Fontana 2012 was my 9th half marathon, and I hope to return in 2013 to get a better time on my run.
Registration was quick and simple online. I appreciate the race event info sent via email and their Facebook page. There was the option for Friday or Saturday bib pick-up. I chose the latter.
City parking was easy, and getting all the stuff for the race was convenient: bib, race bag, T-shirt. Since I got there just before 6 am, I had to hussle because they were announcing the last bus would leave at 6:20. With all the necessary stuff for pre-race duties, I got in line just in time to get on the second to the last bus.
We crawled up the mountain to Lytle Creek, and I was trying to get a feel for the terrain and ascent because we were going up the same road we would descend. It was just before 7 am when the bus let us out, and there were nearly a thousand runners there. There were lots of port-a-potties and water bottles, and lots of space to linger, warm up, and to get ready for the 7:30 am start.
I put myself about 5′ from the start, and the announcer gave us a 5 minute warning, though the PA system was lacking any substance since there was a lot of chatter in the back. There was another 30 second warning before they let us go.
The route was pretty fast, and when I got home and uploaded my Garmin GPS watch did I realize my first mile was 7:30 and the rest averaged 8 minutes per mile down the mountain. My trouble started when the course flatlined and my pace drastically slowed down to 11 min. By mile 11 I began to cramp, so I walked it off and did my best to run the rest to the finish line. There was the head wind to deal with as well.
I made a somewhat disappointing 2:11, but happy that I finished. They gave us a bag of half orange and half banana with a granola bar and bottles of water in ice. I knew that a parade was going to start, but since I had an afternoon engagement, I took only a 15 minute break before leaving. Of course I took the obligatory photo-op in front of the Run Fontana sign.
This was a challenging course since much of the route was downhill. And for next year I most definitely plan to get a better time.