Long Beach Pajama Run 10k Race Recap

This post could also be titled, “The Race I totally tanked on but somehow pulled a 3rd place overall out of my  butt”.

Time:  46:04 (7:18 pace) – 3rd woman overall

I had snagged a great room for a steal of a price, so I went up to Long Beach on Friday night so I could enjoy a little of the city which I love.  I met a friend for dinner the night before which led me to make several brilliant decisions:

Carbing up?

Mexican food out at a cheap hole in the wall restaurant the night before a race is ALWAYS a bad idea.  Beer, chips, salsa, burritos and margaritas are not fuel foods.  I thought a lot about this from miles 4-6, but whatever – they taste oh so good.

Woke up to have myself a typical race day morning breakfast.  I dropped my sugar packet into my coffee, tried to plug my banana into my iPhone charger which all lead me to remember that sleep deprivation is no joke.  Ironically the race supported the Sleep Disorder Relief Foundation.

Coffee, Nuun, & banana.

The race took place at Shoreline Park which is beautiful, right on the ocean front and always makes for a fun time.  I’m a big fan of the area and have run many races and been to many festivals there.  That said, the whole race itself was incredibly disorganized.

Yes, this race had race day pickup.  Yes I’m so glad I didn’t use it.  The lines were INSANELY long.  By the scheduled race start people were still lined up about 30 minutes deep to get their packets which lead to the inevitable…

Starting line

Race delay.

It was a chipless race, so I made sure to warm up and try to get to the front of the corral as there were a good number of people and the race was on a fairly narrow bike path.

Due to the race delay a bunch of us had to take turns going to warm up again (this is my agreement with my doc to run – race one in a while, but you must be sweating you’re so warmed up first).  As a few of us were going out to warm up, people from the back of the corral assumed the race was starting and just left.  They were mostly walkers so it worked out, except that we all caught up with them eventually and it was kind of a mess on the course.

Speaking of the course – it was not a closed course so bikers were cursing racers, racers were cursing bikers and beach goers just looked confused and pissed.

The race started with a ridiculously narrow turn about 20 yards in.  It was like trying to drive through the Sepulveda pass at rush hour – wasn’t pretty.  It was a general nightmare to get around so everyone sprinted out to get ahead.

Mile 1:  6:38

Mile 2:  6:50

Then I started feeling it.  My endurance is up from all of the other cross-training activities and cardio, but my calves and other muscles I’m not using by logging less than 10 miles a week running were really sore and fatigued.

Each mile went slower and slower.  My phone didn’t record my splits for some reason, but I sat somewhere between 7 – 7:40 for the rest of my miles.  It was an out and back race, so it was nice to see where you were at.  At the halfway mark I was woman #5, by mile 3.5 I was woman #2, and then with a mile left I got passed by one other woman that frankly, I had nothing in me to catch up with so such is life, #3 it was.

Sporting the medal. And some compression socks since I still had to bike a few miles back to the hotel

At the finish line you got your medal, half a banana and a little 6 oz bottle of orange juice.

NO WATER.

Critical mistake.  It’s almost July, people just raced 6 miles and there were no water botttles.  *tsk* *tsk*

I guess there was free yogurt and small coconut water samples somewhere (plain, which I just can’t stomach ever, sorry I have tried), but I didn’t even wait.  If there was not going to be water waiting at the finish I was heading back to the Hilton for my free buffet breakfast.

The bling: I almost stabbed myself about 90 times biking back to the hotel, there’s a reason medals should have rounded edges. But it is a honking big medal

My overall take:  pretty course (if you like running on the beach) that was well staffed at the water stations, but really crowded, terribly organized on all ends from registration to the finish (even by local race standards).  There were a lot of unfulfilled promises (t-shirts, bracelets, finishers medals) and most people were incredibly angry and disappointed at the race.

Final Verdict:  Glad I had a Schwaggle so I only paid $22 for this.  I wouldn’t have paid a dollar more.  Period.   In fact, I don’t know if I’d pay $10 less.

Anyone else race this weekend??  How did it go? 

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