I was convinced that I should drop out from the race until more experienced runners at Team Asha explained how beautiful the course is and encouraged me to either walk it off or run as much as I can, instead of entirely not showing up at the start line.
Only motel I got for that weekend was about a 45 mins north of Monterey, CA. The 21-miler race starts 5-miles into the marathon. I was under the impression the only way to get there was to take a bus from Monterey. Apparently there is a bus that picks up people from much closer to the start line. I didn’t know about.
But, it all worked out. We stayed at Motel 6 in Marina. And there is a Denny’s next to it. I woke up at 2:45AM on the race day and walked to Denny’s to get coffee.
Coach Naresh and Shashvat picked me up from the motel. The three of us drove to the bus pick up at Marriot, in Monterey for our 4:30AM bus. Note: Restroom access till the bus pick up at the hotel.
The drive to start from the hotel is another 45 mins. I tried to sleep in the bus, but couldn’t.
Start line at 5:15 in the morning was windy and cold. I had worn long pants and my fleece jacket. And yes, I needed them till the last two miles of the race. (Since I walked the race, I needed the jacket to the most part).
There are trees to hide away from the wind. But, I was too awake and alert to rest.
It was a slow run/walk for the most part. One of the best things about the race is the mile marking posters. I took pictures at each mile.
The drummers at hurricane ridge beginning, pianist at 13.1 mile are something to be experienced.
The fact that this race is on Hwy 1 with ocean scenery at my disposal for the entire course, I am so glad Venkat and Coach Naresh talked me into walking this course.
When the lack of training got to me at mile 15, I was getting tired and wondering if I should continue any further. To my luck, I met Harry from East Bay Chapter walking with another Asha runner. I decided to tag along with them for the next 6-miles to the finish line. If not for them, those 6-miles would have been hard on me.
Overwhelmed by the beauty of the course and the support of Harry in the last 6-miles, I finished slow and happy. Did I tell you, I love the T-shirt color ?!