#47 Mammoth Half Marathon


47 down only 5 to go.

Only a month of races left! I know Tim is looking forward to not driving hundreds of miles every weekend. Besides the Auburn race (FOURmidable) this is the furthest we have traveled for a race since we moved to San Diego. I love the Mammoth Lakes area and wish we could have spent more time there. We stayed at the race hotel, The Village Lodge. It was one of the nicest rooms we have stayed at and I highly recommend it if you do this race, or are just visiting Mammoth. That said, even with the race discount, it was quite pricey.

Saturday night we ate at a Hawaiian themed restaurant whose name I can’t remember [Lakanuki – Tim]. I had the strongest Mai Tai I have ever had. So even though I planned on only having one drink, I’m pretty sure I had 3 or 4 in that one glass. I had Tim try it because he gave me the look he gives me when he thinks I am being too dramatic, and he said “Whoa!”, with raised eyebrows of agreement. In the past I have made the clear connection between eating fried food the night before a race and being nauseous during a race. I saw coconut shrimp on the menu. How does someone just forget that deep battered coconut shrimp is a fried food? I paid for it race morning.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

Sharon does not approve of blond Sharon

The food was wonderful but it was the crazy surf art I really loved.

Except for packet pickup, which was a little chaotic, this race was extremely well organized. It was also incredibly beautiful with desert, lake, and forest views. Unfortunately, as we feared, the altitude set off Tim’s a-fib. It acted up even before he started running. We both woke up feeling headachey, tired, and nauseous. The problem with staying in a hotel with the most comfy bed ever is that we did not want to get up. Even though we were able to sleep in until 5am it was a hard bed to leave.

We caught the bus to the start almost right outside our door. It was really chilly Sunday morning. This race was handing out Mylar blankets before the race. Even though it was a fairly small race they had a drop bag option. Well done.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

At least our before picture looks different this time

I both loved and hated this race. I hated it because it was hard to breath and run at altitude for the first half. Also, running 13.1 miles on the verge of puking (thanks fried shrimp and monster Mai Tai) is not fun. I loved everything else about this race. If I had been feeling better I think this would have been my favorite road race. The scenery was beyond incredible. I was grateful that this race was so well organized because I was in no mood for nonsense.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

Yay – Pretty

I chatted with a couple who convinced me that the Las Vegas marathon would not be a good first marathon. Our next project is training for a marathon so if anyone has a suggestion for a good first marathon please leave it in the comments.

I started to walk much sooner than usual during this race. I was surprised that I had breathing/elevation problems because I used to run at 8000 feet on Mt Lemmon and wasn’t affected. In fact, I liked the thin crisp air.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

Amazing – a sign I haven’t seen before

A nice thing about beating Tim is that I get to take a picture of him sprinting to the finish.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

Go Tim – he beat her

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

Yep – that is a mammoth greeting incoming runners

Yay, they had chocolate milk and watermelon after the race. That race director must be a runner. We couldn’t stay for the after race party because we had to get back to our room so we could shower and check out of the room before hitting the road.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

We are so good we got 2 medals


  • Packet pickup was confusing and choatic
  • Trolly information gave us wrong directions


  • Very well organized with attention to details
  • Mylar blanket at the start
  • Plenty of port-o-pots at the start and along the course
  • Awesome scenery
  • Wonderful volunteers and plenty of aid stations
  • A couple of aid stations had pretzels and cool wipes!
  • Signs at the aid stations with mileage to next aid station
  • Fire truck sprinkler to run through
  • Chocolate milk and watermelon (as well as other food)
  • Nice long sleeve tech shirt
  • Huge cool medals with moving parts
#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

I’d rather be swimming

Unless you have a major altitude problem, I would recommend this race for everyone. This has everythng I look for in a race. It was well organized with friendly volunteers. The course was beautiful and had a net downhill. The shirt is wearable. If you are into medals, there is a special medal (with moving parts) for runners who did both the San Diego and the Mammoth HM. Both medals are impressive. Even with his afib problem and upset tummy Tim liked this race almost as well as I did. We even talked about doing it next year.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon

Discovered we were sitting next to this

Short post this week because we didn’t get back from San Francisco until Wednesday night.

Only 6 more chances to leave a comment. Pretty please.

#47 Mammoth Half Marathon


  1. I know it is hard on your bod, but your readers do enjoy hearing your great descriptions/rationalizations about what funkadelic food you have before a run. This run was on my bucket list, but now I’m not so sure — I wonder if the altitude would kick my ass. Probably. I am sorry you’re tired, but DAMN, you are almost done!

    I will look and see what a good marathon would be. The PDX has lots of people and fun course support, but it’s pretty stinking hilly. The Foot Traffic Flat is gorgeous, but it’s always on July 4 so it’s hot as hell.

    • Oh and P.S. what are you rocking on your tootsies, are those Altras? Nice time on this run, too!

    • You should keep this on your bucket list. This race was stunning. Although it is at altitude you run into more oxygen because it is a point to point downhill. I was thinking the blerch run would be a fun first marathon but I think Tim wants something closer. We should do Mammoth Lakes next year.

  2. Michelle Abbey

    Hi Sharon!

    It’s Michelle from the race, glad I found your blog. Can’t wait to read about the races you’ve done 🙂
    I’m still racking my brain for first marathon ideas. I hear you on the trail running. I love trail running more than road running, even though I am a very-back-of-the-pack-er. I probably like trail running because it becomes ok to hike the uphills 🙂 Good luck on finishing up this journey, I’ll be following!

    • Thanks for leaving a comment. It’s so fun for me to read new comments. Thanks also for taking the time to comment on old races. When it comes to trail racing I am true back of the pack. I have never come in last but I have come close in a couple races I had no business doing in the first place. We just moved to SD in January. If you ever want someone to run with let me know. I really want to check out some local trails although I warn you, I am slow (11 to 12 minute mile). I hope to see you at more races.

  3. desertmarilyn

    Yikes! The before the race photo looks like it was taken on the moon~ everyone wrapped in their mylar moon suits, waiting for the ship to come back and pick them up! I absolutely will not, no, I will not, make a comment about Sharon’s hair. Not one word.

    As usual on Friday mornings, the first thing I do is go through all your photos, then read the blog, then go through the photos again. (The photo journey of your blog could be an interesting book unto itself.) The photos really make the HM come to life, especially for a non-runner like me. Love that there are photos of Tim in his now-famous finish sprints. This one, he wasn’t jumping up in the air, probably just glad to be finished with the race.

    Tim will probably not want to drive anywhere for quite a while after this marathon year. (Or should I say HM year?) Please tell me you’re going to take a few weekends off and just lolly-gag around and sleep in and do normal beach stuff. Before you start training for the marathon.

    You two usually inspire me, but I find today that I am exhausted reading your blog. I can tell you’re tired, and it sounds like you both are very ready for this to be something wonderful you did in the past. Stay healthy, you only have a short ways to go. I wish I could be at one of your final races, but alas, I don’t think I’ll be able to. I hope to get together with you both while I’m in SD, though. I’ll call you next week.

    Sending you both love and hugs, as always. And joy that you are so close to completing this incredible goal. Be proud of yourselves, you really do ROCK!

    • Thanks for leaving a comment. As we are winding up it is getting harder to be motivated to write my blog. I check for comments every day
      As for my hair – I know! It will be gone soon.
      We are indeed going to take a few weeks off running. You nailed it when you said that we sounded tired. I hope you don’t mind me quoting you in my next post. I was even more tired going into last weekends race.
      I got your email. Sorry you can’t come to the race but understand. I will talk to you soon. I’m over the moon about seeing you again.

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