44 down only 8 to go.

Well damn, even when we do a race in San Diego we have to get up at 3am. We had to be at the parking garage by 5am to catch the shuttle to the start by 5:30am. We had to be there early because many roads were closed.

The Saturday expo was pretty impressive. Tim got a new pair of Altra shoes on sale as well as a bluetooth headphone set at a deep discount. I got a new sunscreen that claims to be healthier than the average sunscreen. Tim did a big running no-no, he wore his new shoes for the first time on race day. Luckily his feet didn’t blow up. In fact, he loved them.

We saw 92 year old Harriett Thompson being interviewed on the main stage. She started running at the age of 76 and has run 16 marathons. She is a 2 time cancer survivor and runs to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She was very sharp.

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The oldest woman to run a marathon
Also the fastest in her age group

We didn’t stick around to see Meb or Desi. Meb ran the HM and Desi was pacing the 2nd wave marathoners. There were some fast people in the HM. So fast that Meb came in second by seconds. We talked to a teacher who had one of Meb’s kids in her class. She said the whole family were the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

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I was amused by the fitting rooms

We walked by a booth with a jumping contest. I talked Tim into trying and he took the lead in the over 40 age group. I didn’t play but probably would have if I had noticed how lame the over 40 womens jump was.

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They measure his reach

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He jumps

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The new over 40 high jumper

We had a lot of time to hang out before the race. Luckily there was music and quite a bit to look at. This is one of the only races we have done that had adequate port-o-pots. I have actually missed the start of a couple of races because I was still in line. Good investment, race director.

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Tim’s new shoes match his shorts
(much to his dismay)

I was chilly even with my long sleeve shirt on so this guy must have been cold. He was also kind of creepy, not just because speedos are inherently creepy but because he was a little too touchy feely. On the other hand he was nice and did have great abs. Living by the beach I have seen men in speedos who make you want to yell, “put it on.” Men – never wear a speedo. Even if your body is perfect women will laugh at you.

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Another picture of an almost nude man

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The Haunting: For Jeannie

This was a huge race. We were in corral 20 of 25. Well, I was in corral 20. Tim was in 19 but came back and started the race with me.

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Giant Meb head at the starting line

I made a conscious decision not to run this race too hard for a couple of reasons. I caught a mild version of what Tim had last week so I was feeling low energy, but mostly I wanted to focus on taking pictures and enjoying the run.

I didn’t think it was a particularly scenic course but it didn’t matter because the parade was great. These 3 were walking only a couple of miles into the race. And they did not look happy.

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Princesses don’t run because sweat – Eww

The crowd support at this race was amazing. There were people playing music, lots of signs and cheering and yelling and costumes and even some bandit aid stations with tequila, mimosas, beer, and whisky. I had a small beer. There were also many chances to high 5 kids (not to be missed).

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Ouch – I believe you

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The high school cheerleaders were cool but these were my favorite

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It’s a race, don’t shoot

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My favorite t-shirt

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I found this both impressive & disturbing
(just like the speedo flag guy)

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A saxy banana

There was also some great musical entertainment on this course. I didn’t get a picture of the woman who sang the national anthem but she had a lovely voice. Over the course of this project we have heard some intense, off key screeching so it was a pleasure not to wish for earplugs during the opening ceremony.

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I wish you could hear her voice
I had to stop and listen

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Awesome. I’m so glad Tim got this picture

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Speaking of earplug worthy

I did not like how crowded this race was. Usually a race with a lot of people thins out at some point but this race was crowded for my whole run. It was bottleknecked so bad in some places that we were walking. I was not able to run fast downhill, as I love to do, because I was dodging and route planning so there wouldn’t be any casualties.

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There was a Dr. Suess themed aid station!

During this race I had the worst experience of our HM project. Around mile 10 I had to use the port-o-pot. This guy coming out as I was going in muttered something like – I swear, I didn’t do it. I don’t usually write in initials but OMG. Apparently running effects aim. I tried to clean up the seat a bit because air squatting after running 10 miles is not an option. At least they still had toilet paper.

I thought this race was well organized until the very end. Once through the chute and after getting my medal people started handing me food. Unfortunately, there were more people handing me stuff than I had hands. I had to abandon my banana for chocolate milk. A bag at the finish line and someone directing traffic away from the finish line would have solved this problem. Instead people were milling around trying to eat the food and dropping stuff all over the place. It was a challenge to get out of there.

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My Hokas worked great (but they look so silly)


  • Quite pricey (but you get a lot)
  • Pricey Parking ($15 expo, $15 day of race)
  • Not very scenic
  • Way too crowded
  • Beware of on course port-o-pots
  • A bit of a mess at the end


  • Great expo with free stuff, deals, and running celebraties
  • Lots of port-o-pots
  • Wonderful crowd support
  • Fun costumes
  • Music on course
  • Great party vibe
  • Bandit adult beverage aid stations
  • enthusiastic volunteers
  • Medal is also a beer opener
  • Chocolate milk
  • Well organized and executed (except at the end)
  • Good after party
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On the way back to the parking garage

I would recommend this race if you are looking for a party and have a large race budget. We have done races that were cheaper than the parking for this race. Do not do this race if you are claustrophobic, hate hills, or want to PR (too crowded). Do this race if you want a big fun party destination race. You will never get bored during this run. If you thrive on crowd support you will love this race. Because your name is on your bib people will cheer for you by name. I like races a little smaller and more personal but an upside to an overcrowded race is that there is no chance of getting lost. A big plus for me.

On the subject of smaller and more personal (Tim and Charlie are now facebook friends) races, we are doing a repeat Charlie Alewine race next week. My plan is to run as hard as I can and try to break 2:30, so there won’t be as many pictures. I’m hoping that writing this will motivate me to push harder when I want to quit. I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself.

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Take that Michelob ULTRA

Only 9 more chances to make me happy by leaving a comment.


  1. Did you notice you got your picture in front of a chocolate milk truck? Perfect! The speedo guy doesn’t haunt be because, well, he’s gorgeous. BUT, I hope he had friends with him — some solitary guy milling about in his panties at the start of a marathon is a little “he’s probably got dead hookers in a van somewhere” disturbing. Did you see the Starbucks glasses that the 3 princesses were carrying? I have a feeling there was a “lack of support” that was causing their distress. The PDX R n R run was crowded all the way, too. I thought it was a madhouse!

    You can TOTALLY break 2:30 without a problem, I look forward to seeing your time for your Charlie race, because I’m confident that you nailed it!

    • I don’t think I have ever made it through your comment without laughing. Not only did we notice the milk truck but Tim talked them out of another carton as they were packing up.
      Speedo guy was alone. I can see why you would think he was gorgeous. I did admire his abs. I have a long hair fetish(yay Tim)so he wasn’t my type at all. So I guess this means you want pictures of hot half naked men not flabby old guys. I’m just glad Tarzan isn’t reading this.
      I didn’t notice the Starbucks cups until you pointed it out. Where the hell did they get those?
      Thanks for the support. You are so right. I nailed it. Happy racing to you. I hope you are now running pain free.

  2. desertmarilyn

    What a great blog entry, Sharon! Your enthusiasm for this race really shines through, and as usual, the photos are stellar. But this time, they are super-stellar. Ewww to the guy in the speedo. My personal fave is Elvis. I love your new shoes, Sharon, but in the first photo, I swear, I thought you were wearing pom-poms on your shoes. I thought, Sharon in pom-poms? Not possible. Happily the after photo cleared that up for me. Another reason I love the after photo is because it shows my fave city in the background (not to mention my two fave HM’ers in the foreground!). And I loved your comment, only 9 more chances to make me happy and leave a comment. OK, so I hope I made you happy today. You two…you two….actually, you two leave me without words. Something that rarely happens, so enjoy the moment!!!

    • It was great to talk to you and I’m excited that I’m going to get to see you so soon.
      My Hokas aren’t new shoes but I don’t usually wear them for races. You are very right in assuming that I am not a Pom Pom kind of girl. Those are the timing chips. Thanks for making me happy and leaving a comment.

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