Skip to main content

Balboa Park 8 Miler Recap

A couple months ago, Carlee McDot hosted a giveaway for a race entry into the Balboa Park 8 Miler race.  It's a local race that I've always wanted to do so I was beyond excited when I won.  
The Balboa Park 8 Miler is San Diego's oldest consecutive race, this year being their 62nd year.  I've heard that it's always a though course, but this year they had changed the course and I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I didn't look at the course map prior to the race, but had convinced myself it would be a hard run.  I had been warned of the trails and the hills, so this is what I was mentally preparing myself for.
The week up to the race, I had convinced myself the race was on Sunday, so that's what I was mentally prepared for.  On Thursday, I finally realized it was on Saturday.  Packet pick-up was Friday afternoon but honestly the time frame would have had me stuck in traffic coming and going so I was glad they also offered race day pick up.  
I woke up ready to go Saturday morning and headed to Balboa Park, making sure to give myself enough time to find parking, get my bib & shirt, take it back to my car and make it to the start line in time.  Every thing was organized and it was easier than I anticipated, so I had plenty of time before the start.  I met up with Carlee before the race, took a couple pictures, chatted and then headed over to the start line area.

Start Line
The start line had self-placing corrals with signs lined up by pace.  I placed myself comfortably between the "8 minute" and "10 minute" mile signs.  After the National Anthem, the runners were off.  The staggered the start and I went in the second corral, with a two minute delay between corral starts.  
I often run through Balboa Park and the areas around it, so I was familiar with several areas of the course.  There were some out and back type of loops, but it never felt repetitive.  Although it was overcast, it was humid and the weather was definitely making me feel like I was running harder than I was.  After running near the park and through the San Diego Zoo parking lot, we were off to the trail portion of the course.  

Course Map
I was actually excited about the trail portion of the course.  I've been running more trails lately and have discovered that I love it.  But when we got there, I almost came to a complete stop.  The first part was downhill, steep downhill.  Other runners around me laughed as we all slowed down and made our way down the hill.  It wasn't a long hill, but I admit that the downhill made me nervous.  Once I found my comfort spot, I was off and running.  I kept a pretty good pace until I got to the "Zig-Zag hill."  That hill was no joke.  They even had a selfie station at the top of the hill with a sign that said "I Conquered Zig-Zag Hill." (I didn't stop because I was in my groove and anxious to finish the race.). Although the trails were a relatively small portion of the race, it was my favorite part.  Even the hill! 
The last portion of the race went smoothly as I made my way to the finish line.  I noticed that several of the runners around me were ones I had started with so I was glad that I seemed to place myself accordingly at the start line.  

Can You Tell Where Zig-Zag Hill Was?
Overall, I had a great time at the race.  I appreciated having Nuun and water at the three aid stations on the course.  I liked having mile markers at every mile.  The course support and volunteers were awesome.  The volunteer that was stationed about half way up Zig-Zag hill was my favorite-- you couldn't help but laugh when he told us how tired he was and "wasn't even running the hill."  My only "complaint" was the water at finish line-- they had small cups that were barely full and I would have like more water.  (Further into the finish line area, there was a booth set up giving out larger bottles of Aloe water, but I didn't like feeling like I had to search for the water.) In the big picture, this is a relatively small complaint compared to things I've experienced at other races.  

The Bling!
Eight mile was a fun distance-- since this was my first eight mile race, it was an automatics PR.  The San Diego Track Club and High Performance Movement put on a great race.  This was my first year doing the Balboa Park 8 Miler and I will definitely be back.
Have you ever won a race entry?

Until next time, happy running!


Popular posts from this blog

The Lululemon Test Truck Experience

I don’t own any Lululemon, but I’ve been told by my friends who love the brand that once you try it, you won’t want to wear any other brand. Earlier this year, I heard about their #MoreThanMiles tour that took #TheTestTruck to different cities so that people could do just that- test the Lululemon.  I was excited when I learned it would be coming to San Diego and quickly started following their Facebook page so I could stay up to date on the stops they would be making while they were here.

When a group of friends that run early every Monday morning learned that the truck would be near their normal running spot from 6:00am-8:00am, I decided to join them.  We met up at 4:55am for a short run then came over to the Lululemon Test Truck to get in line.

What is the Test Truck?
It’s exactly what it sounds like—it’s a truck where you get to try out a piece of Lululemon gear.  While you're there, you can also test out a pair of APL shoes which I heard were super comfy and light. (I opted out o…

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

It’s the most run-derful time of the year which means it’s time to start your holiday shopping.I usually wait until the last minute, but this year I’ve vowed to start early.To help me do that, I’ve made a gift guide for all the runners in my life (and a list of things I secretly want myself) Hurts So Good Recovery is an important part of running.If you’ve ever had the chance to try Rapid Reboot recovery boots, you know how amazing they can be.The only downside? The cost.But they are definitely worth it. Their Own Personal Cheerleader I don’t mean the kind of cheerleader you’d find on the sidelines of Monday night football- I’m talking about the kind the can take anywhere they go.If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll often see pictures of my Momentum Wrap bracelets—they’re the perfect pep talk during my runs.These were on my list last year and made it again this year because of the new SPARK boxes—with four options to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
Stocking Stuffers Socks

Run Streak: One Year

Last year my friend Jen hosted a Running Streak for the month of June—we were to run a mile everyday and at the end of the month everyone who had completed the month would be entered into a drawing for awesome prizes.  I love prizes and had several other friends signing up, so I thought, “Why not?”  Although it officially started on June 1st, I ran on May 31st-- so began my Run Streak with #StreakingWithTheCoolKids.

When I started the streak, I didn’t know if I’d make it through the entire month.  But after the first week, then the next, I though maybe I really can do this.  And sure enough, I made it through June running at least one mile everyday.  And once the month was over, I didn't want to stop.  So I kept running.  My new goal became 50 days and then 100 days.  Once I reached 100, I knew I had a decision to make.  So I kept running.

If you follow my adventures on Instagram, you know what happened next.  I have officially been streaking for one year and seven days.  From May 3…