Half Moon Bay International Marathon

Over a month has passed since my second marathon on September 25, but I haven’t been certain on how to recap it.  I also didn’t necessarily want to relive some of the race.  In many ways it was a great race for me, but in others, it was quite painful and frustrating.

To begin with, I loved the Half Moon Bay International Marathon


The volunteers, the organizers and the course were all wonderful!  The Brooks shirts were adorable, and the medals were awesome! 

While I would’ve loved to have known that there would be a decent amount of trail running (I get nervous on trails due to my ACL repaired knee), I am definitely planning on signing up again next year!  This was an absolutely great race.

I started off the race running with Alisyn who I met for the first time about 2 minutes before the race started.  We started off running together since we had the same time goal: sub 4 hours.  We started off probably a little too fast with a couple of ~8 minute miles.  Whoops!  But, my legs were feeling good.  We knew it was bad though for the rest of the race, so we slowed it down to about a steady 8:30 pace. 

After the first few miles, the hills came up, and since I live in on a mountain and run hills regularly, we separated to run our races.  Before I knew it, I made it to the half marathon point: I was running at an 8:34 min/mile pace.  I was rockin’ it.

I got a little confused trying to figure out where to run…


And then, then it all went downhill.  I took a Clif Shot with some water right at the half marathon mark, and about a minute later, it all came back up.  I thought it was a fluke, so I kept running.  About a half mile later, I lost my breakfast.  I walked for a moment, and then started jogging again, listening very carefully to my body.  I started doing okay, so I started running again, picking the pace back up.  I took small swigs of water, and started tuning into my body: I knew I had very little fuel left my body, and I didn’t want to push too hard, as I wasn’t feeling the best.  (Case in point: my face below)


I slowly but surely made it through the miles.  And at mile 18 I took a little Gatorade, and it seemed to settle okay, so I kept running, though at this point my pace had slowed a lot.

Mile 22 I got the great idea to try a half a Clif Shot because my body was feeling drained.  Mile 23, I lost said Clif Shot to the side of the road.  So, I swished out my mouth, and adopted a walk/run strategy as my body was pretty weak at this point.

Around mile 25 I saw my friends Eva & Eric who had come up to support me.  They gave me a little bit of energy and reminded me it was only 1.2 miles to the finish – I knew at this point I could finish and that even though I wasn’t going to get that sub-4 hour marathon, it was going to be close. 

Before I knew it, I was at the finish.


Official finish time: 4:10:46 (9:34 pace).  Though I didn’t meet my goal, I still will take this: A PERSONAL RECORD!

So, while it wasn’t my best race ever, and I felt miserable for most of it, I was still able to finish and still got a PR.  Oh, and one of these sweet medals!


It was a great course, great group of runners and definitely a race I recommend to those living in NorCal (There’s a 10k and half marathon too!)

Oh, and because the field was so small, my 4:10:46 got me third in my age class!  W00000000t!  So, I got a $50 gift card to Fleet Feet & a nice plaque in the mail!

What fuel do you use to do long runs/cycles/endurance activities?  I’m trying to figure out what to do now because I’m afraid to go back to Clif Shots.  I don’t want to end up in a similar situation.  I’ve got a half marathon on Sunday, and I’m going to try the Honey Stinger chews, but am open to other suggestions on what works for you!

6 thoughts on “Half Moon Bay International Marathon

  1. Awesome!! Way to go!! I know the stinger gels are very tasty even though I haven’t used them for runs; I still can’t go longer than 5k and I don’t even need water for that. I know someone who just uses gummy bears (although those are not vegetarian).

    • i tried the stinger gels, and i liked them! they were tasty, but sweet. but i found myself using less than i did on other products — thanks for the recommendation!

  2. In a lot of ways, I feel the exact same way you do about the race! Congrats on placing 3rd! That is so awesome! You kicked major ass and I am so happy I met you! We need to run again together soon! Let me know when you can as I don’t mind driving out to your neck of the woods. 🙂

  3. 4:10 after several bouts of puking on the side of the road? Awesome!

    I gave up on gels several years ago and now rely on gummy things to get me through. This marathon cycle I’ve been refueling with with gu chomps, and they’ve been going down really smoothly with no residual stomach issues (something I’ve also dealt with in the past).

    • I tried the honey stinger chews today, and they seemed to be doing okay — so I think gummies might do the trick — so I might try gu chomps. thanks for the recommendation!

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