Surf City Half Marathon Race Recap

I ran the Surf City Half Marathon this weekend. Here are the highlights from the race and expo. Scroll to the bottom of this post for links to my running gear.

I’ve run this race nine times now! I knew I’d done this one a lot, but didn’t realize it breaks down to running the full marathon five times and half marathon four times. The half marathon is my favorite race distance, but I’ve picked the full over the half for this race because it’s a fairly flat course, the weather is usually mild, logistics are easy and it’s a local race. But, I’m not in full marathon shape right now (and while the course is flat there’s also an out & back portion in the last few miles that is psychological torture).

I took Diego with me to the expo. It’s in the Huntington Beach parking lot near Main Street, which is a super cute area if you’re not familiar with the area.

Surf City Half Marathon 2023 Race Recap Run Eat Repeat expo
Surf City Half Marathon 2023 Race Recap Run Eat Repeat expo dog

I helped my mom watch my nieces Friday night and most of Saturday. We celebrated my Dad’s birthday, colored, played Guess in 10, watched Zombies 3, went to the park, got mango on a stick…

Basically, I didn’t have time to think about the race until Saturday night when I realized I needed to layout my flat runner for the race. So, I wasn’t as well hydrated or mentally prepared as I like to be, but it was just a half marathon so I wasn’t worried about it.

I was worried about getting to the race though- last time I ran this one Kristin drove (and figured out all the logistics). I made sure to get there extra early in case I was wrong about street closures.

I made one wrong turn though and ended up in a long line into the parking lot.

Luckily, I had plenty of time to spare! But… it felt like I parked MILES away from the start. I figured it was like a lil warm up before the race (because I don’t actually warm up).

Surf City Half Marathon Race Recap and results

I met up with Pam before the race and we tried to pack in hours of catch up super fast because we weren’t planning on running together.

Surf City Half Marathon Race Start Line
Surf City Half Marathon Race Start Line 2023

Around mile 5 Elise found me and we ran together for a few miles. It was fun to chat! I should’ve been able to keep up with her, but at the turn around point I started to fade. I failed on my fueling strategy and sometimes it’s fine, but today it wasn’t.

I assumed they had the same fuel they’ve had in the past (Clif Gels – which I love) so I didn’t bring any with me. Well, they had another gel which would have been fine but I COULDN’T OPEN IT. It was a twist off not a tear away and my hands were cold and sweaty… so I tried for a bit and then tossed it.

Surf City Half Marathon Race Sparkle Skirt

This would have been okay if I had been grabbing electrolytes at the aid stations leading up to this and after… but, my handy dandy future telling machine is in the shop – so I didn’t have this information.

Long story short… I started to slow down and couldn’t pick it up.

Then, I started to get a cramp in my hamstring. The cramp was way up high, under my butt too – something I’ve never felt before, so it scared me. Since it was a new pain and so close to my butt I thought about stopping to stretch, but wasn’t sure how… so I kept going and prayed I could keep it together until the finish. [I think the cramp was caused by some new strength and conditioning exercises I started this week. They’re things that will help in the long run, but I shouldn’t have done so many new moves so close to race day.]

I focused on pumping my arms to help my legs keep going and figured I could stretch out past the finish line. It worked! I finished (not fast or strong, but I finished).

My finish time was 1:52:49, which is an average pace of 8:36 per mile. It’s not a good time for me, but the fuel and cramp thing threw me off my game physically and mentally. I tried to keep control of the mental side of it and was able to KIT (keep it together). This is something I’ve been working on and really believe is the key to running faster, stronger and better. So, it feels good to have things go wrong and not let them takeover your mindset.

Overall: I need to work on my fueling and my hamstrings. I did well with keeping my head in the game when things were going wrong.

Surf City Half Marathon finish time: 1:52:49
Surf City Half Marathon Race Review Medal

The Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon medals have a lil stand on them, so you can stand them up (or hang them like usual). I love that!

What I wore to the half marathon running gear

Running Gear Links:

  1. Adjustable Sports Bra
  2. Wick Wear Tank Top
  3. Low Running Socks
  4. Running Belt
  5. Sparkle Skirt
  6. Long Running Shorts
  7. Running Sunglasses
  8. Garmin Running Watch
  9. Run Eat Repeat Visor

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