay! (I tend to only run 10K's when something is wrong and I downgrade from a half...).

I hung around the Finish line for about 20 minutes or so, chatting with other runners, then headed out for an additional 3 miles. When I got back I hung out with Roadbunner's boyfriend and we cheered on the rest of the Finishers. Our friends who ran the full rocked it! For Roadbunner, it was her 29th marathon (!!!) and Dennis had a 2-minute PR and wasn't even gunning for it!

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{I have the best runner friends!}

Being that the 10K was so short, I didn't eat anything during the race, other than to drink water at the aid stations. This is one area that I still have to experiment with, but overall, I was very pleased with how the day went!

For being an inaugural event, the Half Moon Bay International Marathon was so well-done. I could definitely tell that the organizers genuinely wanted to put on a great event, and they did! I also loved how much they involved the community. I'm looking forward to participating again in it next year! It's Running Heaven!