Posted by Lauren

A new race to add to the books! On Sunday I ran the Santa Rosa [half] Marathon.

From their website:

The primary goal… is to promote and stage a quality, flat, fast, accurate, and festive half and full marathon to be enjoyed by our community, spectators, and all the participants… as they start and finish in picturesque Juilliard Park after looping the entire length of the scenic Santa Rosa Creek Greenway.

I have some positive and negative opinions of this race, but let’s start at the beginning:

Five weeks before the race, participants received an email stating that all three races (full, half, 5k) would start an hour earlier than planned. I appreciated the announcement, but thought the timing was a little too close to the race. Luckily it didn’t affect my plans too much and I know the race directors made the change with the weather in mind.

I woke up at 5:40 am (after pressing snooze a few times) and was out the door 15 minutes later. I was staying with my pal Kyle, who lives only 2 miles from the start line. Lucky! Right?

20130825 194956 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

I parked close to the start line, in the designated mall parking structure, and followed runners to Julliard Park. With about 10 minutes before the 6:30 start, I heard the announcer warn of a 15-minute delay. More time to stretch!

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The gun went off around 6:46 and I felt a good rush of energy for the first……. 5 minutes? HA.

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(I really want to post this recap, but I don’t have the cord to plug in my Garmin. Erg. If I wait, this might never reach the interwebs.)

Mile 1 looped around a portion of downtown Santa Rosa. Mile 2 we entered the Santa Rosa Creek Trail. Mile 6 we cleared the trees and could finally see something unique, but that only lasted 2 miles. Mile 7 we turned around on the creek trail. This is when I mentally wanted the race to be over. Mile 12.5 we re-entered the streets of downtown Santa Rosa. And then it was over. << shortest recap ever.

20130825 195331 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

Other highlights:

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1. HOT AIR BALLOON!!!! I want to go on a HAB ride!

20130825 195109 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

2. Spotted a few vineyards… it only took six miles of boring to get to them. Sheesh.

3. Glimpse of corn fields… reminded me of Illinois and put a smile on my face.

20130825 195121 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

4. Ran through a bubble machine at Mile 11?

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5. The scenic finish line with lots of crowd support!

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6. Free pancakes and coffee for finishers (mmm syrup)

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7. Live music courtesy of Midori & Ezra Boy, a high energy rock band from Santa Rosa. They were really good and mixed a few covers in with their originals on the set list. Plus my friend knows their guitarist from high school.

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8. Beer ticket for one of the best NorCal beers – Lagunitas!

20130825 195238 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

9. A friend at the finish line! Kyle and I hung out until 10:30 and I think he’s convinced to sign up for his first half marathon :) I’m so grateful that he let me crash at his house, went with me to the expo, showed me a cool dinner spot (more on that tomorrow!), and woke up early on Sunday to support me at the finish line! Thanks Kyle!!

20130825 195257 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

10. Incredible race “bling” – a bottle of wine from DeLoach Vineyards, a spinning medal, and a race jacket instead of a tech tee. They go all out in Santa Rosa.

20130825 195406 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013


Garmin Time:

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Official time: 1:48:11 – pace: 8:16

Screen Shot 2013 08 25 at 2.36.05 PM e1377495361901 Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

I loved everything about the race EXPERIENCE, except 70% of the race course. The expo was top notch, the weather was just right on race day, bag drop was a breeze, and everything after the race was perfect (vendors, pancakes, beer garden, live entertainment). The course, however, was a snoozefest. I’m sure the marathoners have something else to say since they spent 13 extra miles on Santa Rosa backstreets; but, for the halfers, 11 miles on a creek trail reminded me of my running routes near home. And that didn’t make it seem “special.” I love exploring new towns, and I wish the course had meandered more though Santa Rosa. If they change the course, I’d be tempted to sign up again. We shall see!

Question: Do you care more about race perks or the course?



2 Responses to Santa Rosa Half Marathon, 2013

  1. Kelli H says:

    Bummer that the course wasn’t pretty! I’m sorry! Though, I don’t particularly think that part of town is very nice. They should have had it out in the country or something. Glad everything else was good about it.
    Kelli H recently posted..Chocolate Espresso MousseMy Profile

  2. Jane says:

    That is a bummer about the course! I was thinking about doing a race in Petaluma next month, but now I am kind of rethinking it. At least you got the bottle of vino to drown your sorrows ;)
    Jane recently posted..Hello 15.My Profile

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