On Sunday I ran the inaugural U-T California 10/20 Race. The concept is 10 miles, 20 bands, along the three coastal cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas (Cardiff).

The morning started off less than ideal. I kept waking up, fearing that I had overslept. When I finally got up, I didn’t feel like racing. My calves were tight and my heel was hurting. Also, saying that I’m not a morning person is an understatement…

Around 6:15 I picked up my “bossociate” (boss/associate) and by 6:30am we had seamlessly arrived and parked at the race (located at the Del Mar Fairgrounds). There were ample bathrooms, and I even christened a porta-potty. How many times can you say that??? Nothing like breaking the seal on the toilet paper and peeing into the visible blue water pit.

By 7:20am we had lined up in the corrals. By this time I was kind of wishing I ate more than just a Quest Bar but now it was too late. The national anthem started playing and I couldn’t tell if it was live or pre-recorded. I got my answer when it accidentally switched off onto some rock music. The announcer improvised nicely and sang the last few verses of the song.

At 7:30am the elite runners were off followed by Team Hoyt. I was in corral 1 and we were about to be sent off in 30 seconds when the Del Mar Racetrack “Turf Meets The Surf” song started playing. It seemed to take forever, but we were finally off.

The course was different than I thought. The first mile ran through the “stable-boy housing” which was a little muddy and pretty desolate. Then we exited the Fairgrounds, and went out a certain distance before we turned back around. I liked running out and back because seeing other people gave me a little bit more motivation. The rest was just running on the 101 (coast highway), but it was so cool to have the entire road closed off.

I was hoping the 5 mile turn-around would be at the Cardiff Kook statue, to avoid the second incline that followed, but no such luck. I was also dreading the hill back into Solana Beach.  I started to get a little bit of a runner’s high at this point, but just tried to embrace it.

At mile 7 I realized the significance between running a 10-miler and a half marathon. It’s the difference between running 3 more miles, or having 6 more miles to go.  It was a little disconcerting to run by people when I was at mile 8 that were already walking at mile 3.  There was a definite lack of energy compared to the first turn around point.

With 1.5 miles to go, I saw my coach and he told me to stretch it out during the downhill and finish strong. I was so thankful to learn a downhill was coming.  It definitely put me in a better state mentally.  We finished through the stable area again, so I was careful to watch my footing and make sure I didn’t slip.

I ended up with 1:17:29 as my final time (7:45 pace), 9th in my age group, 70th female and 227 out of 3,237 total.


I also ran into Lauren and Heather who just completed their first 10 mile/long distance race!  It was a great morning for everyone, a lot of fun, and like I said, it got me pumped for the rest of the day!

Splits according to my Garmin:
1 – 7:34
2 – 7:41
3 – 7:51
4 – 7:29
5 – 7:45
6 – 7:39
7 – 8:06
8 – 8:02
9 – 7:24
10 – 7:04
Last .15 – 0:54

February – Thing One: Race a new distance
See: Three Things – February

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