Sunday, November 14, 2010

Malibu Half Marathon

Early morning sun heats up Point Magu before the races starts.
Kip and I ran the Malibu Half Marathon this morning.

It was my first half marathon, Kip’s first long distance race and our first time running in any event together; which also meant it was my first time not being dropped off at the start  or chased by my family support team with fresh Gatorade, encouragement and personal paparazzi.

But we managed to run the race in 2:22, which I thought was great.

The beautiful bluffs along the Pacific Costal Highway always make the Malibu Marathon a challenging course, but today the sun was out in full force. It was blazing by the 8:30 half marathon start and nearing 80 degrees by the time we finished.

Of course the route was also as beautiful as Malibu can be -- sun shinning through crystal clear waves, dolphins jumping, surfers surfing, clear blue skies.

At one point, as we charged up a steep bluff overlooking a gorgeous surf break, I turned to Kip and said, “I think I picked the wrong sport.”

(Kip has a couple surfboards in our storage area, testimony to an LA time before remodeling projects, late night band practice and weekend sailing. Maybe it’s time to get them out again and try. I think I am almost brave enough to give it another try.)


This morning, as we were rushing out the door at 6:30 a.m., I realized that we did not have any milk in the fridge for the kids’ breakfast. So we flew down to the convenience store and got milk before heading out to Malibu.

For some reason the chocolate milk looked appealing to me, so I ate frosted mini wheats in chocolate milk while Kip rushed us to Malibu. It was kind of gross, but I thought it might be the carbo boast I needed.

When we arrived at Zuma Beach to catch the bus to the start line, I immediately realized that the half marathon was going to be much more crowded than last year. The parking lot was full for miles and cars were squeezed in every free spot along the PCH. 

We were barely making the 7:30 “last” bus, but we somehow found a free spot and ran to the bus.

We made it. And just like the LA Marathon in the spring, it became apparent that marathon officials were going to hold the race and continue to run buses until the crowd was at the start line.

There was something funny about riding in a big yellow school bus with Kip. We met in high school and shared some high school experiences together, but I don’t think we ever road a school bus together back then.

back of the bus, self portrait, high school style


The race started at Point Mugu, a funny little campground squeezed between the PCH and the ocean. The last time we were there, our family left the campground in the middle of the night after a wicked wind storm crushed our tent and sparked the Malibu wildfires. That was three years ago.

But there was no wind or fire this morning, just thousands of half marathoners lining up to start.

The race itself was about 12 miles of hills and one final mile-long descent into Malibu. By mile 10 I was glad that it was just a half marathon. And by the end I found it hard to believe that last year I ran the same course, plus another 13.1 miles of Ventura farmland. Of course I had trained for a marathon that time and training seems to make all the difference.

So proud of Kip!! You can give me my sunglasses back now, Babe.


Despite fatigue, Kip and I sprinted to the finish line and arrived .001 seconds apart. We weaved through the customary reception of medals and food, bananas, chips and water, to get the real treat at Malibu -- the finisher’s beach towels which look better than any race T-shirt at summer social functions.

And then we wasted no time in trying them out. We headed straight for the beach to stretch, take pictures and relax in the hot November sun.
Refreshing cold water


My friend Kathleen finished a little later and the three of us slowly made our way back to our SUV, which we had so hastily parked along the PCH before the race. We walked for several minutes and slowly realized it wasn’t where we thought it should be.

We kept walking and apologizing to our friend who likely wasn’t planning on walking an additional two miles after the half marathon. And finally I laced up my running shoes again and ran off in search of the car.

Fortunately the car was still there, just parked much further away than we had realized in our rush to make the bus. I was so very grateful that it had not been towed.

When we got home we decided to take the kids swimming, so instead of hitting the showers and bed, we dipped into the pool. It actually felt good to stretch in the water and I’m betting it will make recovery easier tomorrow.

And what is next? I’m probably going to run the LA Marathon in March. Kip says a half was good enough for him, but he might change his mind when he forgets how difficult it was today. I know I always do.


  1. You both make us proud. Yesterday I wished I could have stopped the clock when I was your age, but then you wouldn't have gotten to do things like this. So I'll scratch that selfish thought, enjoy the view of our children and grandchildren running the race of life, and revel in their accomplishments. - RDA

  2. Good job!!!
    I must have passed you at some point, I ran the full. It was hot out there Sunday.....