After running 5 races in the last 2 months, we closed out our 2021 race season at the San Diego Holiday Half.
Want to read those recaps? I’ve got a whole series of NYC Marathon recaps here. Then we ran Revel Big Bear. We headed to our local trails for Horsethief Half. Then to the coast for La Jolla Half.
Sean & I have run Holiday Half a few times before. You can read about my first time running this race here.
This year, we signed up back in October, I think we paid around $119 – maybe got a $10/15 discount?
We ran La Jolla Half marathon the week before so we got a special challenge medal for doing both races.
We got our packets at Road Runner on Friday – there was availability for packet pick-up on Thursday & Friday. You could also get your packet on race morning, but I think that cost like $25 (that’s what it cost for La Jolla).
I set my clothes out the night before, I wasn’t sure what I was going to wear initially because it was supposed to be a chilly morning. I ultimately decided to go with my super soft & comfy Terez Sparkle TLC Leggings. (Want to try Terez? Use my code JENNY15 to save 15%)
The race started at 7:30am, the start line was about 25 minutes from our house so we decided to get up around 5:30/5:45a and then leave around 6:15-6:30a.
We got into the car at 6:30a only to find frost on the windshield & 39 degrees. We dealt with the frost and got on our way.
We saw a beautiful sky on our way up to the race, which was a good sign for great race weather!
By the time we got up to the start line, around 6:50ish, we were still able to get a parking spot in the lot across from the start line.
We did however wait a bit too long to get in line for the porta-a-potties. They only had 25ish portos and there were 1800+ runners so the lines were quite long.
I was able to go drop off our gear check bags, use the porto and get into the corrals in time for Corral 2 (for Sean) and Corral 3 for me.
Not being in the corral when the race starts kind of stresses me out but note to self, get to the race earlier so porto lines are shorter.
In any case it all worked out and I started right when I should have.
And off we went! Thru the start line to the right and up a hill. I saw my friend Richard by the 2:00 hr pace group, said hi and then went back to running my own race. I didn’t take any photos while I was running this week.
The course goes up the hill and then out on to a bike path that follows the 56 freeway for a good portion of the race (I believe around mile 3 – 11). It’s a net downhill race but there are some rollers through out.
I felt decent, only some minor issues like tight glutes & hips that came and when throughout the race. I was still able to maintain decent pace, I averaged 9:15 pace and my slowest mile was 9:39.
I noticed at La Jolla last week that I was dragging my feet so I was really working on picking them up. I kinda have a shuffle style run, I guess from all those trail miles over the years? I don’t know but I dislike hearing shoes scrape the ground and I am the one doing it lately so I’m working on that.
Around mile 5 I took off my long sleeve and ran the rest of the race in my tank top. I don’t normally wear leggings to run in but I was really comfortable today and didn’t feel overly warm.
At mile 8 the path takes us through a neighborhood and then through a wooded area with a trail next to the path and horses. I really like this section, but it is a little cooler in this section.
We went up a little hill to the water top at mile 11 and then we were on the road until the finish.
Just like in the past, you do have a little out and back section and then you turn down left to get to the finish.
By that last mile I was like I just want to get to that finish, I was tired of running and just ready to be done. The first part of the last mile felt slightly uphill, but it eventually leveled out. I felt like this last mile just went on forever.
But then next thing I knew there was the turn into the finish. And a minute later I was done!
This is always a good local race, it skews fast & it’s typically cooler. This is my 4th time running this race and today was my fastest time on this course.
The volunteers were great – outside the first aid station that didn’t have enough cups out, the rest were perfect!
I did see a few photographers out there this week.
There were no gels at this race or at La Jolla either, just gatorade at a few aid stations & water at all. I did eat one Muir Energy gel through out the race.
They had bottled water, bananas, granola bars & chocolate milk in the finish shoot. There were a few food trucks in the parking lot but we just did a few photos and then headed to the bus.
There is a 3:15 time limit for this race because they close a ramp off the 5 around mile 11.5. They were pretty strict about saying that if you weren’t at a certain mile by a certain time you would be bused to the finish.
For this race, they did say on the race info that you had to have a mask to ride the bus back to the start. Unlike at La Jolla they didn’t have masks for us when you boarded the bus, instead they gave us a buff in our gear bag. We brought our own masks. I did notice they were stopping people who didn’t have one & making them put their buffs on. I wonder what would have happened if someone didn’t have their buff?
In any case, it was a fun day out there and it’s always nice to finish at Torrey Pines.