After running the Rose Bowl Half, I decided that I should try to do another one before NYC & I knew that Long Beach was around that time. Of course I had to go to Nashville for work that week so I didn’t know what kind of race I would have.
I have never run the Long Beach Half and I only knew that it can be pretty hot and it was supposed to be pretty flat. They have a bunch of races, 5k, half marathon, marathon & a bike tour.
I think I paid $119 + fees and was able to get a small discount using an ambassador code.
We drove up on Saturday around noonish after a lunch and treats from Maya’s Cookies (a great place for vegan ice cream & cookies). We had to go and pick up the bibs before 4pm. We were lucky to leave when we did because it took a bit longer than expected to get up there with all the traffic.
We parked at the hotel, we stayed at the Renaissance that was just a few blocks from the start/finish. Then we walked over to the Convention Center to get our bibs. Once we got there, it wasn’t 100% clear where the actual expo was. We found a bunch of other runners who told us that the expo was somewhere else so we and those runners all followed a security guard around to get to the expo. There was absolutely no signage whatsoever as to where to go which in my opinion is a total fail.
Fortunately, we made it in plenty of time to get our bibs. Before the race we were sent an email where we could preregister for CrowdPass, an app that LA County is using where you can share vaccination status for a large event with over 10,000 attendees. Both Sean & I pre-registered so we showed our QR codes and got verified wrist bands.
You didn’t have to be vaccinated to run, but if you weren’t you needed to show a negative test result.
Once we got our wristbands, we headed to get our bibs, which were all the way at the end of the expo. Got them, then I got my race shirt, they were out of Sean’s size and they told him they could mail him one but he declined.
After the expo, we just rested, I got my flat Jenny photo done, organized my stuff and then ordered dinner.
We ordered pizza from California Pizza Kitchen. Unfortunately veganizing their pizza isn’t the best because it’s like a cracker. But we ate it and then just watched some TV. I think I fell asleep pretty early because I was still exhausted from Nashville.
The half started at 7am and the full at 6am. I set my alarm for 5:30a so I could snooze a time or two before getting ready. Since it was so close, I wasn’t going to go over with Sean. At 5:30a my alarm went off and I realized Sean was still in bed. I thought he just fell back to sleep but he actually had a really bad headache and wasn’t even going to run.
So at around 6a I got up, got ready and then headed over to the start around 6:30.
I forgot to get food but it was ok because I got there with just a few minutes to spare. It was a nice morning, not too hot and not too cold, I was pretty comfortable in shorts & a crop top.
The course was nice, I enjoyed it. A little bit of road to start then we went over a bridge, came down near the Queen Mary, we did a little loop, and then went back up & over the bridge.
A little more road & then did a few miles on a path before we made it to the beach path. We did pass near the finish line at one point – I can’t remember what mile that was but maybe 7/8? Once we got to the end of the beach path we did a little turn and got back onto road for the last 3ish miles.
My race, well, I started out with some discomfort in my glutes & hamstrings so I just started slowly. I felt decent, I ran the majority of the first 10 miles with only a slight bit of chafing around my underarm. I used my anti-chafe stuff on my legs, but I didn’t think to put it on my arms so note to self for the next race.
I had a weird issue in my shoe where my insole moved so that the toe portion moved under the ball of my foot. I pulled over and moved it back only for it to move again pretty quickly so I made a choice to suck it up and just deal with it. Good thing too because within a few minutes I got a phone call from someone at work who had an issue with a rental car. I thought it would be done quickly but unfortunately it took quite a bit longer than I expected.
I ended up walking a bit more than I would have liked between mile 10 -11.5 but it is what it is. I finished strong in the last mile and I know I could have run about 10 minutes faster without the phone call.
I got my medal, a bottle of Qure water and a banana then walked back to the hotel. Overall it was a good race & I would run it again.