Hi Everybody! This is Callie reporting on the marathon (the FULL marathon, 26.2 miles) that Dave participated in and COMPLETED two weekends ago. Dave is normally the picture journalist for our adventures but this time, as the spectator, the responsibility fell on me. He made sure to remind me of it too. I didn’t want to let him down! So I diligently wielded the GoPro and my phone and captured as much of the race as I could without being too obnoxious. You can see the culmination of my efforts in the 3:25 video at the end of this post. It’s far from perfect, I know, and it took me about five solid evenings to complete, but I actually had some fun doing it and am looking forward to the next production. So go easy on the criticism and stay tuned :).
Anyways, back to the marathon. We drove up and arrived in Ventura early afternoon, checked into our hotel, and walked the beachfront mile to the Ventura Pier, which also served as the starting and ending point for the race the next day. There was a marathon-related “beach party” a.k.a. street fair going on at the base of the pier that we wandered through. The highlights are that we signed up for weekly deliveries from Farm Fresh to You, a program that delivers fresh fruit and veggies to your door, and we found out about the Surf City 10, a running event in Huntington Beach that includes a 5k run that I might be able to survive.
When we got hungry we wandered over to the only restaurant selection on the pier, which turned out to be all you needed. It was simply called Beach House Fish and consisted of three dining options: 1) stand in line at a taco stand on the actual pier and eat your tacos on the ledge while watching the fishermen or whatever, 2) go inside to the first floor for a casual dining experience where you order at the counter and find an open seat, or 3) go upstairs to the fine dining restaurant with table service. We chose the second option, ordered, and found a seat outdoors on the pier. I ordered a salad topped with a grilled snapper filet, and Dave had the grilled vegetable salad with a side of clam chowder. The food was “Oh Wow!” Delicious! So much so, that we returned the next day, after the race and before driving home, to fill up on some more delicious seafood creations. That evening was a very early night, as the race began at 6:00 am on Sunday.
Sunday morning – Race Day!! I had brought my bike along to get around this day. A little before 5:00 am we set off to the starting line, Dave on foot and I on my bike. It was really dark still. But we followed the beach bike path we had used the previous day, and there were other groups making the same pilgrimage, so we found our way with no trouble. At the pier I got a cup of coffee while Dave stretched and anxiously awaited the start time.
Finally, it was time to line up. There was the National Anthem, a few enthusiastic words from the Emcee, and then it was go time! I positioned myself on a low wall just in front of the starting line and I’ll be honest, I didn’t even see Dave pass by in the hundreds of runners shooting by in the dark. But it didn’t matter; every bystander was there to support every runner, and it was a great sight to see.
After the runners were off I had some time to kill. I wandered out on the pier to watch the sunrise, which was well worth it. I returned to the starting line to cheer on the half marathon and 5k runners and when they were well on their way, I hopped on my bike and started following the race route.
I didn’t see Dave again until after he had passed the half way mark (all the way in Point Hueneme) and was on his way back over the wetlands. It was a beautiful route; heading north you have the wetlands to your left and bright green strawberry fields to your right. I thoroughly enjoyed this stretch going back and forth on my bike, but when I finally saw Dave, I think he mostly enjoyed the thought of water. By this time the sun was in full force with not a single cloud to soften the blow. I even had one runner offer to buy my bike to get him back, haha. Instead I encouraged them on and took off to meet them at the finish line.