Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Race Report

The only problem? I didn’t race it!

For us OC’ers, this past Sunday was our local race – the Orange County Marathon and Half Marathon. About 13,000 folks lined up for the “privilege” of running the streets and trails of Coastal Orange County. The day dawned bright and beautiful (sorry Penny!). The temperature at the start was in the low to mid 50’s  - a perfect day to show off the beauty of Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Costa Mesa.

Have I mentioned this race was literally in my back yard? These are many of the trails that I train on daily. The thought of running with the pain and pressure of racing wasn’t exactly appealing. But – I figured I could at least offer my support to my pals running the race. And there were a ton of them! So, I packed up the gummy bears and pretzels, filled up my hydration pack, got on my bike, and left the door at 5:50 AM.

To show how close the start line is to my house, I was there by 6:00 AM. And that included a stop for a red light. My first order of business was finding people. This race was a *lot* bigger than when I ran it back in 2008. People stretched for about a half mile from the start line:

P5020021It wasn’t very long before I ran into our fellow blogger Slomohusky! Just like he told me, he was dressed in my school’s colors (yea cardinal and gold) ! It was soooo cool to finally put a face to a name:


Kudos to him for being there despite all his little tweaks and niggles the past few weeks.

Next up, I ran into Jason and Penny near the start line:


This was the first time I had met Jason! We chewed the fat for a few minutes and then I let them go as the start was near. For a change, the race actually started on time! I caught the excitement as a spectator this time:

P5020026My plan was to pedal around and catch the runners at about three or four points on the Half Marathon course. Even though *they* were running 13.1, I could catch them at the start, three different places on the course, and then ride the last mile in for about 7 miles or so on my bike. So, I took off from the start and pedaled over to mile 6 1/2:

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I got there just in time to see the lead runners pass. Man! These guys were booking!


While I was here, a ton of pals ran by. Wadiasoft stopped and shook my hand, then continued oh his superhuman effort (sub 4:00 PR in the full). Billy came by with his purported shuffle (yeah right – he was ahead of the 1:50 group) . Billy’s friend Lori came scooting by head down and all business. Next up was Jason, Penny, and a ton of my fellow runners from Cal Coast!

P5020041 Knowing that these folks now had a little over three miles to scoot to my next vantage point, I climbed back on my bike and pedaled the hills over to mile 10, where the runners would be coming up the only sizeable hill on the course. I got over there, situated myself as a spectator, and got out the gummy bears to feed the runners finishing the “climb”:

P5020046These folks were all looking a lot stronger than I normally look coming up that hill! I wasn’t there but 10 minutes when I saw a familiar face!

P5020047I scooted on down the trail a mile to my next cheering point at mile 11. The runners must have been a little tired at this point judging by how quickly the pretzels I offered went:

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From there I hopscotched another half mile by bike to mile 12 on the course. I tried to offer my moral and verbal support from the seat of my bike as I went back and forth the last mile with the runners. This can be a tough part of the HM course, as the runners can see the finish area from a mile away. I tried to remind them that Chuck Norris never ran one of these!

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Next up, the runners entered the Orange County Fairgrounds for the finish. Normally being on the other side of the barriers, I could completely empathize with these folks – especially when “that” sign showed up. I tried to offer as much cheering as I could – but I was actually getting hoarse!

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Just in case you haven’t had enough, here’s a little video scripted to one of Orange County’s house bands, Social Distortion:

I loitered a bit at the finish line where I ran into Slomohusky again, this time with Mrs. Slomohusky and the Slomohusky kids. What a delightful family! I’ll be looking you up for coffee the next time I’m in your town!

One thing for sure – all this cycling around sure worked up an appetite! And since I still had a 7 mile ride back home, I opted for breakfast with Penny and another blogger/tweep that I finally got to meet Yas (and “the bean” and she lovingly refers to him)!


All in all, this was *as much fun* as I’ve *ever* had at a race. It was so rewarding to see the pain turn to smiles and thank you’s – especially that last mile when there was a lot of pain to be had. Will I do this again? Absolutely! But not too often. I need to set some PRs this year….


  1. Nice report. Yet, something is missing? Reading about running WITH Glenn. Maybe next year?

    Seriously though, thanks for meeting up with me. Plus, info on the course. It was very helpful. Great to finally meet you. Thanks for the nice comments about my family. Let me know when you might be in Vegas.

  2. You are so sweet to have gone out there to cheer on your fellow runners.

    I was at the "other" race this past Sunday over at the Spectrum. I also didn't sign up for any of these races happening in our backyard. I paced a friend of mine and had a nice relaxing run. It is just so great to run without being timed.

  3. Great report! You will have to give me some spectating tips. I'm going to try to be a one-woman cheering section for practically EVERYONE up here at the Seattle Rock N Roll.

  4. c'mon! this HAS to get your blood pumping again. sounds like such a fun time. i loooved reading about all the times you 'showed up' in penny's report. you are a great running-friend. gummy bears and pretzels sound pretty good right now...

  5. good seeing ya out there Glenn - thanks for the support.

  6. Great post there's a lot of fun to be had from just watching and the energy vibe is charging!

  7. What a colorful post! Isn't it the greatest cheering peeps on? Better yet to know EXACTLY how it feels to turn someone elese's frown of pain upside down.. The damn cow bells get me every time!

  8. This is truly a wonderful race recap. Most of it is teaching on how to honor your friends and being supportive during a race even though you are not actually running in it. Despite, you have made yourself part of it anyways. Way to go Glenn. Gummy Bears and Pretzels, I will have to remember that. I will also remember your site as I bite a gummy bears head off.

  9. You are the best!!! What a fantastic recap!! I cant tell you how fantastic it felt to see your yellow shirt and know you were there cheering!!!! And the gummy bears were great!!

    You are a true runner-coming out to support runners when you weren't running!!! Thank you!!! I hope to be there for you one day!!

  10. Ha ha, I was kind of wondering who the pretzels and gummy bears were for!

    Nice you got to see so many people you knew, virtually or otherwise.

    (Your blog has ceased to store my Google Acct info. Harumph. Twitter's done the same.)

  11. It was good to finally meet you even if it was only for a couple of seconds.

  12. Hi Glenn,
    I would love to go to a race or two and just take pictures, cheer people on and enjoy just watching the runners:) You have a very nice race report for not running! I think it is so cool that you and Slomo had the chance to meet:) I would love to do the Orange County half sometime in the future too!

    Take care Glenn...thanks for the pictures..you know how much I love them:)

  13. Great spectating report. It sounds like a lot of fun! I think it's so great that you spent the morning cheering on your friends and even providing snacks!

  14. nicely done. Fellow OC'er that stumbled across your blog...

  15. Great video! It really captured the "feel" of the race! I loved loved this race! YOu are so lucky to run there everyday! All weekend long we kept saying how much we would love to live there! (We even snuck over to Disneyland on Saturday...shh, don't tell my kids...*snicker*) I love OC! I wish I would have known you were there, I would have looked for you.

  16. Great recap of the race! Love the video and especially with Social Distortion music in the background (my favorite band) It helps me relive the run! Looking forward to more posts.

  17. I have never road my bike on a race, but that SURE does seem to be the way to watch one.