Sunday I finished up Man Up Week by running the inaugural San Luis Obispo Marathon.
I didn’t bring my running camera so I don’t have many pictures which means that I’m going to combine my recap and race review in one post. Hold onto your horses kids, it’s gonna get crazy.
The race started at 6 so I got up at 4:35am. There’s a free shuttle from the Madonna Inn, but my man dropped me off at the start which meant I could sleep in a little later.
The race started right on time with nice, cool weather. I was a bit tired but didn’t feel too sore. My biggest struggle at first was getting into the race mode mentally. After the big Ragnar experience, it was hard to shake that “I have to do this again?” feeling.
I felt like the first 7 miles were slow and dragging, but I talked to another runner for a couple miles and that seemed to perk me up a little. I took my first gel at 8.75 and finally starting feeling like this whole marathon thing was manageable.
I had my music turned on from the very beginning and tried to zone out around a 8:15 pace and let the miles tick by.
The course is pretty and scenic: you run by wineries and vineyards but it’s very hilly. There aren’t any steep hills, but it seemed like the whole course was rolling hills, all up or down.
I passed the halfway mark around 1:47 and took my second gel at mile 13.5.
I took a third gel at mile 18; I never hit a wall because I think I started conservatively enough and never tried to push the pace too much until the last couple miles.
My last gel was taken at mile 22, right around where I started picking it up a little.
A few of the last miles are run on a flat bike path and then you finish with a fast downhill to the Madonna Inn. I sprinted down the hill trying to squeeze in right under 3:34.
I finished in 3:33:52, 64th overall, 8:10 pace. My splits:
My husband was at the finish and caught a couple pics of me:
As seen on TV twitter
I was tired and a little sore afterwards but honestly, not too bad. I think I’m more sleepy-tired than anything.
I LOVED this race. I would recommend it to anyone and it’s an inaugural race!
The race sold out at a capped 2800 runners for the marathon, half and 5k. The full was $110 and the half was $85.
It’s a small town race so logistics are easy (have someone drop you at the start rather than take an earlier shuttle), and everyone is so friendly and nice. I thought it was cute that there were Marines out on the course in their hot pink race shirts and fatigues handing out water and cheering runners on.
The aid stations were awesome: energy drink, water, gels and fruit at nearly every station every 2ish miles. Gels were even opened for us – I don’t think I’ve ever run a race where the gels were opened.
It was also great running weather, not hot at all. The only hard part of the race is the course: rolling hills throughout and not a lot of flat, but at least it’s pretty.
The finish at the Madonna Inn was fun and huge; there was a ton of tents, food trucks, and a band.
The post-race food was great too: Jamba Juice smoothies, bananas, oranges, tortilla chips, Clif Bar energy bars, bread and HUGE containers of peanut butter. yes, please.
What I think makes this race so great is that it has that small, homegrown, volunteer-friendly feel, but it has all the amenities of a big, boxed expensive race. That’s the best of both worlds right there.
Overall, I’d rank this race a 9.23 out of 1o. Register early since it sells out, train on hills and stay at the Madonna Inn so you can enjoy the post-race and free shuttle if need be.
Man Up Miles Tally total (I think it was 9 days?)