Or is that just a fortunate coincidence?
When the bowl games were announced earlier in December, the hubby indicated it would be fun to follow our Iowa Hawkeyes to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. We didn't have much time to consider the travel options...there are many Hawk fans (who are even crazier than us) and the airline tickets would go fast.
Flights booked, rental car secured, lodging accommodations reserved. Done!
Fast forward to Thursday, December 26th. We'd spent the night in Glendale, AZ and then drove 5+ hours to San Diego. The Holiday Bowl National Funding 5K was due to start at 2:45 p.m. and we were determined to be a part of it.
The weather had been a bit of a gamble. I purposely didn't register online, so I wouldn't be committed to the race in case we had a change in plans or the downtown traffic was too crazy (the Holiday Bowl Parade was also happening at the same time). The onsite registration, according to the website, would cost the same as if I'd pre-registered at that late of date, so it just made sense to register on the scene.
|Ready to run with the hubby|
|Above left - Angie and I are on the far right, of the front row of runners in Santa Monica in 2015 (before we even knew each other); and above, on the streets of San Diego last week|
The National Anthem was sung (most beautifully) and the horn sounded. I couldn't tell if there was a timing mat to cross or not, so I started my watch immediately (and a few seconds later, I did see the mat as I crossed through the canopy LOL).
Though it had felt a bit chilly waiting for the race to start, the temps felt comfortable once I was moving. The first mile of the route took us south on Harbor Drive. The street was lined with oodles of spectators (who were probably awaiting the start of the parade), and it was neat seeing so many people. Many of them were dressed in Iowa Hawkeye gear, and they were easy to spot in the bright black and gold colors.
I heard so many "Go Hawks!" cheers coming from the crowd, and several Hawkeye spectators tried to high-5 me as I ran by them. Talk about feeling like a celebrity!
My Garmin showed 8:21 as I passed the 1-mile mark. It didn't feel like I was going that fast, but the course was pretty flat (so there wasn't much gravity to fight) and the enthusiastic crowd really had me pumped. We made a right turn and a short ways later, we made a left turn...and then headed along the harbor pathway.
A very short ways later, the 2-mile sign was posted. My guess is that the route had intended for us to go farther before that left turn, but the flooded course prevented that from happening. We ran a little farther (maybe a half mile?) along the pathway before the turn-around.
As I was heading back, I spotted the hubby and called his name, but his head was down and he was focused. Passing that 2-mile sign much earlier than what was planned, kind of threw me into a state of confusion. Although I knew how far my feet had taken me (via the Garmin), I didn't know exactly how much farther until the "shortened" finish line.
The route then continued north, along the harbor pathway, and briefly through Ruocco Park. It wasn't much longer until I saw the finish line up ahead. I was feeling good, and had a lot of energy still in the tank (so to speak), so I let loose and gunned it as best I could.
I made it across the finish line with 21:01 showing on my Garmin, and a total distance of 2.55 miles.
I was good with that!
|My splits were 8:21, 8:12, and 4:28 (for that last .55 mile)|
We walked a short ways, through some very wet grass, to get our race shirts (we had to wait until after we'd finished the race to get them...I think that's a nice touch). The women's line was much shorter, so I headed over to the Results tent to check my finish time while the hubby got his shirt.
I really had no idea how I'd place (if at all). The race seemed pretty big, given the time of day. I managed a second place AG finish (out of 35 other gals). The stats showed I'd finished 38th (out of 336 females) and 170th overall (out of the 729 total racers). I was good with that, too.
|I'm not a fan of 5K finisher medals (green ribbon), but I don't mind an AG medal to take home (red ribbon)|
Like most 5K's, I never know how fast (or slow) to start out. I usually just go with what feels comfortable. Although my pace was comfortably fast for me, I don't think I would have PR'd my 5K finish time had the route been a true 3.1 miles (instead of the 2.55). Not a big whoop...I wasn't running (or racing) to win LOL. That said, I'm still happy with my finish time.
Have you ever done a race affiliated with a bowl game (or other non-running sporting event)? Ever been to the Holiday Bowl, or run the National Funding 5K? Have you been guilty of finding a local race while on Vacation?
By the way...are you following me on social media? You can find me at these various platforms:
Let's connect : Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter