Sunday, August 3, 2014

San Diego Track Club’s 60th Annual Balboa Park 8 & 3 Miler (August 2,2014)

This was the diamond anniversary of the oldest race in San Diego! It is a mixed course of road, sidewalk, trail, and grass, through every corner of Balboa Park. I run here a few times a week but have never quite seen the park like this. Some of the course is marked with flags through grass and dirt areas that I never go to. There were lots of short, steep hills, but plenty of flat areas to recover. It’s a great course, and no wonder why this race has been around for 60 years!

My general game plan was to run comfortably on the flats, steady on the up hills, and fly on the down hills.

Miles 1 and 2 were both sub-7 miles. These were more-or-less flat miles on pavement. So it was a good opportunity to put some time in the bank. (1-6:35; 2-6:48). I started out as the first place female, which was a new experience for me. Never been in the front of the pack! I got passed by a female runner somewhere in mile 2.

Most of miles 3 and 4 were trail miles with some big hills. (3-7:26; 4-7:48). I had kept the one female runner that passed me close. On the first big downhill, she absolutely flew down and gained a lot of distance. But I ended up being able to re-pass her on one of these trail miles. It kept me motivated on the down hills the rest of the race to think of how fast she flew down that first hill!

Miles 5 and part of 6 were mostly pavement again, so I picked up the pace here. (5-6:58; 6-6:54). I stuck with a pack of about 3 or 4 guys during these miles, but passed them all once we got back to the bridle trail hills.

Mile 7 had the major climb of the race – POWDER HILL! I picked up my arm swing and made sure to engage the glutes in the stride. (7-7:41).

Mile 8 was back on pavement, but with a steady climb. When it finally leveled out, I didn’t feel that tired, so I picked up the pace and had a good kick to the finish for first place female (8-7:05; 0.21 overage-5:54).

I stayed for the awards, and collected my trophy – a basket full of ingredients for a pasta dinner. How cute and thoughtful is that?!

58:25 (7:17 average pace)
1st female; 25th overall of 414.

Two Little Runners


  1. Congratulations on your win! And HOW did you get those overhead photographs?!

    1. Private helicopter! ;) There are bridges over the Bridle Trail. It was a very cool race, and I had the best photographer! K

  2. WOW!!! CONGRATS! That looks like one incredibly difficult race. Seriously, a powder hill? That sounds so frustrating. I love reading awesome stories from the front of the pack because I never experience that. If I get passed, I have absolutely no desire to kick it into gear to go and pass them again. I guess I lack that competitiveness that makes good runner good! Ha! Seriously, great job and keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Amy! I've been enjoying your gardening posts. Unfortunately, my tomato plants are not doing as well as yours! K

  3. AWESOME JOB! I did that race once a few years ago and MAN, it was brutal! Congratulations!!