Long Beach Half Marathon 2008

Long Beach Half Marathon

October 12, 2008

View from hotel
This is the view from our tenth floor room at the Westin Long Beach Hotel. We were right across the street from the Convention Center.
ready to go
I got up at 5:30 am, after a sleepless night, to get ready for the race. Mom took my picture just before I left to find the starting line at about 6:45.
I hadn’t figured out exactly where the Start Line would be, but I figured I’d just follow the crowds. We crossed the street and headed past the fountains at the Convention Center.
corral c
Turns out, the starting line was right behind the Convention Center! Here, we gathered in our “corrals” to await the start. Being a smaller race, there were only four corrals. Corral C was for half-marathoners expecting to finish in 2.5 to 3.5 hours, and Corral D was for half-marathoners expecting to finish in 3.5 hours or more. Since I was right on the dividing line at 3.5 hours, I lined up at the back of Corral C.
the race begins
And we’re off! It only took me about five or six minutes to cross the Start Line, unlike Honolulu, where it can be a good 20 minutes before the back-of-the-pack runners get to the start.
ferris wheel
We passed this Borders bookstore, with a ferris wheel in front.
Shoreline Drive
And continued on Shoreline Drive.
circling the park
At the end of Shoreline Drive, we curved around this little park and circled back.
Queen's Way Bridge
Next, we crossed Queen’s Way Bridge heading out towards the Queen Mary.
Harbor Scenic Drive
And came back up Harbor Scenic Drive, coming up on Mile 4.
crossing the bridge
At the end of Harbor Scenic Drive, we crossed another bridge to lead us to Ocean Boulevard.
runners below
As we crossed the bridge, we could see the runners still on Shoreline Drive below us.
mile 5
Nearing Mile 5, we’re curving around towards Rainbow Harbor.
We passed this little park.
And then we ran along the harbor.
running and walking
Most of the racers around me were also doing intervals of running and walking. I used a 1:2 minute run/walk ratio, which worked pretty well in letting me keep up a good pace while not getting too tired.
Aquarium of the Pacific
We passed behind the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Murder Mystery Dinner Tour
This steamboat has a restaurant and does harbor tours. They were advertising a “Murder Mystery Dinner Tour.”
There was a little lighthouse on the shore.
mystery building
I don’t know what this building was, but it was pretty!
mile 6
Mile 6! Nearly half done! We’re now leaving the Rainbow Harbor and entering Downtown Shoreline Marina.
round building
More or less back where we started, we ran behind the Convention Center and this big round building, painted blue with whales on it. It was a landmark for me—on the other side and across the street was our hotel. The race course was very twisty and confusing—I rarely had any idea where I was.
running along the beach
Past the marina, we ran along this beach bike path. It was beautiful, with the sand and the ocean to our right, and the city to our left.
painted building
I don’t know what this structure was, maybe some kind of pump house? In any case, it was painted very prettily.
running along the beach
We ran along the beach for about three and a half miles.
mile 9
Here’s Mile 9! Only 4.1 miles to go!
Ocean Boulevard
Just before Mile 10, the path ended, curving around to join Ocean Boulevard. Now we’re in the home stretch, heading back to where we started from.
full and half marathon split
Between Mile 10 and Mile 11, the race splits. The full marathoners head off to the right, to run another 13 miles through the city, while we half marathoners stayed to the left, continuing on Ocean Boulevard.
full and half marathon rejoin
The full marathoners soon rejoined us. Now we were being passed on the right by runners who would finish the full marathon before we’d finish the half!
pretty houses
There were some beautiful houses along Ocean Boulevard. I bet that’s some expensive real estate!
mile 25 for full marathon
There’s the 25-mile marker for the full marathoners! For us half marathoners, it’s almost mile 12.
finish line
Just after the 26-mile marker, we turned left down Shoreline Drive. With only two tenths of a mile to go, I decided to run the rest of the way. There’s the finish line ahead!
I picked up my Finisher’s Medal and a bottle of water and walked around the finish area for a bit. My unofficial finishing time was 3:24:01. I was very pleased to have broken 3:30.
Then it was back to the hotel.
My mom was waiting for me outside.
Here I am, in front of the hotel, with my finisher’s medal.
After a rest and a shower, we went out to lunch, then visited the Aquarium of the Pacific. All marathon runners got in free! It was nice to run a half marathon for a change, finish in less than three and a half hours and still have time and energy for sightseeing in the afternoon! I’ll have to do this again!