Sunday, October 11, 2009

La Jolla (double) Half Marathon

It is becoming a habit: a month ago I ran the Quicksilver Half Marathon course twice; this weekend I ran a marathon on the route of the La Jolla Half Marathon (the 29th edition was run on April 25, 2010, check their website for the 30th!).

A happy occasion brought us in San Diego for a few days, the wedding of my boss. With some free time on Saturday before the ceremony, I wanted to run the course of the San Diego marathon and reached out to one of my team members who have lived here for 14 years, the "other" Pierre (insider joke). Pierre has run the marathon several times and told me it was not worth going on the course on my own, especially the section close to the airport which is not scenic.

Instead, since I was staying in La Jolla, he advised me to run the course of La Jolla Half Marathon. A full marathon was a good goal for the day as I was missing the mythical FireTrails 50-miler directed by ultra legends and couple Ann Trason and Carl Anderson. FireTrails 50 was my first 50-miler 3 years ago and I got the coveted Dick Collins Rookie Award (first among the new competitors at this distance) while taking 3rd overall. And it was great to run it again last year after having missed the 2007 edition because of a business trip.
It was overcasted when Pierre met me at the hotel this morning, and Pierre forecasted that it would remain this way for the rest of the day. Fortunately, the sun actually showed up very quickly and the rest of the run ended up being very sunny.
We started from the hotel (Hilton at Torrey Pines) around the 7.5 mark on the course and headed North toward the start of the official half. Pierre ran with me up to the entrance of the wealthy city of Del Mar, just North of San Diego. We talked about business and enjoyed this opportunity to meet face to face at a time all our interactions are now "virtual" (i.e. over the phone or the Internet) with IBM. Pierre turned around after 3 miles and I kept going North though Del Mar and to the entrance of the Fairgrounds, the place the official half starts. Here is Pierre, faking he was tired as an excuse to run back ;-)Turned around myself and ran the whole course, down to La Jolla Cove, 13.1 miles South. You can see the many (154!) pictures taken along this wonderful and scenic course. All asphalt but interesting rolling course profile with a hill in Del Mar, another one at mile 5.5 in the Torrey Pines State Park, and a last one just at the finish at mile 12. Wonderful views and great way to discover this upper-class part of San Diego: amazing mansions with Ocean View, pristine beaches, the Torrey Pines golf and State Park/Reserve, the UCSD campus, some of the most advanced biotech companies and research centers in the world... I am thankful to Pierre for this must-run course, and I highly recommend this Half Marathon. Great course for a self-supported run too with a handful of restrooms and water fountain in the Park and along the beaches.
Now time to drive back to the Bay, 500 miles this Sunday. It helps that we have now four drivers in the family! Again, make sure to check my Picasa album to do your own virtual half marathon!


Anonymous said...

Quelle magnifique balade magnifique qui semble t'avoir gardé "en forme" d'après la gentille photo finale

Unknown said...

Not sure how I found your blog but I live and run this La Jolla Half route often but I haven't done the whole course as a idea. I'm so pleased you appreciated the scenery, it's so gorgeous!!