It really is just like they say on their website SLOMarathon.com….It’s a Small Town with a BIG RACE! Running through the rolling hills of San Luis Obispo was a wonderful race experience for me and I was especially proud to represent this race as a SLO Race Ambassador.
SLO Life EXPO 2015
I attended the SLO Life Expo 2015 on April 25, the day before the race. It was held right in front of the Madonna Inn. It was so nice meeting the other Ambassadors and receiving my SLO Marathon Ambassador jacket.
We also had the pleasure of meeting our good Twitter friend, Laura, at the Expo, making this event all that much better.
After the expo, we were able to check into our room at the Madonna Inn. Let me tell you, this is one unique hotel! The rooms are themed. We chose the Rock Bottom room. The entire room was rock. Floors, ceilings, walls, shower…all rock. I felt like we were living in Bedrock!
Here’s a shot of the steakhouse where we had our pre-race dinner with our friends Marci and Scott who were awesome enough to come down for the weekend to cheer us on. Needless to say, I could stand to not see anything pink for a while!
2015 San Luis Obispo Half Marathon
April 26, 2015
This was one of the most fun courses I have ever raced. Here is the Marathon description right from SLOMarathon.com : “The race starts at 250 feet above sea level, with a fast loop around the tree-lined downtown area, passing the Art Deco Fremont Theater, Courthouse, the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, turn-of-the-century red brick, classic architecture downtown architecture and Craftsman and Victorian homes. Athletes then head out into the hills, vineyards and farmland of the Edna Valley, with three rolling climbs ranging from 75 to 175 feet each, peaking at 375 feet above sea level. The race wraps up downhill and flattens at the spectator-friendly finish line at the Madonna Inn where the SLO Life Expo will be in full swing!”
Let me tell you about the support! First of all, the bathrooms. Major for me especially since I went early to see hubby off for his marathon. The half marathon started 45 minutes later. There were so many bathrooms, I never had to stand in line. Also, the support along the course was unbelievable! There was water, Fluid, and Clif Energy Gel Shots given out continuously during the entire race. The volunteers were so great and the crowds cheering at the finish line were a blast.
I really do enjoy running rolling hills rather than completely flat. I was fortunate enough to be given a 20 week training program from McMillan Running as a perk of being a SLO Race Ambassador. I followed the program as closely as I could. This 20 week plan allowed for gym work, where I focused on my glutes, and also specified days for hill repeats. I think this really helped as I felt strong the entire race. Also, the perfect run temps didn’t hurt. I ended up getting my goal of sub 2 with a 1:58:22 so I was quite pleased. Both my husband and Laura killed their full marathons as well. We enjoyed celebrating together after the race.
I was so focused on my race and getting in under 2 hours that I didn’t want to stop to take pictures. BUT, I wanted to show you guys a few sections of the course so here are a few course shots I got either the day before or the day after the race. Doesn’t this just look like a great place to run?!Since the marathon course runs along the San Luis Obispo Coastal Wine Trail, I felt it necessary to stop at a few of the wineries on Monday before leaving the area. Great wine up in this valley I tell ya!
This topic just so happens to fit in perfectly with this race recap
So to recap my recap
Here are 5 Great Things About San Luis Obispo Half Marathon Race Day
1. Great Course: Scenic and challenging. Running the rolling hills of San Luis Obispo was so much fun.
2. Being a Race SLO Ambassador: I was very happy to be chosen as one of the Ambassadors of this race because it was a great race to represent. Also, it was fun meeting the other Ambassadors, wish I could have me them all!
3. Wonderful Support: From bathrooms with no lines, to the hydration and fuel given out at the course, to the available medical attention, to the cheering SLO crowd, the support was wonderful!
4. Race Day Food and Friends: Visiting downtown SLO for a delicious post-race lunch, with my husband, Marci and Scott. Also shopping the downtown shops. Visiting Bubblegum Alley as well. Then enjoying dinner at the Madonna Inn, enjoying local wine, and great conversation with my husband and Laura.
5. Race Day Weather: The weather was perfect for running a half marathon. It wasn’t too cold (only before we started running) and it wasn’t too hot. Some wind but not too often.
What are the greatest things about your last race?