When contemplating where I wanted to run my 50th marathon, I knew I wanted it to be someplace warm. The winter here in Utah has been bitter cold and my training is suffering. I just do not want to run when the temperature is below 20 degrees and the air quality is bad. The Surf City Marathon was the perfect race. It's a cheap 1 1/2 hour flight from Salt Lake City, the race is one of my favorite California races to do (I ran it in 2010) and above all, it's sunny.
Another selling point was that a good friend of mine from New York was running too. I had been coaching my friend Chris Orbach on line for the past 6 months and now he was running his 1st marathon! Milestones for both of us!
My friend and fellow Maniac, Marci Jenks and I left Salt Lake City in the freezing cold! When we arrived in Long Beach, we were wearing flip flops! Oh yeah!!
At the expo celebrating my 50th Marathon!
The first thing we did when we got there was to check into the hotel. We were staying at the Double Tree in Long Beach. When we arrived their whole computer system had went down and they were trying their best to check everyone in manually. It must have been a nightmare for the staff and we tried to be very understanding (even after they gave us the wrong room twice). Our patience and kindness paid off! They upgraded us to the Balboa Suite at no extra charge! It was sweet!
Marci and I then drove into Los Angeles and had a fabulous dinner with my dear New York (now LA) friends, Heather and Jesse!
My oldest NYC friends, Heather and Jesse! I love them!!
The next day Marci and I headed to the Expo to pick up our race packets! It was crowded, bu fun.
Marci and I ran into Joe from "The Marathon Show"!
Surfin' at Surf City!!
Fish tacos and a Diet Coke (or in Marci's case a Red Stripe)! Can't go wrong there!
Steven Yee (aka the Prez), Karen and I
Fun at the Maniac dinner!
After the dinner, we zoomed our way back to Huntington Beach where we would meet Chris and his family. Chris and his wife arrived late so we picked up his packet for him needed to get it to him. I did not want him to worry about this. Running your first marathon is stressful enough.
The next morning we headed over the the start early and scored some AWESOME parking right at the finish! We chilled for a while and then headed to the Maniac meeting spot for the group photo and to meet up with Chris.
Maniacs at the start!
Chris, his cute wife Nicole and I at the start!
My 50th Marathon Bib!!
After a few photos, we headed over to the start and we were off! We went out nice and easy. This was Chris's first marathon and I wanted him to finish. While time was not a factor, we did want to finish under 5:00 hours.
Chris at about Mile 5.
Half way there!
Maniac Paula hung this on the course! So sweet!
I was feeling pretty good until mile 20, then my training ran out (that's what happens when you're lazy over the winter)! Chris on the other hand was feeling great! At mile 23 I stopped for a potty break and I told him to keep going. I would try to catch him, but pretty much knew I wouldn't. We had stayed in front of the 4:55 pacers the whole race until Chris's potty stop at mile 21. I waited for Chris and they passed us while he was "taking care of business". Chris was determined to catch them and I wanted him to, I just didn't have the energy that day.
Chris took of and I told him I would be right behind him and he should wait for me at the finish. He caught the 4:55 pacer and came in under 4:55!! I on the other hand straggled my butt in at 5:01. I was still happy. I had just finished my 50th marathon!!!
Chris and I at the finish!
Marci was so sweet to have everyone sign a card for me! I loved my gift of piggies for my piggies!
#50 in the books!!