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Posts tagged ‘beach running’

Imperial Beach 5k

Last month I participated in the inaugural Imperial Beach 5k Beach Run.  I was little hesitant to register since it’s the organization’s first race and I prefer all of the kinks to be worked out before I participate in a race.  But they offered a promo code and a military discount so I only paid about $25 after the fees (darn you Active.com!)…and I always enjoy a nice run on the beach.  So I decided to go ahead and run this one along with a couple of friends.

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If you’re wondering how close Imperial Beach is to Mexico, it’s this close:

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I found free street parking fairly easy (the race started at 8:00 am) and I only had to wait a few minutes in the line to pick-up my packet.  The race was held on the actual packed sand of the beach and there were probably about 250-300 participants.  There was also a 1 mile fun run option for those not quite ready to tackle a 5k which meant there were two separate race courses.  The 5k race route was a bit odd to me – it was an out-and-back followed by another out-and-back.  We will get to the details on that later.  The terrain was sand (obviously) but there was an added hurdle that I did not take into account for this run – rocks.  There were rocks buried all throughout the sand, which made for an obstacle course that I was unprepared for.  It wasn’t too crazy, but since the beach was also kind of slanted, I had to pay attention a little more to my footing so that I wouldn’t trip or roll an ankle.  My friend pushed a stroller during this race, so it wasn’t an impossible feat – just a challenging one.  There was also a water station about halfway in and some volunteers directing the runners along the course.

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Note the rocks in the last pic and in case you’re wondering…no, I did not fall.  After the run there was a big expo with lots of activities for kids, including a bounce house and face painting.  There were also fitness demos, a band and free pancakes!  I would say the free pancake breakfast – which included, pancakes, syrup, sausage and juice – was one of the best parts of the event.  I have no pictures of this delicious ensemble because I consumed the whole meal in about six and a half minutes.  You’ll just have to use your imagination on this one.  I also thought the band was pretty great.  Since this event was held to benefit the Calvary Training Center in Mexico, the band played worship music but with a Mexican flare…and I totally dug it.  I didn’t bring my kiddos to this event so I can’t say I participated in any of the activities – but they looked fun and the bounce house seemed pretty rad.  There was also a raffle, but they weren’t doing the giveaways until two hours later.  In the words of the great Sweet Brown – “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Participation medals were not given out at this race, but they were given to those who placed in the top three of each age group.  I ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior and placed first in her age group so I did hang around for the medal ceremony.

Now, back to the course.  There was a big issue that I had with the race course and that was the fact that it was NOT A TRUE 5K, which drives me crazy when races are not the length that they are advertised.  This one ended up being around 2.38 miles so there was obviously some miscommunication or miscalculation when the course was originally created.  I will give them a little bit of a slide since this was the inaugural race and like I said, I expected some things to not go as smoothly as they would in other established races.  However, since I did pay $25 for a 5k, I expect a true 5k.  Other than that, the views were beautiful and everyone was friendly; although I feel like all those people who placed 4th or 5th in their age group kind of got screwed since they would have had at least half a mile to pass the people in front of them.  Anywho, besides that hiccup I enjoyed the event and although I didn’t bring my kids this time I like that it was a fun event for the whole family to enjoy in beautiful Imperial Beach.

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So what was the SWAG?!

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Aloe Gloe is a refreshing drink that comes in a few tasty flavors!

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~ A cotton tshirt – I love the design, but it runs fairly large so I’m not sure I will be wearing this one very often.

~Clif bar trail mix bar

~Kashi Go Lean granola bar

~Larabar

~Homemade cookie

~Beachside FroYo keychain

~D’ames Day Spa tube of something (not sure what this is as there were no instructions, perhaps a face scrub?  But it smells divine!)

~Suicide prevention pin

~Various coupons and pamphlets

~And Scenery, of course!

See you at the next event!

~SM

 

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Margarita 5k

I recently participated in the Margarita 5K in Mission Beach and it was definitely a blast!  I used a coupon code for this race so I paid around $28 for this event.  Packet pick-up was the day before at Movin Shoes in Pacific Beach.  It’s a tiny store, so I was in and out pretty fast.  Here I picked up my bib number, swag bag and tshirt.  They were also offering a discount on merchandise purchased at Movin Shoes that day.

Race day parking was simple – there were a ton of open spots up close to where the event was held.  The race itself was pretty small – probably around 200 people – so it definitely wasn’t crowded at all.  Since this was a beach event, it started at 7:30am in order to catch low tide.  There was a lot of energy prior to the race start, including a Zumba instructor getting the crowd warmed up with some dancing and fun music.  The early start time combined with the previous day’s rain made it a nice and fairly cool run.  I also did this chip-timed run with a few of my Stroller Warrior friends which made the day even more enjoyable.

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The race course was on the flat, packed sand and there was water/Gatorade at the halfway point.

At the finish line we received our medals and were offered water and snacks.

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There were a few vendors at the event and we were required to get their signatures on our bibs in order to be entered into a raffle.  Race times were posted pretty quickly and awards went out to the first place winners of each age category.  There was also a DJ pumping music and keeping the party going.  Besides the Color Run, I would say this is the most energy I have seen at a race in quite some time.

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So what was the SWAG?!

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  • The vendors all gave out a few coupons, but nothing crazy
  • A nice medal (although no date or location)
  • A tank top – I do prefer tanks over tshirts, although these seemed to run kind of big as if they were men’s sizes.
  • Orgain protein powder
  • Bear Naked granola
  • Vegan Perfect bar
  • More coupons
  • And most importantly…A coupon for a free margarita from Café Coyote! Yippee!  I hold a special place in my heart for margaritas, so the free margarita is what first drew me to the race.  The only downfall was that the restaurant offering the free margarita was located in another part of town about 10 minutes away.
  • Beautiful beach scenery

Overall, I really enjoyed this race and found the volunteers and race director to be friendly and generous.  Besides the obvious free margarita, it was fun to run a race on the beach in beautiful weather (although the water was a bit cold.) I do have a few suggestions:

  1. Add the date and/or location to the finisher medal
  2. Offer the free margaritas immediately after the race or from a restaurant that is within walking distance of the event
  3. Either offer women’s and men’s sizes in tanks or inform participants that they run big

But I really did enjoy this event and I hope to see this race grow in the future!  See you at the next event!

You can learn more about the race organizer and future events from TogetherAs3pointone here.

~SM

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