Monday, September 26, 2011

From Stationary Spectating to Mobile Spectating

After two weekends of spectating races, I'm making my way up in the race-spectating food chain. Last weekend, Page's husband and I moved a mere .5 of a mile to cheer in two different San Jose locations. Yesterday, I cheered/spectated over the course of 14.5 miles in Half Moon Bay -- all by foot!

Queue the Half Moon Bay International Marathon -- another first-year race set along the beautiful edge of the West Coast. Alisyn had been training for this race for months, RoadBunner & her boyfriend had been signed up since registration opened, Dennis is a freak and just kind of runs everything successfully, and Naomi was registered for the 10k.

Courtney & I headed out of San Francisco early Sunday morning to meet up with Katie. The HMB course is kind of crazy in that runners start at a point, run north for about 6 miles, turn around and run south back to the starting point, continue south for about another 7.5 miles, and then turn around and head north back to the start. So, yeah, doing the math, they saw the start/finish line 4 times. Which really can't be fun.

I'm basically stealing all these photos from RoadBunner & Courtney. Thanks, friends.

Oh, silly Half Moon Bay Marathon & your inefficient course maps!
You are lucky you are pretty in person.

Katie & I (and her cowbell) stop for a photo op on the HMB course while making our way to the southernmost point of the race.

One of the best parts of the HMB Marathon: BAGPIPES outside the Ritz! And gorgeous scenery.

This place is real.

Courtney, Katie, & I parked at the finish, and then ran 7.5 miles down to the final turnaround of the race. We then waited for Alisyn to come by, where the plan was to hop in and run with her back to the finish, for a total of 15 miles for the day.

One of the coolest things about this well-organized race was that it was so tiny. I think I read that only 106 people ran the marathon, and there were just 500 people for all events (marathon, half marathon, 10k, & 5k). I can say with all honestly I think we were able to cheer for EVERY person who did an event, sometimes multiple times because of the turnarounds. How awesome.

As we waited around the 18.5 mile marker, Alisyn came by, flying like an eagle & looking great, but Courtney and I had a hard time keeping up. We've both been pretty burned out lately, so we took the route back easily, just chatting and enjoying the scenery with plenty of walk breaks. It was such a fun morning!

Courtney, me, and the lovely Half Moon Bay.

Half Moon Bay: I love you & might do your half next year, even though I hate your single-track dirt trails.

If you can even begin to wrap your mind around this, HMB was RoadBunner's 29th marathon. Yup. She's run a marathon every year since birth, pretty much. :)

Remember when I raced RoadBunner's boyfriend, E, at the St. Patrick's Day 5k earlier this year? He ran the half marathon and totally kicked ass. Here are the cute couple post-race. (I took this photo with their camera -- can I take some credit?)

Ummm... coolest running picture ever? I think so. Here's Alisyn flying by us near her last turnaround point.

Naomi & RoadBunner show off their bling!

Dennis was featured in the Half Moon Bay Patch for this spectacular water hand-off. And the fact he got a 3-minute marathon PR without trying. (Oh, and he also did the Napa Ragnar Relay last weekend, so he essentially did this tough course on tired legs. Amazing.)

We are sexy, even in foil blankets! (Left to right: Courtney, me, E, Dennis, Katie, Naomi, & RoadBunner. Not pictured: Alisyn. WHERE WAS SHE?)

I'm getting really good at this spectating thing, and I seriously hope to keep it up since I'm having a lot of fun with it! Next up: I'm really hoping to catch my opposite-coast blogger buddy Susan while she runs the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis/St. Paul next weekend!


  1. Talking to boys! Ha - I was actually flirting with the people cleaning the bathrooms to let me into the "secret restroom." Where it was located - I'll never tell! ;)
    I have told you a million times, but you being out there really did lift my spirits!! And I thank you so much!!! It meant so much to me! I <3 you!!!

  2. HAHAHA! REALLY?!?! We were all wondering where you were and what was taking so long. That's AWESOME!!

  3. I love tiny races! Will keep it in mind for next year. :)

  4. Wow! Spectating looks even more fun when you actually see the people you are there to spectate! What a lovely place! I hope you do get to see Susan... what a blast :)

    Congrats to all the runners :)

  5. Yes, sorry, I should have told you guys I needed to change out of my wet clothes. I wasn't thinking to clearly! :(

  6. I found out about this event too late to sign up so I only managed to do the expo with Scott Jurek.
    Congrats to all the runners. I am sure I will be running this next year.

  7. WOOOOO MOBILE SPECTATING!!! I think I've discovered my true gift.

    So much fun!

  8. I'm adding this one to mental list of possibilities, especially BECAUSE OF the trails! Unless I've gone and moved to the moon by next September.

  9. Looks like you all had a fun day! Maybe spectating is just what I need for some good motivation!

  10. Wow, that is an insanely tiny race! No way I could have done the marathon and not mentally lost it with so few people around!

    Isn't the Ritz Carlton grounds awesome? We go there once a year for brunch for my Mom's bday, great times.

    And that pic of Alisyn is crazy, it's like an optical illusion! She definitely needs to frame that one, haha

  11. Hopefully the "spectating" is short lived and you start feeling up to running soon! Since you are one the mend, we will even let you slide on that little outburst of blasphemy - ...even though I hate your single-track dirt trails. We got a little teary-eyed for a minute....

  12. I'm so sad that we didn't get to hang out much afterwards - will have to make up for that! Thank you for coming out - your spectating skills are STELLAR!

  13. um that course map is a HOT MESS!! whew.

  14. You have become a spectating pro! Can I hire you for all my future races?? And maybe join you on your spectating tour? :)

    The marathon course sounds tough with all it's out and backs but the scenery is amazing! I guess that'part of the trade off...?

    I hope you get to see Susan this weekend!