This is the second time we have run the Encinitas Half. I decided to sign Sean & I up in early February.
We enjoyed last years race but this year they made a few changes including running the course backwards and eliminating the crazy steep hill that we went up and down last year.
Sean had to do trail work on the Saturday before the race for AC100 so I went up to Carlsbad, did a fun silent Orange Theory workout with the Carlsbad Lululemon. It was a blast! I had so much fun.
Afterwards I headed over to pick up our packets. They moved the packet pick-up to a new location, a community center. There was definitely more parking so that was nice but I personally preferred the outdoor expo we went to last year. There were maybe a half dozen vendors? Nothing that interested me so I just grabbed our bibs & swag. They allow you to pick up for other runners with their bib number & a photo of their ID.
You could also pick up your packet on race morning but they charge you an extra $20 for that so, we didn’t do that.
Sean didn’t get home until pretty late on Saturday night so we got our gear out & then headed to bed.
The next morning we got up pretty early because the race started at 7:30a and we had at least a 45 min drive. We started up to the race and hit a dead stop on the freeway about 10 minutes later. Not a good sign but fortunately it cleared up pretty quickly & we were on our way again.
We got up to the race area & headed to the dirt lot we parked in last year. There was a car in front of us that decided to turn around after starting up so I got out of the car and guided Sean up around the rutted areas & my little Prius C made it ;). It’s been in quite a few tricky spots over the years lol.
Behind us was our friend Jonathan so we chatted with him and his wife for a while before heading over to the start. It was a little chilly out but we didn’t know if they were doing drop bags or not so we didn’t want to run with extra stuff if there weren’t drop bags.
We got over to the port-a-potties, which was a bit of a cluster, but we managed to get in pretty quickly and then realized that Sean forgot his bib because I had it on my side of the car. So I walked back to get it for him.
By this time it was time to get into our corrals. It was a bit more disorganized than I remember from last year. With both the 5k & 1/2 marathon starting around the same time there were a lot of runners hanging out. I tried to make my way to what I thought was the 2nd wave, but there were no wave signs just pace groups which seemed to help a little but it was really crowded. I jumped in and just stayed put.
They started the National Anthem but it was really low so there were a lot of people talking. Then they started the runners off! The first wave went and since they didn’t have anyone separating the waves, people just kept moving until finally one of the announcers, Rudy, started yelling no more runners, no more runners just Team Hoyt! It was crazy! I was still a bit of a way back from the front so I was just chilling.
We finally got started and it was quite crowded, in fact the whole race felt a lot more crowded than I remembered from last year. But I settled in and just ran. I was enjoying the beautiful views, this course runs next to the ocean for a good portion of the course. We cheered on the lead runners, I watched for friends and cheered them on. It was a beautiful day and it started getting hot pretty quickly.
I just took it pretty easy and did my best to keep running up and down the hills, I took a few walk breaks but not many.
I finally got up the final hill and on to the final out and back. It went up by Sean’s uncle’s house so even thought I didn’t think he would be around, I looked for him ;). I saw a fellow radrabbit, one of my fellow run Arete teammates, Jonathan & then Sean. Another friend saw me & I waved back.
I hit the turn around and headed back to the finish. As we were running back, I see a guy bend down and stop to pick a poppy from the median, I yelled don’t pick the poppies but it was too late, he had headphones in and didn’t hear me. Not cool dude, not cool.
We ran under the Encinitas sign and then headed to the finish. I was getting kind of hungry by this point so I just tried to get in as quick as I could. I heard Sean call my name and then it was over!
Half marathon 56 complete! I think I did about 2:08 which was 2 minutes faster than San Diego Half so that was a good thing. I felt tired but good the majority of the race.
After the race I ate a half of a banana, got a bottle or box of water & we had a kombucha sample before we headed back to the car.
The medal was pretty, although I thought it was interesting that it seemed like the 5k got the same size medal.
We didn’t stick around for any of the post race activities this year, we headed to Plant Power for lunch and then on to The Carlsbad Flower Fields to check them out.
I liked the reverse course, but honestly it didn’t really matter to me, I just liked that we didn’t have to run up/down the super steep hill.
I did feel like the course was a lot tighter this year though, people seemed to be a lot closer together on the course and the turn-arounds were quite tight.
All in all, it’s a beautiful course & depending on our schedule I’d probably run it again.
Do you run races that you don’t have to travel for?