Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Santa Rosa Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
After last year’s race where I cramped for 4-5 miles I felt like I needed redemption. Plus I do really like the course. And it gives great swag. Bonus! I stayed in a cute little hotel near the start and was able to walk to the start on race morning. Left the hotel a little later than planned but still made it so the start with time for a port-a-potty stop and meeting up with another BibRave Pro- Autumn.
We lined up in our corral a few minutes before the race and then it was go time. I tried to film my brother crossing the start line, I am lucky I didn’t fall on my face, ha! The first mile or 2 loops around downtown and we run passed the coolest Barnes & Noble. I ran into another Pro- Stephanie just before mile 1. She was pacing the 2:50 half. My calves and ankles were super sore so I knew I couldn’t hang with the pace group very long, even with run/walk intervals.
From then on, I was on my own. I was moving slower than I had hoped but I also knew I was moving at a realistic pace. The bulk of the miles of the race are on the River path so I was curious if I was going to be passed by my brother on the way back before the path split. I knew he was trying to see if he could break 2:00 for his first road race. I didn’t end up seeing him before we crossed the river and headed down the dirt path. Not gonna lie, the dirt path portion is my favorite part of the course.
I turned on my headphones around mile 7, needed a little kick in the pants. A little after the mile 8 marker, I heard the footsteps of a pace group behind me. I turned to see the 3 hours pacer behind me. I growled and told him “no offense but I really didn’t want to see you today”. He laughed.
I then spent the next 5 miles trying to outrun him. It was harder than it should have been. Even though I had told myself any finish time was good as long as I crossed the finish line without leg cramps I was irritated that I couldn’t move any faster. I zero pep in my step. Zero.
Oh! At the 2 hour mark on my watch I texted my brother to see how he finished. A couple minutes later, he texted back- 1:41. Holy sh**!!!! I also may have shouted that out loud as I was running… I may have gotten some funny looks from other runners. I am here to entertain, haha.
Mile 12 brought us back into town and I was ready to be done. I walked a longer stretch here than planned. I saw my brother about a block away from the finish line. Even though I was a couple minutes slower than 2021, I was able to run across the finish line this year as opposed to hobbling.
This may be my favorite flat course. Maybe one day I will even be speedy at it.