Like last year, I used this race to kick-off 9 Trails training. Pier to Peak, starting from the Santa Barbara pier and going up to La Cumbre peak, has almost four thousand feet of elevation gain over the distance of a half marathon. Half marathon you say? Isn’t that 13.1 miles? Yes, yes it is. But it turns out that they measured the course and it was about 0.4 miles short. So they made it longer. This was not good news since I wanted to break 2 hrs or at least beat last years time (2:04:36). Already, I was not feeling great going in to this race.
I met up with Josh and Kyle from the tri club at the start. We started out really fast (photos! It was pretty foggy and cloudy at first which was nice, but I knew it was only a matter of time before we would get up into the sun and heat. It stayed cool until about mile 7, then it was sunny since we got up out of the clouds. The temperature was still tolerable, but it was getting very dry. Another 20 minutes later and it was officially hot. At mile 11, the race had a little additional out-and-back to make it an official 13.1 miles. This was right after a tough climb, so even though it was still uphill, it didn’t seem so bad. On the way to the turn around, I saw Zant, another guy from the tri club. After the turn around, it was a nice downhill for a while and I was feeling good so I just took off. Kyle fell back and I caught up to Zant, passing a few people in the process. After passing him, it was the start of the last (and seemingly longest climb). There were two more runners I passed and then the whole last mile I was just waiting for Zant or Kyle to catch up and pass me, but it didn’t happen. I finished feeling tired but good. Not only did I destroy last years time, I came in well under 2 hrs. And they had made it longer!
Lots of available photos from official race photographer and Kyle’s crew.
Time: 1:55:45 Pace: 0:08:46
Place: 16/262 Overall, 14/172 Men, 6/59 M30-34
Age graded: ~52% but that’s for a flat course!