Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Coronado Rotary Club Low Tide Ride & Stride 8.2 Miles

Just about the time that Penny was "clenching" on Sunday, I was just starting my race--an all beach 8.2 miler, reportedly the longest beachfront race on the Pacific coast.

The race started at YMCA Camp Surf in Imperial Beach, which looks pretty awesome. A bunch of kids were just waking up in tents on the beach when I arrived at the start line. 

Notice the wide beach here. The race was held at low tide, one of the lowest tides of the year, allowing for a wide path of hard packed sand. The route was up the Silver Strand, through the Naval Amphibious Base (normally this part of the beach is closed to the public), in front of the Hotel del Coronado, and finished near Sunset Park in Coronado. 

 As the name implies--Ride & Stride--both cyclists and runners participated. The bikes went first.

And you thought starting lines for RUNNERS are cluster*@&#s. <--Notice in the video the guy at the very front of the line falling down. Cyclists are all very polite, and no one ran him over. What would have happened to a runner that fell down at the start I wonder?

You might also notice in the video a very loud shot fired at the start. The race director warned that there would be a "cannon start." But c'mon, look at the cannon. That thing couldn't make much noise, right? 

Wrong, it was very startling. I jumped both while filming the bike start (amateur, I know) and when it came time for the runner start.

Due to said jumping, I had a fast first mile. Normally my race strategy is to go out fast and try to gut it out til the finish at a fast pace. While it normally works for me, this race was tough, and I had to slow it down by mile 2. Although the sand was hard and compact, it is still a bit softer than pavement, so it takes a little more effort with each step. There was also a headwind the entire race. And finally, the sun made an appearance at the half way point, and really heated things up. 

Still I ran at a decent clip. And I was thrilled with my result. I finished in 55:39 (6:48 average pace). I was the 3rd place female and 12th oveerall of 437 runners. The 1st and 2nd place females, 19 year old twin sisters from Arizona, were fast and set a course record of 52:55 (6:28 average pace). First place male finished in a blistering 43:58 (5:22 average pace), also setting a course record.

This was a very cool race, one of my favorites. Put it on the calendar for next year! 


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