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Review of Malibu International & Half Marathon by Lauren Olerich

Posted by: on January, 31 2013

Full review with photos on my blog: http://www.sugarcoatedsisters.com/2012/11/13/malibu-half-marathon/

My sister and I woke up at 4 AM in downtown Los Angeles and were out the door by 4:15 AM to get to the finish line of the Malibu Half Marathon… EARLY START. This was a point-to-point race with three offerings: full marathon, half marathon, supathalon (7 mile run + 6 mile paddle in the ocean = WOW). Everyone took a bus to their respective start line. The last bus was supposed to leave 1.5 hours before the race start… a little early, wouldn’t you say?

When we arrived at the start, the sun was rising over the Pacific Ocean and the pre-race excitement kicked in! The ocean and surrounding cliffs were b-e-a-uuuutiful. Unfortunately, it was really cold out and we weren’t dressed for the wind chill. We kept our warm clothes on for as long as possible, snapped some pictures by the start line, and ate breakfast. We each had a banana and Clif bar. We visited the bag-drop area and then found a spot in the start line.

My sister was a little stressed about getting back to USC in time for her 12:00 call-time for the women’s basketball game, and when the race didn’t start on time at 7:30, she started to get very nervous. The race started 20 minutes late, at 7:50. At the scheduled start time, three buses were still en route to the start line (despite the multiple warnings buses would stop at 6 AM). Race coordinators also needed an ‘all-clear’ from highway patrol.

The race traveled along the Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean views were amazing. It got hot, but the ocean breeze kept the temperature moderate. My sister and I ran together for the first half mile before I broke ahead. Miles 1 – 4 flew by! At mile 3 I stopped to go the bathroom, fearful of another RWTJ accident. I felt great the first few miles; pacing behind an extremely athletic 6’4″ guy really boosts your self-confidence. The first hill came at mile 5 – I used a lot of my energy to power up it at a fast pace. There was a narrow switchback between mile 7 – 8 along a beach parking lot. When I returned to Pacific Coast Highway, my energy faltered.

The final three hills at mile 7, 10, and 11 really wore me out. I battled in my head – race it? run it? race it? run it? In the end I decided NOT to push it because 1. blasting up hills is not my forte and 2. my Nike Frees do not offer enough support. I kept a comfortable pace and daydreamed about living in a Malibu mansion…. After running past the million dollar listings, I welcomed the final, downhill mile 13 and sprinted to the finish line. Swag: race medal and beach towel. Food: bananas, fruit cups, and granola bars.

I was really happy with my finish time: 1:41:49. I ran fast the first few miles because it felt right. I’m okay with positive splits because I didn’t set out to race the whole thing, just sort of run it, you know?

My sister almost beat her best time on this course. She was very proud of her time for the first 7 miles and despite her struggle during miles 8-11, she was glad that she finished strong. This was her second fastest finish of the five half marathons she has completed.