On Sunday, I ran the Santa Cruz Half Marathon (4/22/2007). Some of you know that this is one of my two favorite halfs, the other being the Big Sur Monterey Half.
It started raining Saturday night and we were all planning for a wet race. The rain quit about 4am; unfortunately, the wind started gusting to about 20 mph. When the starting gun went off at 7:20AM (we were supposed to start at 7!), the rain and wind has ceased. The 2500 runners were instead treated to a beautiful clear day. Some of the things I was lucky to encounter: a group of seals 200 yards offshore from the lighthouse; the scent of damp eucalyptus past Natural Bridges; the colorful zigzag of running jerseys on the cliffs of Wilder Ranch; the incredible views of Santa Cruz and Monterey while returning south on West Cliff Drive.
All in all, a great day with a great finish at Cowell's Beach. Can't wait for next year.
Overall, here's how the run rates in my book:
Organization - Twenty minute delay at the start, however, the course was clearly marked and staffed. Grade: B+ (would have been an 'A' without the delay)
Course - Doesn't get better than this. Grade: A+
Aid-stations - Well staffed, but no Gatorade, just water this year. Grade: B
Swag - Short-sleeve, cotton shirt that probably won't survive more than a few trips through the wash. Grade: B-
Looking North on West Cliff Drive
Tags: marathon, running, santa cruz half