Thursday, April 14, 2011

Marathon 11 - Check... (Seriously... I just typed marathon eleven...)

I had the most amazing week last week.  Actually amazing doesn't quite cover it.  I'll do my best though...

In the last episode we may remember that I was stressing about my the lack of vitality bars in my game of life...

Well what better way to recharge than on the coastal trails of Half Moon Bay...

Yes, these are shots from my very own iPhone.  Not copy and pasted from google...  I was lucky enough to spend a couple days in Half Moon Bay with my husband and those were the views during my morning jog.  I know.  Breathtaking.  I loved every minute of it.  And there's definitely something to training in elevation.  My running at sea level felt wonderful.  Not necessarily faster, but easier.

I had lots of extra time to rest and relax last week and I think it really made a big difference.  Blah, blah, blah though, right?  On to race day...

Skyline to Sea Marathon!!!

Race morning most of the runners met up at this drop off...  Beautiful ocean sunrise.  They then bussed us up to the start of the race... the skyline...

We were literally on the highway and to the left of all these runners is where we just cut in on a trail and started running!  Kinda crazy...  It was mostly single track so the first few miles, while extremely beautiful, were painfully slow.

But really, who can complain about this...

The view from one of the high points that we peeked out on...

I was literally in heaven.  We all know how much I LOVE trail running, but this was just gorgeous.  The weather was perfect that day.  Clear and probably in the 50's.  Lots of cover from the trees so you never felt hot but never felt cold.  I felt pretty solid through the majority of the race.  There were two long incline sections that were over a mile in distance each that really took some extra time to conquer, but the downhill navigating was a blast.  Hopping across streams, over logs, dodging rocks and handling switchbacks...  aaahhh.... loved it.  I will admit that I almost ate the trail three different times.  Sometimes those tree roots just come up and grab ya... 

Through the last three miles the downhills, as well as the coca cola I drank at all the aid stations, took a toll on my insides.  I slowed down quite a bit at the end, but really, what else is new... : )

Throughout the entire race we were running through redwoods.  Lots of them had fallen over the trail and sections had been sawed out so that hikers/runners could pass through.  Tons of moss covered trees and little waterfalls, streams and soft trails to run through. 

I was waiting for Orlando Bloom's father to come out of that tree root... like in Pirate's of the Carribean...  That tree root is bigger than my Ford Explorer!

At the finish we came out to this open grassy field and as you look west you have the ocean view...

An amazing day.  I finished in 5:22 Garmin time... 5:23 official (I started at the back of the pack - no chip timing...)  Finished right in the middle of the bunch, 33 out of 69 marathoners.  It should be noted that 150 runners completed a 50K that day!  Good on ya 50k'ers!  And the marathon winner was a woman!!  I think her finish time was 3:39!  So awesome!  There's always a couple sections you wish you would have taken faster but overall I was happy with my time and loved, loved, loved this race. 

I will say though, you always want the honest opinion, right?... This race was extremely similar to Napa Valley Trail Marathon that I did back in October.  And if I HAD to choose I think I'd choose Napa.  Both are amazing, but I just remember Napa being so much greener.  I don't know.  I'm pretty loopy these days.  My memory fades.  However, I will definitely be back to Skyline to Sea.  Have I said yet how much I loved it?

As my sister and I headed out to the car after the race we watched about 50 parasailing surfers.  So cool.

Few more tidbits to come... but really?  Seriously?  #11 Done.  Holy Crap.


  1. #11 done and over! WOW!
    It sounds like you had an amazing time - and from the pictures - NO WONDER!

  2. Congrats on #11 Dawn! this is great!
    beautiful pictures! looks like this was a really nice place for a race!

  3. YAY, you got your RR up :). I was stalking you on the results but somehow missed you.

    Congratulations on #11, on a race I so badly wanted to do since last October. Maybe, HOPEFULLY, next year we can run it together!!

    Your pictures are gorgeous - thanks for sharing them!

  4. Lovely pictures, looks like a lot of fun! Great job. Only one more to go!! Has anyone told you lately that you are amazing?!

  5. It all looks awesome to me. Great job and wowzer pictures.

  6. Well done, and I love your pictures. My husband and I spent two nights in Half Moon Bay during our honeymoon week and I remember it being absolutely gorgeous. That course looks beautiful!

  7. Great trip, beautiful weather, fantastic course, solid race ... you certainly deserved a drama-free outing. Almost up to a dozen. You are my hero.

  8. Dawn, you are a machine. You amaze me! GREAT job on #11! You always find such great races. Someday I hope I can do this one too. ;-)

  9. Congrats on 11!
    What a great getaway for you and your husband
    seems just what you needed?! Spectacular shots, and sounds like a really fun run thru trail hopping over logs and across streams on your way to 26.2
    way to go!


  10. Well done on finishing another marathon! What a special marathon! I would love to do this one day. Maybe you’ll be back for the 50k…?

  11. Woohoo! 11 down, 1 to go! How amazing are you :) So glad you enjoyed this race...Congratulations Dawn!

  12. YOu are awesome. But did you go with your sister and Jay and were you there ALLl week long for the R&R. whats up??

  13. See, I told you it would be great without us. Remember, not my fault. Looks amazing. Reading that post was like my punishment. No wait, it wasn't my fault, remember?

    Soon Dawn will be doing some BQ training, I think.

  14. You rocked it sista.
    Loved the RR
    Loved the face like tree. Very cool...
    .... What's cooler?!

    D o n e.

    You. Are. Freaking. Awesome.

  15. Congrats!!! #11-CHECK! SO amazaing! I'm inspired every time I read about your thanks!