A Holly Jolly Win & PR

While winter hit SoCal in full force (read: rain & 40’s), I headed out to kick two items off of my bucket list courtesy of the Holly Jolly Half Marathon in Camarillo, CA.  Which two items you ask?

-An overall female win

-A sub-100 minute half.

I’m going to post a full race review of this event tomorrow, but here’s my personal experience…

I was lucky enough to have friends who lived 5 minutes from the start line, so I had an entourage to drop me off 15 minutes before the race started.


Obviously they were super happy since rainy, cold mornings are definitely ones you want to cart a crazy runner around town.  And I’m certainly not a neurotic mess before a race and have always been a morning person (waiting for my mom to comment here about how very untrue these statements are).

I realized this was my last chance to break my PR for a few months so when I went out as the very first woman I decided to go big or go home.  With the exception of one 10k runner, no woman passed me the entire race.

Remember when runners actually looked at the course instead of their watches

Remember when runners actually looked at the course instead of their watches?  It’s like a Garmin ad here…

When I hit the 5k mark in 21-odd minutes I realized I was in good shape – if I could do that again…3 more times.  So that was the mental game – break it into quarters and dig deep.

The only major hiccup came when I got to the loop turnaround and myself and one other runner were told to “run to the end” of which we assumed was the end of the street.  Notsomuch.  It was just to the turnaround sign, so the people who were about 20-30 seconds behind us all passed us as we added some bonus mileage and precious seconds to our times.

I spent the entire race being told I was the lead female by all of the spectators and the friendly Camarillo police officers who lined the course for traffic control and so I leapt across the finish line to celebrate (before I wanted to dry heave and wrap myself in heated blankets).  Several of the top male finishers told me congrats on my finish, etc.

Official Finish time:  1:39:16


1:39:16 finishing time…sadly it was probably sub 1:38 given my extra jaunt, but I’ll take the 1:39 and change. A PR is a PR right?

Sadly my little “win” bubble was temporarily deflated when I saw someone had run a 1:22 on the results list – which was entirely confusing for me.  Thanks to the top 3 men, they sought me out and verified that there was no woman running with them and it must have been a 10k-er with a faulty chip so the big “W” was rightfully restored to my little personal victory pocket.

Chances of another win happening again are slim to none, so I wanted to really enjoy this one 🙂

The coolest part about this race was that due to some amazing family and friends, the boys got to see me 9 times throughout the race.  It would have been 10 but at mile 10.5 they pulled up next to me and I kindly barked, “Go to the finish line I don’t want to see anyone anymore” since I wanted to just focus.


There was nothing like finishing and seeing their proud little faces to celebrate my little victory.  I would have taken a picture but my hand were too numb to use my phone’s camera.

As I was leaving I also met Janelle a reader, whom I did not get a picture of…so Janelle, if you read this and you have a picture of yourself from the race can you send it to me??

My question for you….

What’s the last thing you checked off your bucket list?


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