Hollywood Half April 6, 2013

We saw this race back in December and thought it would be a great excuse to get away for a break and sunshine in LA.  Adding a second race the next day didn't come about until I found a website listing all the California races and I got over excited.

Saturday April 6

The running Marilyns!
The alarm clock in the room changes to Klingon whenever the alarm is set (luckily we had a trial run the previous day) so we make do with one of the obnoxious alarm settings on Kev's cell.  What a treat to wake up to at 3:45am!  We are staying at the Hollywood Celebrity Hotel which is about 5 mins from the start line and also has a fridge and small kitchen.  Perfect.  We eat fairly early then get organized. It is still dark.  As we head out through the lobby there are runners everywhere, there is a nice sense of a small community heading off into the night.  As we turn onto Highland I can see the spotlights at the start line lighting up the clouds above.

The start area is not nearly as crowded as I expect and I get the chance to meet up with Josh and Lisa from Run It Fast, two awesome ultra runners who inspire me a ton.  Josh is running the 10k in a change from his usual distances, Lisa is running the Half.

After a gorgeous anthem performance by a group from Hollywood High School, the race starts at 6am. The waves move forward smoothly until we are at the line and heading off down Hollywood Boulevard.  There are high school bands and drums early on, I am so impressed with these kids getting up to support us.  I can't believe how warm and pleasant it feels to run.

The sun gradually rises behind the cloud cover, giving me a better opportunity to watch out for costumes.  How can anyone run with a surfboard?   I can see the 10k runners passing me on the right and look out for Josh.  Sure enough, he comes pelting past me and I yell at him.  He will place 13th overall and win his age group.

I am running at a good pace until 6k when my calf tightens up and I have to stop to beat the crap out of it to loosen it up.  I am right by a band and the sweetest lady comes running over with water to help me out. I head off again but I have to slow my pace.  Shortly after, we turn left to run up by the side of Silver Lake Reservoir, it is fairly steep and somehow this helps my leg out.  A running banana passes me.

We turn around shortly after a giant Clif Shot inflatable at 6 miles and head back down the hill.  It is quite grey now and still comfortably warm.  There is a haze over the distant scenery.  We continue down Sunset Boulevard until the next turnaround at 9 miles.  I see a few Marilyns, people carrying heavy things (one guy has a barrel?), and Superman Jesus.

Soon we are crossing over the Hollywood Freeway which means a nice refreshing breeze and less than a mile to the finish.  I see Josh to the side cheering me on, I think that's the first time that's ever happened in a race for me.  It gives me a huge lift and I speed up to run down Vine and onto the red carpet stretching to the finish line.  Superman gives me a shiny new medal.  Seriously, this guy looks incredible.

I finish in 2:24:29.  Kev finishes in 1:48:18 a PB by 39 seconds.  I am happy, my goal was the lower 2:20's and I made it.

Even better, we get a chance to meet up with Lisa and Josh again and another RIF member, Heather.  She missed the photos!

We has the medals

The sun just starts to come through, it is going to be another beautiful day.  We take the scenic route back to the hotel and have a ball playing outside the Chinese Theater.

Sparkly new bling.


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