I took a while but the finally posted the pictures from last weeks marathon, so this good time to wrap the whole experience up. I didn't exactly get the time that I wanted but I still had a hell of a time.
The majority of the course ran along the water front in Long Beach, so the course is very scenic, with the high light being running along side the Queen Mary, which is now permanently moored in Long Beach. Not surprisingly for an event with the word "beach" in its title a good chunk of the race was actually run on a bike trail on the beach, which fit all the classic stereotypes of what a beach in Southern California should look like. I also got a kick out the fire boats which put on a display, as seen in the picture below.
One of the the things that I will remember most of about this race is actually the drive to the race. The night before the race K and I stayed with her father and grandmother in Santa Monica. Because she is a Southern California native and has one of the best sense of direction of anyone I have ever met, we decided it would be best if K drove us down to Long Beach. Apparently her pregnancy has robbed her her once vaunted sense of direction because we made the wrong turn and wound up about 20 miles north of where we should have been before we realized we were lost. I did manage to make it the start line about three minutes before the gun went off, however because I was at the back the huge number of people in the race it was another 10 minutes before the crowed thinned out enough to allow we to actually cross the starting line.
A lot of the last half of the marathon was run through a residential area. In couple of places younger kids had set up there own water stands, something that really made me smile. It also brought some really old memories, when I was about five there was a short-lived marathon that's course ran directly along the field behind the house we were living in at the time. I have hazy memories of standing on the balcony with my parents and watching all the runners go by. I remember peppering my parents with question about what where these people and doing and why would they want to run so far.