My first race was in November 2008, a flat-course 8K that got me 100% hooked on running and, especially, crossing that finish line.
I have run 40 total races. My favorite distance is the the half-marathon since it’s the longest race you can run without having to give up your life for 4 months, and they (usually) give you a medal. If I died and someone wanted to hold a race honoring my memory (and who wouldn’t want to?), I’d want it to be a half marathon.
13.1 LA Half Marathon, January 16th
This was my second-straight year running the 13.1 LA Half Marathon, and I only ran it again since the first race inspired the rest of my family to join me. My girlfriend, brother, and dad ran the half with me while my sister, cousins, uncle, and a couple of friends ran the 5K.
There are two awesome things about this race: (1) getting to run in warm weather in January and (2) the very first mile that winds down the Venice boardwalk alongside the Pacific Ocean.
I hadn’t worked on any speedwork so I didn’t expect a PR but I did have a personal goal of going under 2 hours. Unfortunately, my IT band flared up around mile 11 and I was forced to slow to a crawl before sprinting the last tenth-mile.
Not going to run it next year; instead, the family is opting to race Surf City USA in Huntington Beach, about which I’ve heard tremendous, positive things.
Chip Time: 2:02:49
NYRR Manhattan Half-Marathon, January 22nd
My recap and video of this race can be found HERE. This race came exactly one week after the 13.1 LA Half and was my first time running since that race due to my IT band injury. I went to a PT the Tuesday following the race and got a cortisone shot, which I believed was a “magic pill” of sorts. It wasn’t.
A week of no stretching and no icing led to more knee pain at mile 8. I had been feeling great during the race even in 14-degree weather and had even been entertaining thoughts of going for a PR, but once I felt that familiar IT band knee pain, I knew my day was done.
I walked for most of the rest of the race but got some light jogging in. I loved the atmosphere of the race, a combination of running with serious NY racers and doing so around a beautiful, snowy Central Park.
Chip Time: 2:02:49
Love the Run You’re With 5K, February 13th
My first 5K distance since an ill-fated, humid-as-fuck Crystal City Twilight in July 2010 came as a result of a couple of things. First, Epod had been looking for a 5K in which she could run under 30 minutes. Second, this was a Valentine’s Day-themed race that would be perfect for us as a couple.
As race day grew close and Epod told me about her improving training runs, I threw down the gauntlet. I told her, “I think you can do better than 30. I think you can go under 28.” She was skeptical but I told her I wouldn’t run ahead, I would instead pace her to a 28-minute race. She agreed.
The race itself — the first of the year for the Pacers series — was well-organized and had some cool shirts. You could also register as a team to indicate your dating status (co-dependent, single, it’s complicated).
The course started slightly uphill out of Pentagon Row but doubled back on itself, which means that when we were starting our kick to the finish line, we’d be going downhill for a burst of speed.
Without her Garmin to tell her the time and only me to guide her, Epod raced her heart out and crossed the finish line out of breath and nearly puking. After a few minutes, crouching down on the pavement, she asked, “How’d I do?” I showed her my watch. She smiled. We celebrated at Front Page with an all-you-can-eat buffet and all-you-can-drink mimosas.
Chip Time: 27:39
SunTrust National Half Marathon, March 26th
My full recap can be found HERE. This was the second straight year I ran the SunTrust National, only this year I did the half and not the full marathon.
My goal was to finish the distance pain-free and, thanks to a slower pace, my IT band obliged and I enjoyed the whole race. I was able to capture a lot of video on this one but didn’t take a lot pf photos aside from a few Hipstamatic shots.
The race featured tons of crowd support, which is always great. We saw many of our friends who came out to cheer, and despite a decreasing level of race organization, it is still one of the most fun long races to do in the area.
I loved the medal and shirt for the second year in a row (they keep getting it right) and the course was challenging but entertaining.
Chip Time: 2:08:38
Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler, April 3rd
Read the full race recap HERE. This was a truly fun race that I ran after skipping it last year.
Started out nice and easy, taking plenty of photos of the trees and the race environment, just enjoying myself. After a couple of miles, I felt so good I decided to try to beat my course record of 1:29:47.
I pushed as hard as I could for the last 8 miles, sprinting the last 0.10 mile in 6:40 uphill. When I saw my results, I was shocked — 1:29:47. I matched exactly the previous time set at the same race in 2009.
Chip Time: 1:29:47