April 29, 2012

Pleasanton Half Marathon

We ran in the inaugural Pleasanton Half Marathon. There was also a 5k. Start and finish were at the Pleasanton Sports Park although they were actually .75 miles apart. The event was put on by South Valley Endurance. This was our first race put on by SVE and we were impressed. It was very well organized and there were more people than we had anticipated for an inaugural event-1532 participants in the half marathon and 542 in the 5k. It was the first race in a series of three races-all part of the CA Running Series. Early bib pick up was at a local running store. Same day pickup was available for an additional $10-this is the first time we had seen an additional fee at a local race for same day pick up. We went the day before the race to pick up our bibs. There were a lot of people at the store but it was not chaotic. Bibs were picked up inside the store and a re-usable bag and race shirt were picked up outside. The shirts were technical fabric which we always prefer over cotton, and they were black in color which is rare. We realized we were fairly close to the race start/finish so we drove by. It proved to be helpful because we got a preview of where the finish line was going to be and even the parking lay out. On race day we parked in one of the parks lots about halfway between the start and finish. We made our way to the start, looking for our friends that were running it as well. They had a little trouble with parking so they got to the race start just a few minutes before the start, which was right on time. We ran along the parks parking lots before making a u-turn on the residential street that was parallel. It was nice to be able to see other racers on this switchback.

It wasn't long before we were on a fire road that we ran on for a few miles. Some of it was paved, some was gravel. We were warned of there being a few miles of gravel in the course in the pre-race email.  It was on to residential and city streets for a few miles before heading back onto the fire road. There were several aid stations along the course with water and sports drink but no gels. At about mile 12 the course was back in the park on the concrete walkway. There were more spectators here and we could hear the cheering, this is always motivating. Coming across the finish line there were already a lot of people enjoying the post race goodies since the 5k participants had already come through. Past the finish line were race medals, cold water and towels soaked in cold water. It was a warm day but not hot, still the wet towels felt great. There were several booths set up, the largest had the free food for participants which included some tasty burritos and fruit. A stop at the coconut water booth was a must. There were a lot of sponsor booths too with gear and food for sale. One of the great things about this race was that we could check our finish time online soon after crossing. There was an option to have your time texted to you as well and they had a live camera at the finish that could be watched online. For an inaugural event it was very well organized and we had a great time. We would definitely do this race again, or maybe another SVE event.

Pleasanton Half Marathon Website
Race Results
CA Running Series Website