Santa Monica Classic 10K
Another 10K is in the books! On Patriot's Day I endeavored to run another 10K, this time in Santa Monica. I was fortunate enough to convince quite a large group to come out and run it with me. I had friends from medical school, undergrad, and even high school all come together to run this race!
Since same-day bib pickup was available I decided to take advantage of that to avoid two long trips to Santa Monica. With very little traffic on the way and easy parking we arrived on scene around 715am. I believe parking was $10 at the start (which is where we parked) while the parking structures near the finish were charging an hourly rate. Santa Monica was determined to make their money, race or no. Bib pickup was simple enough, and the rest of the time up until the race was spent gathering my troops and chatting off pre-race jitters.
The 8:30am start time had come and we were off! For the first time ever in a race I attempted to run with my phone because it was a point-to-point race without a bag check. I wanted to make sure I would be able to take some post-race pictures and be able to call people should my group get separated. Although I had made a playlist on Tidal the night before, I forgot to download it to my phone so I could not get any music to play for the first five minutes or so of the race due to lack of service. Ughhhh whyyyy I need my tunes! Eventually I got it working, but the fumbling definitely cost me some time. I have an iPhone 6 Plus which is incredibly bulky and I hate running with it. I tried placing it in an armband but it felt heavy and barely fit in the sleeve with the Otter Box case intact (and there's no way I'm taking that thing off every time I want to run). So during the race I opted to run with my phone in my fanny pack which was better than the armband but still not a great option. Besides my phone/music snafoos the start was pretty packed and I probably spent at least 1.5 miles weaving through people if not more. I tried my best to keep up with some of my faster friends, but I was never able to get into a good groove at a PR pace so I stuck to a slower pace. There was about a mile-long steady incline on San Vincente Blvd that forced me out of any chance of hitting a PR. It was somewhat nice running a familiar path from back in my USC Marathon Team running days. Although the stretch on Ocean Ave. seemed forever long, I finally made it to the finish line with a final time of 50:42 (8:09 min/mile pace). Honestly, I was pretty disappointed in my performance given my PR is 46:28 (7:30 min/mile pace). Although I did PR on a flat course with multiple fast downhills. I attribute my time to subpar training since the race conditions (weather, relatively flat course) were pretty nice. Despite being disappointed in my performance it still felt really good to be doing another race, particularly in the beautiful Santa Monica.
I really enjoyed the post-race festival! They were handing out the race t-shirts (which I love), produce, Cliff Bars, coconut milk, etc. My friends and I took a few sweaty photos with our gorgeous, well-earned medals. I even got a picture with Meb Keflezighi! YES FRIGGIN MEB!! The same guy I watched win the Boston Marathon in 2014! Later on in the day he was signing autographs at the Sketchers stores, but I unfortunately I had to head back to the IE.
All in all it was a great race, and I would highly recommend it as a 10K (or 5K) option for runners in the Los Angeles area!