The day did not start out well. Between the two of us, Val and I got 6 hours of sleep and I got 80% more than she did! When the alarm went off, my strategy was that I would stay put unless she got up first. There would be no repeated wake up calls from me on this morning. There was a moment where we both looked at each and thought going back to bed would be the best choice.
When we went to open the garage, it jammed and I barely squeezed inside to disconnect the garage opener from the chain and noticed the broken spring on one of the doors. We got the car out and off we drove to Santa Monica on empty 405 and 10 freeways for the Santa Monica Classic, a 5 & 10K race to benefit “Heal the Bay” which I suppose sounds better than “Clean Up Your Crap Day”.
In spite of sleep deprivation, Val was ready to go and all her systems were “green light”.
The race had a simple course. It essentially was a long rectangular route that the race organizers managed to screw up at the turnaround point, which was, according to most accounts under-marked and unmanned. As I arrived at the finish line at 21:30 no one was yet crossing. Most of the runners made the turn considerably further up than they were supposed to, so their times were understandably slower. According to Val’s GPS-enabled heart rate monitor, her 3.1 mile race turned into a 3.81 miles instead. Some people apparently did turn at the right place and that infuriated Val and others who thought those runners were cheating!
No matter though, Val placed third in her age division, 100th overall, running 6:56 minute miles and felt strong throughout.
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The weather was perfect for running…cool and overcast.
I got a mini workout in after the start. I had to run to the finish line in order to get there ahead of the runners. As it turned out, the longer distance they ended up traversing bought me some more time.
Nike was the primary sponsor of the Classic and all finishers got a free pair of $12 socks. (They are a left foot-right foot pair that some elite runner favor). Yeah, um, uh huh…$12 socks…One sock actually costs more than a Starbucks drink!! Another sponsor was a Swedish water company, Volvic, who probably has spent millions over the years marketing the purity and uniqueness of their water only to offer a badly-flavored water. Who thinks flavored water is really a good idea? Makes my head itch. Then, there is Caribou Coffee as a sponsor, but nowhere to be found before, during or after the race offering and marketing their product. At a race last year, Val got a coupon from Peet’s Coffee for a free bag of their product. Marketing works!
It was kind of an offbeat morning, one which you might expect if Venice Beach is involved, where we enjoyed a post-race breakfast at The Rose Cafe. After breakfast, we went to the famous and original Gold’s Gym, “The Mecca of Bodybuilding”, where we chatted with a trainer who specializes in coaching the Olympic lifts and kettlebells.
Val is back! She didn’t expect to place, but what was really encouraging was her sub-seven minute pace and no pain from her previous injury. Her road racing season is on! Here are some more pictures.