As the end of 2005 approaches, I began to recall my favorite races but was having a difficult time narrowing it down. I didn’t do that many races this year but each was unique and had its own special memory.
Most Scenic and Breathtaking (in every sense of the word): The Malibu Creek Trail Challenge. I did the 14 mile race with Terry from work. When we got there it was cool and foggy. By the time the race started the sun was shining bright. The views from the top of the hills were magnificent. I could see the Pacific Ocean and the Mountains from the same vantage point. The hills were tough but I was proud of myself for how little I walked. I had been trained on hills just for this race.
Fast Half Marathon: The Fontana Days Half. I had heard of this run and had even been stopped in traffic when I used to live out in Rialto. I never thought then that I would actually run this some day. This year was the 50th anniversary run. I did this run with Terry as well. The run starts up in Lytle Creek and is 13.1 miles downhill. How can you not love that? The day was cool and overcast, perfect running conditions. I just missed my 1:45 goal by seconds.
Family Affair 5K: Surf City Run, July 4th. This was my first race ever in 2003. I missed it in 2004 due to other commitments, so I really wanted to run it this year. My wife decided to walk the 5k. Then my youngest son said he would run it too. He had done a Turkey Trot with me in 2004. Since the three of us were all doing the run we coerced the oldest son into doing it as well. Neither of the boys trained at all but they were troopers about finishing. I finished first, and then got to walk back out and run each of them in, in turn, youngest son, oldest son and wife. After the run we had breakfast at an Irish Restaurant in Huntington Beach and spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach, soaking up the sun and playing in the surf. It was a great day all around.
Best Marathon: ING New York City Marathon. What a blast! 38000 of your best friends from all over the world, the whole city of NY cheering for you, the bridges, five Burroughs, finish in Central Park, and organization “par excellence”. I also got to run this one with my old training partner. He is currently living in Boston, going to dental school at Tufts. It was tough for him to fit training into his schedule but he did it and met us in NYC. I couldn’t have asked for more (except for maybe a faster finishing time, oh well). I really recommend doing your sight seeing after the marathon, not before like I did.