Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Catalina Marathon 2012 Race Review "Enjoying the View" - Skillz

There's a reason people put this marathon on their "must do" list.

It. Is. Incredible.

I will go into details later this week about our awesome time on the island [getting to California, meeting Caroline & having a blast with my family] but for today . . . just the recap of the race/event and what I liked and possibly didn't like.

We arrived via the Catalina Express, Friday afternoon around 3:30pm. We found our driver from our hotel and we were off.

Peanut: "Best ride ever".
Me: best ab workout ever.

5pm was packet pick up. I got there around 5:30. The line was insane! Well, for about 2 minutes it was insane. Then this nice man came out and said, "Any marathoners?"

Then, no joke, TWO of us walked forward.
Packet pick-up in 4 minutes FLAT.

Loved that.

I will say, this is not an "expo" in the way I have come to expect an expo [I'll blame that on RNR races ;) ] to be.

You will NOT find:
Gu's, compression socks, 26.2 car decals, body glide OR a race T-shirt.
T-shirts are handed after the race when you FINISH. Freaking loved that.

You will find:
Friendly staff
Fast & efficient staff
Your bib number + pins
A bag with two papers in it
Your boat ticket

So we had the fabulous "Antonio's" for dinner. Then it was crash time.
It true Emz fashion.......I slept like 3-4 hours & completely spaced on packing, buying, bringing breakfast. Uggggg. Cam out of the bathroom to the Pita making me a "breakfast goodie bag" [ya, that's a first ever, so grateful.] Ahhhhh, almonds, ChexMix & fruit snacks. Breakfast of champions.

A 5 Minute walk to the ferry. And I'm on. I find a solo area on the floor and sit. I look up to see a young girl. All smiles but looks nervous. VERY nervous. I wave her over. We chat. She's 16. Yes, 16. And this is her very first marathon. HOLY. CRAP.

The ferry goes from Avalon to Two Harbors. Ride takes about an hour. Looking around, I notice a few things:

These runners look hardcore.
There's a lot of gold dangling from hats.

A lot of trail running shoes.
A lot of water bottles around people's waists.
A lot of older runners.
NOT a lot of people in tutu's. weird.
A lot of people either telling me they love my tutu mixed with a lot of not so approving looks from others. Ehhhh. whatever.

We arrived at Two Harbors with about 40 minutes to spare before go-time. The weather was perfect. Not cold at all but that eventually bit us in the backside about 1.5-2 hours later.

The start of this race felt a lot like the 50 mile Man against Horse Race I ran. Super laid back. No one is acting all stressy or doing pick-ups. Everyone just shooting the crap with their neighbor asking, "how many times you done this?".

My favorite comment at the start line from a 40-ish year old man.

Man: you know this is a serious run right?
Me [dead serious face]: what? This ISN'T the 5k?
Him: [blank stare]
Me: see you at the finish. Looks like a beautiful race.

I took the fist 5 miles very conservatively. Too conservatively, looking back on it.

At mile 4.75ish. A gentleman wearing a "dirty 30" shirt [meaning he has run this race 30 times] passed me going up a freaking hard hill [that I chose to walk].

His words: Let's go cupcake.

I'll be honest, that got my blood boiling. So I started running. I caught him. I said, "You chose just the right motivational word, see ya!" Never saw him again. Cupcake. Seriously? Cupcake. I freaking love my tutu. That guy did me the biggest favor ever.

Ever want to see men pick up their speed in an instant?
Pass them.
They get all kinds of crazy superfunk.

I turned my music on at mile 10. Only to hear SKILLZ "Enjoying The View", and I certainly was. This course is beyond words. Absolutely stunning.

One incredible thing about this race is the volunteers. The BEST volunteers I have ever had on any race course. They got better and better as the race went on too.

I do have to say my favorites were at 20 & 22. Loved. them.

I had a huge surprise at 20 when I saw my Pita & Peanut.

Took my breath away. Had NO idea they were going to meet me. I lit up in excitement.

Which equalled my pace picking up. YAY!
Then, I was off for the last 6.2.
Right after I passed another lady came by that Pita & Peanut cheered for. Pita said her comment was, "HA! I just got passed by TinkerBell!"
The Pita cracked up. Peanut wanted to smack her. My family rocks.
Insanely beautiful, right?
It was now . . . . . well, FREAKING heating up. Temperature was at least 15 degrees over the "norm" and well . . . we were all feeling it.

One of the awesome parts of this race?

The last 3 miles are downhill. Like super downhill. The last 1.75 miles is a paved road which passed by a golf course, baseball field, lots of golf carts & homes. I loved all the interaction it allowed with PEOPLE! I had a permanent smile on my face & threw up my hands in "rock-on" fashion almost the entire 1.75 miles.

Turned the corner to the finish line. And......Well, I'm just freaking happy.
I can see my Pita. In the finish line coral. Like right behind the finish line. All smiles. I've never been able to cross a finish line and literally jump [not sure how I jumped but I did] into my husbands arms. [insert soppy Hollywood drama music, but it was all that to me.]

So. happy.

Like the happiest I've been in about 947 days. No I didn't "win". I wasn't fast. I have yet to get my MAN BQ but........ you know, this run was everything to me. Not really sure why but I do know . . . I remembered why I loved running out there. I loved not having a lot of people around. I loved taking in the view and thinking of how freaking blessed I am.


No question. I'll run this again. [and again, and again, and again . . . ]


BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Most awesome race report ever!!!! Sounds like a great race!

Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom said...

Sounds like an amazing race!!!

ltlindian said...

Not many can rock the purple tutu! You looked great!!

Did you see the 40 something guy again? like, did you chick him? I sure hope so. Great comeback, btw. I can never think of anything that clever that quickly. I would have thought of that around mile 15....

Kayla said...

Sounds like an absolutely amazing race and that you had an amazing time! Nice job EMZ!

Caroline said...

this made me cry.
and smile.
before I forget there is one big detail missing in this recap

2nd place overall women.. HELLO!
1st tutu.

where is the picture from the award ceremony! I want to see that one.

I love so many things about this post. The huge smile on your face. Makes me regret not going to Catalina. :(

I like this part: "Like the happiest I've been in about 947 days" see you need to come see me more often!! ha ha! I am kidding..well not about the you coming to see me more often.

"I remembered why I loved running out there" this is BIG. I love this.

Hollywood soppy ending, I am a fan of those.

runing this one again and again..I am a huge fan of that plan. maybe I will put that on my list. I want some guy telling me it is a serious race!! ha ha!!

Cupcake...yikes...this is like honey and sweety from stranger..I am allergic to that.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that you LOVED that race. It was more than a "race"..clearly.

Anonymous said...

love. love. love. this report.

when i grow up, i want to be just like you. <3

Christi said...

I love your entire freakin' purple outfit!

Congrats on a great marathon!

Laurie said...

ABsolutely loved every word! Great job, sounds like a terrific race. Way to rock the tutu.

Jenny said...

So beautiful!! Congrats on an awesome race! :D

Cotter Crunch said...

you are the coolest mom and wife ever. I think its cause you have the coolest family ever, and youre just bad ass. So glad you met Caroline too.

Gracie said...

You look - awesome! Amazing! And strong! Tinkerbell, haha!

RunBikeSurf said...

Rocked it EMZ!m nice report, great tutu, beautiful course! Must put it on the todo list :) Cheers.

racing dawn said...

What a rockin race. I'm all over it next year. Maybe even in November! :)

Seriously are the most awesomest EVA!! You So deserved an awesome race. So happy for all the smiles during the race.

And 2nd place. Amazing.

jymmebe said...

Cupcake? Tinkerbell? Really? Sooo funny! :)

My brain doesn't work fast enough to respond to people that say silly/stupid things . . . you, my dear sister, are gifted in that department!

I am happy that you are so happy! :)

Love you!

Matthew Smith said...

I get "chicked" all the time, so getting passed by tinkerbell would just make me laugh. :) Isn't it awesome having family cheering you on? You had a great support team! Way to go on comforting that freaking-out 16 year old. I'm sure you really helped her chill.

Thanks for a great race report, and have a great day!

Matty O said...

Listen Cupcake... if you are gonna ruin your awesome abs w/ a tattoo!!! haha. Praying that it isn't a real one, I would cry if your disgustingly perfect midsection was tarnished by ink!!! haha

Great job. That ain't no joke out there, H and I hiked all over the island and we took an earlier ferry back to the mainland because we were SPENT!

Great job out there and yes, I can only IMAGINE what went through YOUR head after hearing "Cupcake" during a race... while wearing a tutu. Just saying, that guy is lucky you went easy on him ;)

Did you check out the cool retaining walls out there?

Evolving Through Running said...

If I had a nickel for every time someone called me "Cupcake" or "Tinkerbell" during a race ....

Sounds like an awesome time, and the pictures are incredible. My family went to Catalina when I was about 8 years old and my father was stationed in Long Beach with the Navy. I still remember the trip and would love to go back sometime.

Maybe I need to rock a green tutu for my Half this weekend in DC. Seems to be the ticket to big smiles.

Johann said...

Awesome run and awesome report as well. This looks like a race I would enjoy very much. Nothing beats having your family at a race.

SanJuanRunnerGirl said...

I cannot believe people talked to you that way! Wow....way to show em! LOVED your outfit too!

Ginger said...

What a great race report! Congrats on the strong finish!

Unknown said...

Ha! Cupcake...what a hoot!

Awesome recap. Makes me want to run this race.

Mandi Runs said...

"You know this is a serious race right?" I bet you beat that loser too!

Can't wait to add this race to my list!!

Anonymous said...

Love the purple tutu!!

Jill said...

A-mazing views! Love the outfit and love that the guy asked you about "serious race" and your response to him...even better! So something I would've said! What a great race and so glad your family surprised you...sweet!

Marlene said...

Congratulations! Tutu-wearing marathons should have their own category.

Sounds like an awesome race with more awesome people than not so awesome ("serious"? what does that even mean?)

Anonymous said...

Damn - don't know how I missed this.

Love - "Let's go cupcake"

Acknowledge - You can definitely pull off the tutu. Most others can't!

Word - Excellent race report.

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