Semana Nautica 15K is given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars on the Active.com site. It should be noted that only one person has rated the race. Let’s see the rating you would give it after reading this newsworthy race report.
The start time was 8:00 so we worked our way backwards and decided to meet at 5:00 a.m. in the South Pasadena High School Swimming Pool parking lot for carpooling/caravanning. When I pulled into the lot at 4:55 I could NOT believe my eyes. The lot was littered with Grits and their gym bags. At first I thought they were large raccoons, but it was clear from the sports paraphernalia that everyone was ready to load into the cars and head up north for a run. After a quick stop at Starbucks for the java heads in my car we were on our way.
The roads were empty so we made record time and we were afforded the luxury of picking from any parking space in the San Marcos High School. The skies were gray and soon it was misting. It was perfect running weather. The restrooms were vacant and the bib pick-up tables were eerily quiet, so we just waited for our fellow Grits and ARC members to arrive … Danny, Pureza, Eddie, Janet, Talia, Sophia, Brian, Colleen, Antonio, Dino, David, James Michael, Vivian, Pureza, Donna, Dave, John, Mandy and Craig. What a group!
The minutes were ticking by, so soon it was time for a quick mile warm-up, final pit stops, and the discarding of our top layers at the car. (It was actually chilly.) They warn you that the Start Line is about 15 minutes from the parking lots and that’s pretty accurate. You feel a bit like Little Red Riding Hood on her way to grandma’s house.
After you’ve trekked through the forest you see a clearing. There’s the loosely organized group of folks milling around the Start Line, waiting for the race to start. This is also where you can start to take in the festive race attire. The men were tame. The women on the other hand took advantage of the holiday and dressed-up. Err… they dressed-down. Generally speaking, less was more when it came to the women’s outfits. Picture bikini tops with sequined shorts. Okay, you get the idea. Hey, maybe that’s why the fellas all had such a good race?!
Back to the race … A general announcement was made, no National Anthem was sung (on the 4th of July. REALLY!?!), and then a muffled, “3, 2, 1”. We were off. I started the race with Danny and Vivian, and we did manage to stay together for a time. Oddly enough, just when I was about to commend Danny for his ability to pace me, the distance between he and I seemed to be getting wider, and wider, and wider. Bye Danny!! Antonio and I have a pattern of treating races like an Indian run around the track. He leads, I lead, he leads, I lead. You get the idea. Thankfully, he was kind enough to slow his pace and cross the Finish Line with me. Such a gentleman.
The route is a mess of different terrain … bike path, paved highway, and residential streets and it’s not blocked off for the race, so you are in enemy territory (so to speak). We rewarded ourselves with breakfast at Derf’s. They had more than one chef working that day, so the feeding of 14 plus people wasn’t nearly as daunting for them as last year.
Congrats to Mandy and Donna for placing. Amazing!! To the runners, cheerleaders and photogs who participated that day… You are the best!
Back to the beginning … How many stars would you give it?