The Encinitas Half Marathon is an amazing race. In fairness, it is my hometown so I’m also a tad biased. Its a gorgeous course run along the ocean, its close to home and this was the FIRST time I ran with my son Gage. Perhaps the best part of the race was getting our snack game plan together. Not for me (the dude pushing the Bob Stroller) but for my son who will likely become my personal motivational speaker for 13 miles. Hot Chocolate, cookies, a sandwich, chips and lots of water. Okay, we’re ready to rock, game on.
Our Pre-race Gameplan
A good plan never survives first contact with the enemy. Midnight brought the first hiccup to the plan. My son came into my room just too excited to sleep through the night. He asked if he could sleep in my room. Sure. But, for the next four hours I got kicked, backhanded, kept awake by constant adjusting and then more kicking. Good news though, my son slept great and was ready to go. The guy doing the running (and pushing) however got about 3 hours of solid sleep. Regardless, we managed to get everything in the car and push forward. Here we go!
One huge benefit to running this race is that my office is 2 blocks from the start-line. So, VIP parking, bathrooms and a warm office to sit in! It was a cool, crisp morning so this VIP pre-race situation made it manageable. About five minutes before the race we walked over just in time to catch the National Anthem. We paid our respects and then found a spot to wait until our turn.
Strollers were not allowed to go until Wave 4 which is the far back. Even with a Bob Stroller, I knew I was going to be faster than most everyone in that wave so we inched our way to the front. The gun went off and WE were off. The first 3 miles were all about passing. We must have passed a thousand people or so. The bad news is that this took its toll on me physically. Never fear, my son, the soon to be motivational speaker was there to make sure I didn’t slack off. A few fun notes:
- Mile 2: “Daddy, you’re not passing anyone.”
- Mile 3.5: “Daddy, I have to go pee.” Note: We found a bush.
- Mile 8: “Daddy, why are you going so slow. You’re not passing anyone.” Me: “I’m just pulling over to eat a banana.” My son, “Why?” Good question.
- Mile 11: “Daddy, we’re not going very fast. We’re not passing anyone.” Me: “Daddy’s just a bit tired buddy, its mile 11.” My son, “Why?” Another good question.
The Finish Line & Net Net
My goal for this race was to be faster than last year. Success! And, by almost five minutes while pushing 75 lbs of kid, stroller and gear. My second goal, get through it. I had no idea how my son was going to respond sitting in the stroller for 2 hours (almost). Success! He did amazing and aside from pulling over at mile 3.5 to pee, he didn’t snack, complain, or frankly do much of anything. He just sat, motivated me, observed tons of cool things I was too busy to pay attention to and was PERFECT on math. We practiced subtraction the whole race. Okay Gage, we’re at mile 2, its 13 miles total, how many miles left? 11 daddy! 🙂 Damn fun morning, subtraction mastered.
Note: They made just a few course modifications this year. All of which made sense to streamline the course and make it a bit more simple. Well done Encinitas Half Marathon.