** I was a very bad blogger and didn't bring a camera or a cellphone or any picture taking device before or after this race. There are no pictures to even prove I was there, but I stole a few pictures from the website to show a very limited view of the course.
Sunday marked the 44th Annual San Dieguito Half Marathon in Rancho Santa Fe. We woke up at the crack of dawn, drank some coffee, ate some toast and hit the road. It rarely rains in San Diego but as our luck would have it, it began down-pouring on our drive. I started to get nervous about running this hilly course while being drenched, but as soon as we arrived in the parking lot, it stopped. It was a race day miracle!
We hopped aboard the shuttle and seconds later, my friend Luke, from work, walked on and sat behind us. It was perfect timing! We were able to enjoy his and his partner's company the entire way and for the entire hour before the start. We all warmed up together and Luke got psyched for his very first half marathon. It was an exciting moment for him. I was pleased to be a part of someone's "first". I reminded everyone that this run was for Sherry, and moments later saw a couple with their Sherry bibs on. It gave me chills.
You probably heard me drone on about the hills on this course and how terrified I was of them. They were just as bad as I anticipated but, I did it! I made it through. My quads and calves were screaming by the end but I survived.
The course winds you through a very scenic residential area in Rancho Santa Fe, which is an extremely wealthy area of San Diego County. We were definitely running in the territory of the 1%. It smelled of fresh flowers and eucalyptus the entire way. Because the course is a residential area and the roads are blocked off, it is nearly impossible for spectators to be on the course. So it was a very quiet run and by far the most peaceful race I've ever done. It was the perfect time to think of Sherry. I didn't know her, but I bet she would have loved this run. From stories that Beth has shared, I bet she'd enjoy the crisp air and the fresh scent of flowers, being a "country" girl and all.
Onto the results. I finished in 1:42 and some change and 7th in my age group. Angela finished 9th in our age group and it was a PR! Now that Ang and I are in the same age group, we are competition! ;-) Luke survived his first half and nearly collapsed at the end. I was a little worried about him and so were a few medics that came over to check on him but he was okay. He was just so thrilled to have finished.
They served homemade chili after the race which is perfect once your sweat turns ice cold. I loved this race! Being around for 44 years sure makes for an organized event. The course was scenic every step of the way. The start was right on time. There were plenty of fluids along the course and the post-race food and beer tents were fantastic. It was perfect Boston training too! I would do this hilly half again in a heartbeat! San Diegans, if you haven't already run this race, you are missing out. Get on it!