Friday, October 19, 2012

Agoura Hills 10 Miler race report

Submitted by Heather Stewart @captainstewie

There are some races you plan for.  You wait for registration to open.  You spend money you really shouldn’t on. The Agoura RAD (Reyes Adobe Days) 10 Miler on October 6 was not one of them. Two different people sent me coupons, so we signed up. This was perfect timing since it would be one week before my highly-anticipated Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. 10 Miles is a great last training run! So, I signed up.  Last June.

Sue, Sara, Me, Staci
But time flies by quickly and here it was race weekend. And what a busy weekend it was… You see, I got some Jason Mraz concert tickets for the night before. And my friend that I hadn’t seen in 7 years was coming out to visit. Luckily she’s a runner.

The morning of the race came too quickly.  Having gone to bed about 1am, I knew I would be overtired. I had to pick Sara, my out-of-town guest, up at her hotel at 4:45am.  This means my alarms started going off at 3:45am (YES, I’m one of those dreaded snoozers!) I picked up some coffee, picked up Sara and then went to grab Sue and Staci. The four of us would be running together this morning.
This was a point to point race, so figuring out the best place to park, which shuttle to take and how not to get caught in the post-race/parade traffic was daunting for us pre-dawn.  But, we figured it out. We found street parking near the festival and went to the shuttle stop.

The race started at an elementary school, so when big yellow school buses arrived we felt confident! Yeah, not so much. We were in the first bus. And it got lost in the 1.25 mile trip to the starting line.  AND the other FOUR buses followed it.  So these enormous school buses are making 3 point turns in tiny neighborhoods as the people on the bus, who are from Agoura, are yelling the directions at our driver…

We made it there and picked up our bibs.  And were told that there was no place to use the restroom. The porta-potties had not been delivered… I don’t know about you, but I get nervous and have to pee before EVERY race, so this was scary! We decided we would use the porta-potties on the course if needed and left it at that…except Sara couldn’t wait. So there was ONE porta-potty that must have belonged to the school. It was behind a gate and was about 15 feet from us and people were walking the long way around to get to it. However, time was dwindling and Sara had to go…so she spider-monkeyed up and over the fence and back! About 1 minute after she got back the race announcer said the porta-potties had arrived and they were going to start late so that everyone had a chance to go. I used this opportunity to “get rid of my nerves”!

The race started about 30 minutes late. As per usual I was at the back of the pack, but I felt good. I kept up a good pace and set myself up to do intervals (starting marathon training early!) I was going to run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute…unless my body said to do something else. I kept at about a 12 minute mile for the whole race.  It had rolling hills, but the hardest were near the end (miles 8-9.5). I walked the most I’ve ever walked in a race, but my pace was very strong for me…so I was excited!

The course was beautiful. First through the beautiful neighborhoods in Agoura, then across the highway and into the canyons that separate the San Fernando Valley from the Pacific Ocean. It finished in the famous Paramount Ranch Western Town where many westerns and the TV show MASH were filmed. As I turned into the ranch I noticed a very very long line for the outgoing shuttle buses. Knowing we had to be on one, I was hoping to see my friends to yell at them to get in line! Alas, they were being good friends and planning to cheer me on through the finish…one problem…they estimated the time wrong. So I finished, walked to get water and an orange and they didn’t see me until I was right up to them.

They had done AWESOME!!!
Sara  1:24:47 (whew she’s faaaasssstttt)
Sue  1:43:13
Staci  1:56:41
Me  2:04:20

Then we got in the shuttle line. More than an hour later we were on a smelly school bus headed back to the car! We waited so long for a bus in the hot sun that people were passing out in line. They definitely needed MORE buses… it made us all grumpy for our finish line treats…free beer and pancakes. BUT, the lines for those were sooooo long, we opted out and went out to eat.

Overall it was a great race. The course was challenging and beautiful. The energy of the people at the aid stations and fun signs along the route were great.  The t-shirt (long sleeved tech) is super nice!
I would totally do this again (with a coupon…)

I was sad that we didn’t get medals at the end…don’t they know how much we runners love bling?

On Saturday October 6, I…
Ran 1st for me. This was a great way to train for my half marathon this weekend.
Ran 2nd for my family. Having old and new friends together was awesome!
Ran 3rd for Diane, elephants, giraffes and black-footed ferrets, not judging by appearances and kids with chronic epileptic seizures.

Tried to run with an unlaminated index card with the dedications!

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