This was my first time running in California. I love Southern California. I have lots of great childhood memories there. I love the smells, the sun, the ocean...AND it is home to "The Happiest Place on Earth."
The OC Marathon course was great. It went through the coastal cities of Newport Beach, Irvine, and Costa Mesa. I especially loved running through Corona Del Mar... there are some magnificent homes in that area. The coast on one side, the smells in the air, California at its best.
The first 10 miles was along the Pacific ocean and Newport Beach. The weather was perfect, warm with a slight breeze in the upper 70's, perfect for running.
I enjoyed this race so much. It was well organized, although they could've had more volunteers at the aid stations, they just weren't prepared for the number of runners coming through. But there was great spectator support all along the course.
I felt strong the entire race. At about mile 20-21 I started noticing the runners who had hit the wall, I have been there and knew exactly what was going through their heads. I had been following what appeared to be a first timer, and I could see by the slump in her stride that she was hitting the wall. I ran up next to her and said, "Don't stop now," as so many other people had done for me in the past she smiled and she started to run with me. I have been so grateful for all of you out there that have told me to "Not stop now!" It has got me to my 18th marathon.
I DIDN'T HAVE ANY NAUSEA OR CRAMPING!!!!!! I think I have finally figured out what works for me. My last several races I have taken B-12 drops along the way. And the last two races I ate a burger and fries the evening before. I really think there is something to the red meat, fat and salty french fries :).
All along the route throughout the day I had seen people in red shirts that said, "Carey's Corps." At mile 26 a group of them passed me pushing a wheelchair. I didn't think anything of it until I crossed the finish line... they were all right there and I heard the announcer say, "Sergeant Carey is crossing the finish line with the help of his fellow U.S. Marine Corps platoon..." I turned around just in time to watch him get out of his chair and walk across the finish line..the tears just poured out of me as I watched and clapped for him. You can read Sergeant Carey's story here. Oooh-Rah Sgt. Carey! Congrats on your marathon finish!! It really was the highlight of the entire race for me!
Thanks again to my Sponsor: Little Caesars! I will be running #18~ Grand Valley marathon in five days! Almost halfway there! Keep running!