Griffith Park - T-Shirt


26 down only 26 to go.

I am beyond exhausted. The Sunday before last we had a hard run in Oregon and then we had Tim’s mom over for dinner to say goodbye. Monday, Tim got the U-Haul and we packed/loaded the U-Haul, all day. Tuesday, we finished loading the U-Haul and cleaned the house. We meant to leave around noon but didn’t get on the road until after 4pm. Wednesday, Tim drove 12 hours and we made it just north of LA. Meowse was so good. She slept on my lap most of the way. Thursday, we had a shorter drive but it was through LA on a torn up section of the interstate so it was hell. I was feeling a bit car sick and the cat was so done with this trip. Poor Tim was driving a U-Haul that was towing a car, on an awful road, through awful traffic, with a grumpy wife who was trying to control an insane cat. I’m full of scratches and puncture marks where she tried to hold on.

Griffith Park - Meowse

I’m much better now but still a little grumpy

Thursday night we went out to a place in San Diego called Aladdin. We had some drinks and huge salads. For me, the worse thing about traveling is trying to find something healthy to eat. Just like in prison I started to count ketchup as a vegetable.

Tim wanted to get an early start Friday so he could park the U-Haul before traffic got too bad. When we got to our new place we found out that it wouldn’t be ready until noon (about 3 hours) because they were still cleaning. I think they spent 3 hours cleaning the refrigerator and 10 minutes on the rest of the place. While moving my desk slipped and landed on my forehead. It is still sore.

Griffith Park - Sharon

Sharon responds to her desk trying to kill her

This is the first race we seriously considered skipping. Besides having a killer headache from a desk landing on me, I was exhausted and every part of my body was sore. Both of us were tired and had not been sleeping well. We already have one race to make up so we decided to just get this one over with, even if we had to walk it. This race started at 7am so we had to get up at 3am to drive 2 hours to Griffith Park.

Overall, this race had a lot of problems. There was no one directing traffic in the parking lot. Once out of the car there was nothing to let you know where the race started. We talked to a volunteer from the band who asked us for directions. Finally we followed someone who looked like they knew where they were going. Tim got our T-Shirts while I ran to find a bathroom. They were cotton shirts with sponsor logos on the front as well as on the back. I know tech shirts are more desirable for most people but at this point I have so many that I was happy to get a cotton shirt.

The race was advertised as mostly flat but it was actually very hilly. I started walking within the first half mile because that’s where they put the first hill, so I only ran with Tim for about 5 minutes. The park was scenic but part of the course was run close enough to the freeway that I could smell the exhaust. The course was supposed to be closed to traffic but some very irate motorists didn’t get the memo. Volunteers on bikes were doing their best to get traffic off the course. There was a nice section on a bike path which had such aggressive bikers that I was scared. A bike came from behind me and cut between me and another runner with no room to spare. That’s the closest I have ever come to being hit.

Usually I wait until the last 3 miles to listen to my music but this time I put it on around mile 6 because I needed the distraction. I woke up some long dormant muscles while moving. The music really helped to motivate me. It has been months since I listened to my music, mostly because I have been running in the rain and my favorite MP3 player doesn’t fit under my favorite rain hat. I recommend making a playlist of favorite songs that you only listen to while racing or running. It works for me. I made myself hit pause whenever I took a walk break.

I didn’t get a medal when I came through the finish so Tim tried to find out why. He got one. It turns out that they ran out of medals! I had to put my name on a list and they said they would mail medals. Not only did they run out of medals but no one was at the finish line to let runners know what was going on so most people who came in after 2 1/2 hours didn’t even know that they were supposed to get a medal. The woman who took our after picture just assumed that only winners got medals. It was a cheap, small medal that I really didn’t care about but I heard some really upset people. Not only did they run out of medals but they ran out of food even before Tim finished.

We talked to the race director and were more forgiving when we found out that this was the inaugural race. There are always some problems in the first race. They allowed registration race morning and over 250 people signed up after the medals had been ordered. That was way more than she was expecting. I thought it was a good sign that the race director asked us for feedback on other parts of the race. She let us know that she cared and wanted to improve the race next year. Another problem I saw was that expo tents started breaking down shortly after I came through and some were already gone. There were still over 50 people on the course that would be coming through the finish to nothing. I think that’s rude. Luckily Tim grabbed some chips and pistachio bars for me before they ran out and/or packed up. And the last snafu I noticed – the course was about a half mile short. I can’t say I really minded but still a HM should be 13.1 miles.

Griffith Park - US

Barely conscious (Sharon) but dry


  • Once parked it is unclear where the race is.
  • Guy without a microphone saying something at start of race
  • Extremely hilly “flat” course
  • Freeway exhaust and noise
  • Traffic on the “traffic free” course
  • Speedy, agressive bicyclists
  • Ran out of food way early
  • Ran out of medals
  • No information about medals unless you sought it out
  • Expo closing down with runners (many) still on course
  • Cheap T-Shirt and medal (for those who got one)


  • Good driving directions
  • Nice little expo
  • Benefit for park services
  • Frequent aid stations w/ nice volunteers
  • Mildly scenic
  • Race director who cared about improving the race
  • Prompt email with finishing time
  • Attempted to close the course to traffic

At this point I would not recommend this race. It was a mess. On the other hand this was the inaugural race and the race director appeared to be taking notes. It is a benefit for the park service which is a huge plus for us so I really hope they get their act together. You shouldn’t have to run a HM in under 2 hours to get something to eat afterwards.

Please leave a comment, I love comments.


  1. WOW, what a fandango! I’m so sorry about your head, that looks very painful. The run sounds painful too! I hope your run this weekend made up for all of it, and that your head is all healed. Atheana and I did a run this weekend where she had to pee in a hedge because we never thought we’d see a portopotty much less an aid station, had bored teenagers texting and kicking rocks instead of filling cups, featured freezing frost, cow and chicken manure, and at the end I had to force a kid to go looking for medals. That kid disappeared before Atheana got in, so I had to find another kid to bully into finding some medals. Viva la disorganized half marathon!

    • Yikes it sounds like you had a worse race than we did. Can you name the race so that I (or anyone reading) can avoid it? Thanks

      • It was the Roaring River half, and I actually love it despite the fact that this year was a little disorganized, and also that I usually post my worst time for the year at it. Super small-town, but they are earnest and want people to have fun. Plus they give out taters at the end; I will put up with anything for a baked potato.

  2. Congratulations to you and Tim and Meowse on the big move, Sharon!

    I think any mere mortal would have skipped the race, pretty awesome that you guys decided to run it. Like desertmarilyn said, at least the weather was beautiful, and maybe the shortened race was the universe’s way of cutting you a break :O)

    Even with all the things that were annoying, you and Tim look very happy together in that picture – take care and wish you the best at your new home.

  3. The first thing I noticed with your photos (other than Sharon is bleeding!) is the sunshine in the background. Nasty race, it sounds like, but you are in the sunshine in southern CA!!! I spent a lot of time at Griffith Park while growing up. It’s very near my hometown. I don’t know how the race organizers could advertise it as a flat run – I remember it being very hilly. Sorry to see the sad photo of you after the desk attacked you. Hope it doesn’t leave a scar.

    Thanks for posting the photo of Meowse. She is a special cat, and I think it’s amazing that she’s done all this traveling and still is nice to you guys. Please give her a hug and a treat from me.

    Get some rest, you two. Take a few days off, walk on the beach, eat a lot of seafood, play with the cat. Veg. That’s an order!! (I worry about you, you know!) Thanks for keeping us up to date on your doings. I know you two are ecstatic to be in SD. Sending you love!

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