Pacing the Santa Rosa Half Marathon

It has been several days since I paced the Santa Rosa Half marathon, but it’s time for me to let you know how it went!

First off, Linh, Amy, and I carpooled up to Santa Rosa for the Expo [Photo creds go to Linh]:



It was held at the DeLoach Vineyard. I like how they set things up out there 🙂


Many of the RunningAddicts were volunteering at the Pacer booth:



After the volunteering shift, we went out to get Vietnamese food for dinner (my favorite):



Went to bed at a reasonable time… and then around 3:21am, we heard a rumbling sound and the bed and walls began to shake! “Oh, crap. This is a pretty big earthquake. What am I supposed to do? Ohhh… we’re on the first floor. Hope the second story doesn’t fall on us. That would kind of ruin my day.” <– I went through this whole stream of thinking during the 4 seconds of the earthquaking, haha.

Luckily, everyone in the area was fine and the worst thing that happened was that we woke up about a half hour earlier than we planned and we had no power. Definitely no problem getting out of bed at that time! [I sure hope everyone was okay and not greatly affected by the quake!].


We got to the expo area and everyone was abuzz with talk about the earthquake!… but it didn’t affect the race, so we all still had to get our game faces on for the race 🙂


The marathoners went first (but it looks like there was a half marathoner in the back who wanted to run, too, because she was cold and all):


So the marathoners and marathon pacers took off at 6:00am, and the half-ers waited for 7:00am to roll around. Once we got going, it was great. 

After looking at the elevation map, I decided I would first go for even effort, and then even pacing. Though it could have been doable to do even pacing before thinking of even effort, I was sure that just going a tiny bit faster with the net downhill in the beginning and a tiny bit slower with the net uphill in the second half of the race would do it. 

Miles 1-6: 8:16, 8:27, 8:19, 8:18, 8:20, 8:13. 

Around this time, there was a turn-around and we headed back up on the out-and-back course. This is when I started picking up the runners who ran ahead of me in the first half of the race. I let them know that I was ahead…

As every mile passed by, it got smaller and smaller: “I’m 15 seconds ahead.” “I’m 12 seconds ahead.” “9 seconds ahead of pace.” 

Miles 7-12: 8:21, 8:20, 8:22, 8:25, 8:28, 8:24. 

Now mile 13 to 13.1 (or 13.2, which is what I was pacing for) is when I have to play it right. I sometimes think I have plenty of time and then realize I’m starting to get behind (coming in slightly over our pace time… which is a major stinker)… or I think I’m behind and go toooo fast, having too much time near the finish line. 

The second situation happened, and I had a bit of time… but I got caught up with getting some of the racers in and just ran through. According to the official time, I was about 17 seconds under (which is kind of a lot). 

Garmin time: 1:49:45 (13.15 miles). 


Dude, this course was marked very well, which is kind of important for a pacer, since that is how we base our timing and pacing.

This was my first time pacing 1:50, and it was definitely not as leisurely as pacing 2:00. There was no dilly-dallying or messing around, not that I get to do a lot of that during pacing, haha. It was made much harder considering the fact that I put on a good amount of muscle and I was feeling HEAVY. Good gravy… I love gaining strength, but it negatively impacts my running because all of the extra muscle really weighs me down. I think I’ll have to tailor it so I do more reps with less weight or just put it on hold altogether.  

Anywaaays… This course would be a bit tough to race. With the net downhill in the first part and a net uphill in the second half, you REALLY have to practice self control (or get yourself behind one of the pacers so you don’t go out too fast). Glad I was only pacing it so I could just enjoy it 🙂

What’s cool is that there are a lot of things that come with your entry! Check out this beautiful picture [Photo cred: Linh]:


^The smaller one for the half marathoners, and huge one for the full marathoners. 

And each half and full marathoner gets a bottle of wine! How cool is that?! Runner’s Red! They make a special blend just for the marathon 😀

AND we each get a zip-up hoodie:


They served fresh pancakes and chocolate milk for the racers, too. We ate some of those before taking off. 

Thoroughly enjoyed pacing this race, and congratulations to all of the race finishers and pacers!



My next race will be another pacing gig at the Morgan Hill Marathon! I’ll be pacing the 4:10 group 🙂

Any big races coming up for you?

Coolest swag you received from a race?

What do you do with your finisher’s medals?

4 responses to “Pacing the Santa Rosa Half Marathon

  1. Good job pacing, but had the been in reverse it would have made your life easier.

    I got a bottle of wine at a couple of my races. That was cool.

    I don’t do anything with my medals.

  2. You always impress me with your pacing (even though you’re hard on yourself!)! Way to rock another one chica! Kyle is actually building me a race medal hanger. I can’t wait to display them because right now they are in a box ha!

Leave a Reply to fitnessmeetsfrosting Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s