It only seemed right that if my city was having a half marathon, that I should run it. I felt obligated. Regardless if there was another half marathon in a prettier area of California, I felt obligated to run in my city, and since I’m not much of a traveller – more like homebody – I decided that I would stay home and run the half that was 3 miles away.
I had decided to run this half early in the year when I first heard that it was in the works. Although Stockton is not in the best part of California, it has much to offer if the City government would kick itself into gear. This half marathon was a good idea – great for the morale of the City which is waning, and great for publicity.
Mac really wanted to run Big Sur’s Half-Marathon, and that was actually on the list, but like I said, when I heard that Stockton was having one, I couldn’t let my city down. So … Stockton it was.
The morning of the half was cold – 49 degrees or so, but it was nice. The skies were clear, and the energy at the start was contagious and fun! Chris had driven Mac and I to the event where we were able to meet up with some of our friends …
The course was actually a nice run thru mid Stockton. It took us down March Lane, thru the University of the Pacific, then thru the neighborhood of Brookside. It’s all pretty much thru the areas where I have run, and I was very familiar with the area. Flat and fast.
The first six miles of the course were uneventful. I thought that my foot would be bothering me, and I felt it here and there but it was tolerable and I could run 9:30 to 10:00 miles. For the first 10k, I felt good, I felt strong and I was able to run a sub-60, and I was happy. Then the unexpected happened …
Traffic was NOT completely closed to all traffic. I can understand that it was impossible to close off all traffic, but this police officer manning this area had apparently caught a lot of heat from drivers who were waiting … and waiting … so he decided to stop the runners and let the traffic through right when Mac and I arrived at his post! WTF? 2 minutes we waited. 2 whole minutes! But what could we do? Nothing. We couldn’t go around, we couldn’t go thru, nothing. It wasn’t anything serious, just a big annoyance.
Once we got going again, we were now running through the neighborhood of beautiful Brookside. There were lots of support in the means of homeowners who came out on their lawns, and people who just parked and waited for their runners to come by. For the most part, everyone was supportive. Surprisingly, it was the volunteer support who offered NO support. Mac pointed out that they were too busy twirling their hair, or talking on their cell phones … everything except supporting the runners! At one point, Mac yelled out to one kid, “Good job supporting us!” And I gave her the side slap! I just don’t think that these kids really knew what to do, and most kids don’t have the common sense to know that, “Oh, I should support and cheer these runners on. They need motivation.”
At mile 9, I thought I saw a sign with my name on it. And as I got closer, I saw that it was my daughter holding the sign, and I was ever so happy to see my hubby and my daughter, and then Linda (@MsV1959) who made the sign! At that point I was feeling strong and I was still beside Mac.
Mile 11 is where my wheels started to flatten out. I really wasn’t tired, but I started to run crooked. I started out with my plantar fascitis injury on the left foot, and as I ran and it bothered me, I started to compensate and I could feel it. I was still doing okay, maintaining, but it was now starting to really hurt as I ran.
Mile 12 … the wheels were wanting to come off. Mac was able to pull away slightly … not that far. I could see her just ahead of me by about 30 seconds or so. But with each step it hurt a little more. I didn’t slow down much, and I continued to push. I knew that the finish was *right* there, and as much as I wanted to slow down, I would not let myself.
The finish line was amazing. Lots of people lined up … family and friends cheering me in! What a happy finish! It wasn’t stellar, but for being injured and not training, I thought that my time of 2:14 was a great time! Plus I subtracted the 2 minutes that I stood waiting for the cars to go by, and the minute that it took to get to the actual start!
Pros of this race: It was a great inagural race in my home city. I ran it with my friends, many of whom I inspired to run – Judy, Cory, and Jennifer! I knew lots of people running, and lots of people on the course. The water and aid stations were well placed. The weather was perfect – cool enough. No real issues with parking. Nice small race of about 1,000 people. There was lot of police volunteers and staff manning the course. The post race nutrition was a plenty – Pizza, Pop Chips, granola bars, gatorade, water, apples, bananas! Lots of food. There was a live band there also. My family was able to track me and follow me, and meet me at certain places to cheer me on! I absolutely thrived and came alive when someone who recoginzed me yelled out my name and encouraged me to go on! =)
Cons of this race: Support offered by the kids who volunteered was minimal. I ran without my own water pack – something that I will never do again. I know that this isn’t the race’s fault, I just like having my own water when I want it, or when I need it! I thought that there could have been just a few more porta-potties on the course. I wanted to stop, but not to wait and go. The course was not closed to all traffic. The police officer having to stop the runners was just insane! Obviously he was not a runner, and he was seriously getting it from both sides – the runners and the drivers!
Would I run it again? Yes! I would run it again! I thought it was a great race, and I did have a lot of fun!