Sunday, November 14, 2010

Big Sur Half Marathon

I had no intention of running the Big Sur Half Marathon this weekend. My originally plan was to run the Inaugural Stockton Half Marathon, which would have given me my Central Valley/East Bay double half marathon package weekend. Logistically, it made more sense to travel from Bakersfield to Stockton. Driving from San Francisco to Bakersfield to Monterrey and then way out to Antioch to pick up the Epinephrine Pup would add way too many miles on the Mini and stress to my Endorphin head. Why then did I end up running Big Sur? Because of this:

Seriously, how awesome is that medal? What I love about it is that it looks so organic. No other medal in my collection looks like this. I do have to add that my running buddy, Alva Woof, kept nagging me to sign up for Big Sur because they would sell out fast. I had my mind set on Stockton, but she kept going on and on and on about this race and ultimately I gave in.

I owe a lot to Ms. Woof because I absolutely loved running this half marathon! I'll tell you this, Monterrey is so much more scenic and fun than Bakersfield! Being out in the sun, seeing the waves crash against the rocks and feeling the positive energy from all the runners and walkers really got me into the groove. It was the perfect atmosphere for Endorphin Dude to fly! It was funny, at about the mile three mark, I heard someone shout, "Hey Endorphin Dude!" It was no one I recognized! He then turned to his running partner and explained, "That's Endorphin Dude. He runs every race." HA! I love it!

Having just run a half marathon the day before, I took this one nice and slow and soaked up the atmosphere. I have been to Monterrey a few times before, but never like this. Half the fun of running these races is that I can be a tourist and see a new city. There was so much of Monterrey that I never knew existed. Here is Monterrey from the eyes of the runner.

Along with the scenic course, the added bonus of this race is seeing people I know and meeting new people. I swear, every time I run a major race, I end up making about 20 new Facebook friends.

Here's the person who convinced me to run this race in the first place, Alva Woof. She's the one on the left. On the right is Rebecca Paunovich, the wife of the camera guy on my film team, It Donned On Me. This was Rebecca's first half marathon, and you know how excited I get when I see newbies! Imagine how excited I will be when she runs her first full marathon in Oakland next March!

TNT superstars, Ron and Mohan.

This couple ran the Eye-Q Two Cities Marathon the weekend before. I knew this because of his tech shirt. When they caught up to me, the guy said, "couldn't get enough last weekend, huh? Had to run another race?" I looked mildly perplexed at him. He then said, "I remember that cape!" HA! I love it!

At about mile 4, this runner tapped my on the shoulder. I turned around and couldn't figure out who it was. Come on, the girl was wearing sun glasses and a hat, how could I have figured it out. It's a good thing she introduced herself because I would not have been able to pick her out in the crowd. It was Corrie Frances, one of my Facebook friends. This was our first meeting! Corrie will be running her first full marathon at CIM in a few weeks. I'm very excited for her.

There's Tornado Girl! Endorphin Dude got to meet Tornado Girl on the course! Woo Hoo! Tornado Girl's true identity is Audra Cardwell Ramerman, and when I saw her Half Fanatic shirt, I had to introduce myself!

There's Carol Renney, the woman who shouted out "Dana says hi!" I'm glad I bumped into Carol after the race because I was able to get her contact information! Carol is connected to fellow Half Fanatic, Dana Says, and pretty much every other Half Fanatic and Marathon Maniac out there. Another Facebook friend to add to my growing list!

I'm glad I ended up skipping Stockton and chose Big Sur instead. Wow, I completed my 29th half marathon this weekend. Actually, let me rephrase that. I completed my 28th and 29th half marathon this weekend. Yup, another double weekend in preparation for The Goofy Challenge! I am happy to say that I finished my second race of the weekend in 2:39:15. This weekend is one big win for Endorphin Dude!

Now it's time for Endorphin Dude to change back into Tony Nguyen.