While in San Diego, Preston and I ran the Balboa Park Three Miler. The main reason we signed up for this race was to force ourselves to run at least once while we were in San Diego. About a month before we left for California, I started searching for random races and came across this race. It was cheap to register for (only $20 a person), and since it wasn’t a long distance we thought “why not.”
Our laid back attitude when signing up for the race carried over to race day itself. About five minutes after leaving our friends’ house for the race, I realized that I had forgotten my headphones, and I kicked myself the entire morning for my forgetfulness, which didn’t help my mindset as we approached the start time for the race.
Because we were on vacation, Preston and I didn’t really set any goals for this race other than to have fun and enjoy scenic Balboa Park as we ran through it. Not only did we enjoy the scenery, but we very much enjoyed the fact that San Diego’s summer weather is much more runner friendly than DC’s is.
This race had two distance options: an eight mile race that started at 7:30am and a three mile race that started at 8:00am. Many more people ran the eight mile course, so the start area wasn’t very crowded when our race started 30 minutes later. The only downside to the three mile race was that it was untimed, so our finish times are our own estimates.
Based on past race experiences, we opted to start very close to the start line. Because this was a laid back race, the start line was marked with a simple San Diego Track Club banner.
Because we started so close to the front, neither one of us did much weaving, which allowed us to focus more on our running and more importantly, to be able to enjoy gorgeous Balboa Park. During our trip we only returned to Balboa Park at night, so I don’t have any daytime pictures of the park to share. Trust me though, the park is absolutely beautiful and if you’re in San Diego a trip to the park should be high on your list.
When the race started, Preston quickly ran ahead of me. Despite the very hilly course, Preston ran the entire race, finishing in 24:45 (8:15 pace). Because of the hills, I focused on run-walk intervals. For the first two miles I ran for five minutes then walked a minute. For the last mile I ran two minutes then walked a minute, which allowed me to finish the race in 34:10 (11:23 pace).
Because this race didn’t have a charity attached to it, I’ve been completing training runs for a charity connected to my next race, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Mini Marathon. On Saturday I used my Charity Miles app to run for Stand Up to Cancer, which is an organization that focuses on accelerating innovative cancer research. Because I plan to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll race in honor of my friend Tammy who passed away from Rhabdomyosarcoma (a muscular tissue cancer) back in September 2004, I’ve been completing my recent training runs and walks for Stand Up to Cancer.
Was this the fastest race either of us has run? Of course not. But we were on vacation and I’m proud of both of us for committing to running while we were away from home.