Sunday, August 10, 2014

Arroyo Creek Half Marathon - Simi Valley, CA

Checked off race #6 on my 2014 list today. This was also my second half marathon in 2014. I was quite happy with my progress from the shoreline half marathon, that I ran about a month ago. I managed to shave off about 5 mins overall, which is about 25-30 seconds faster per mile -- but, I'm still a good 3 minutes away from the PR I achieved on the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon about 4 years ago (although, that was a downhill and flat race, so maybe I have already? :)

                               Overall Place: 47 out of ~200 Finishers on the HM
                                        Age Group Place: 19
                                        Chip Time: 01:46:10
                                           Avge Pace: 8:00

I was bracing for a hot race given this was not by the coast (was relatively in-land in Simi Valley) and given it was in a hotter month. Luckily though there was a pretty dense fog as I drive to the start line, which cleared up to cloudy skies at the start of the race and to sun after about 3 miles. So it did get into the 70s later but it was "mentally" a cool race to begin with. What was also great was that the race was mostly run alongside a creek (the "Arroyo" creek I guess!) and there were plenty of trees that provided shade ever now and then. The course was fairly flat but there was the periodic climb up and down as you crossed a road or went under it, every couple miles or so. Overall a very nice course (and a good change of scenery from the beach!).

I got to the race with time to spare and so was able to place myself right up front at the 8min pace group. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep it up all through, but I figured I'd at least be able to for a few miles. I started out by running alongside the 1:44 pacer but at about mile 3 she got confused by the route and turned around (while I continued along the path) and then was heckled by a bunch of folks and turned back on the same path as me. So, I was ahead of her for a couple miles when my shoe lace went undone and she passed me. The same shoe lace came off a second time at mile 8 + I probably rested for 30 seconds twice at aid stations --for a total of about 2-3 minutes lost "resting".

All said and done, I feel pretty happy with the progress and the race. I would recommend this course to anyone looking for a new HM in the area.