Its here, its finally here; not only is it my seventh (7th) half marathon, but I am also completing the Beach Cities Challenge, which I have been wanting to complete for six (6) years. I accidentally came across the Beach Cities Challenge during some research I was doing for internships while I was in college obtaining my Bachelor’s degree. I’m very excited to be completing my first Beach Cities Challenge.
Finding parking a short walk from the start line was easy, and fantastic. There was so much positive energy at the start line, everyone was smiling, laughing and having a good time. Our corral took off and the race was on. I ran about half a mile, and for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it. I turned on my iPod and listening to music, that didn’t help either. I saw a Rundalay shirt ahead of me, I ran down the hill and saw it was Nicola! She told me that she was walking the entire half marathon because on an injury. I was so glad to walk with her. We had such a blast.
The first 5k had beautiful ocean views and views of Newport Bay and all the boats. The course was very peaceful and quiet. Usually I love the noise, the people cheering runners, etc. Today, the peace and quiet was just what I was after.
The route took us through a mixture of neighborhoods that had ocean views, and by mile 8 we were taken through most of the neighborhoods in Newport Beach. The neighbors were incredibly awesome, and friendly. They put out fruit, water, gel blocks, water, pretzels, and life saving cheese balls.
I loved the hills through out the route, hills are speed and strength training in disguise. I loved how the finish line was laid out, it was a straight shot down to the finish line. I love that the finish line is at the OC Fairgrounds, plenty of room for everyone to mingle, and hang out. It was a great race, plenty of support through out the route, it was fantastic.
The Beach Cities Challenge:
The Beach Cities Challenge was a wonderful experience, and I’m glad I did it. The medals for all three individual half marathons were great, and the Beach Cities Challenge medal is absolutely gorgeous. I suggest you complete the Beach Cities, you get to race on 3 different beach cities, it truly is an experience. It is also extremely well organized. I suggest that when you’ve registered for your last race, to make sure that the Beach Cities Challenge, does have you down as being qualified. They didn’t have me down as qualified due to not receiving my time for the Surf City half. I sent them an email, and they sent one back that they got my time and fixed the error. The special stamp was not on my bib though, however, that was no problem. I went over to the booth and I politely explained that my time for Surf City was not received in time for the stamp to be printed on my bib. They looked me up, and very quickly, and then said “Congratulations” and handed me my Beach Cities Challenge medal. I was shocked. I had all the times from the races on my phone to show them, and everything. It was not required. A pleasant and wonderful experience.