What a way to kick off the Easter weekend, by running the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon and conquering its killer hill at the end.
Jason before the Hollywood Half Marathon at Universal Studios HollywoodWe allowed extra time for parking after complaints about race packet pick-up the Expo yesterday (fortunately I'd opted to have mine mailed to me for the same cost of parking at Universal Studios days earlier), but luckily our arrival was mostly pain free.
Having fun before the race (I always feel sorry for all the ladies
who have to queue for even longer for the loos)even though this was the first year of the Hollywood Half Marathon I didn't think it was very well organized. Information about getting to the start, parking and road closures was complicated and unclear, plus the day before the website wasn't functioning properly.
Signage at the event was bad to nonexistent and this morning you had to put yourself into the corral suitable to your pace and expected finish time (I know for a fact this did not happen), but it all felt very disorganized.
Down the hill for the sprint to the Finish Lineseveral people tripped over the material on the floor covering the chip timing equipment (most other races have used metal plates to help avoid this).
Not that much of a surprise given the route, but the race course was especially hard. You started off running downhill so your legs didn't really get a chance to warm up and I was being cautious to avoid too many heel strikes and any early injury. Sadly a downhill start also meant a ferocious never-ending uphill struggle for the last two miles - what were they thinking?
Charlie caught me on camera for the last sprintThe course was tough, but it was also a bit uninspiring. It's always amazing to run along empty streets which are usually bustling with traffic, but with a 6am start there were hardly any spectators along the course to provide encouragement.
I also had a hard time seeing any of the mile markers along the 13.1 mile course too.
much more infamous Hollywood landmarks than those in the neighbourhoods we ran through.
Sorry to moan so much, but it was just a bit disappointing, no cheerleaders to lift your spirits and not many of those homemade signs from friends and family with words of encouragement.
With medal after finishing the raceSeeing those familiar faces and recognisable red shirts along the course really raised my spirits and gave me a much needed boost.
One last photo at Universal Studios before heading back to the car
(and home to pup)I finished around 1:42:30, not my best time ever for a half marathon, but a great result considering that demon hill at the end before the finish.
So that's my fifth half marathon in the bag. next on the agenda is the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July. I'd better start practicing my hill running now...