Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fontana Days Half, All Downhill From Here

I finally signed up for my next race. It only took a bit of fear to do it.

I will be racing in the Fontana Days Half Marathon on June 4. The race cost me a whopping 38 dollars (and that's including the fees). I was worried that it might sell out... well, I believe last year's race sold out for the first time ever, but I was worried that I would not decide to register for it until it was too late.

The Fontana Days Half Marathon is a pretty unique event. It is all downhill, and race organizers say it's the fastest half marathon in the world. It's a point-to-point race that ends outside of the Fontana City Hall offices - Fontana is a ghetto town very close to where I live. City Hall is probably about six miles from here. So we'll park there and then take buses up to the start line. The race is supposed to start at 7 a.m., and if you've been to SoCal in June, you know that that could mean some very warm temperatures throughout the race.

The half marathon is also the oldest half marathon in the U.S. The first Fontana Days Half was held in 1955, just a little bit before my time.

This is also a bit of a special event for me. The 2008 Fontana Days 5K was my first-ever race. I remember being at the finish line area and watching the half marathoners come in and being in awe of them. Some of them looked like they were really gunning for the finish line and I just was amazed that someone could have that much energy after running 13.1 miles. I vowed to run the half marathon the following year but in 2009 I was in Costa Rica on the day of the event and in 2010 I was doing the Camp Pendleton Mud Run. So this is the first time I've been free and nearby on that day.

What's my goal? Originally, it was to PR. I mean, you can't run a downhill race and not go for a good time, right? What would a PR mean? A finish of better than 1:55:03. I don't know though, there's not a whole lot of time between now and then, and I'd not have a lot of time to work on speedwork and that. I will definitely go for a sub-2 finish and we'll see as the race gets closer if I have done well enough to have a realistic shot of setting a new PR.

Maybe someday I'd like to run a half marathon in 1:49:59 or faster and maybe that is only possible for me on this downhill course. That's not this year but if nothing else I'll be able to get a feel of what this race and this course is about so when I am able to shoot for a massive half PR I'll have an idea of what I have in front of me.

Either way, I'm excited about Fontana Days officially kicking off my summer race calendar!


Kerrie T. said...

Exciting! Man, I am starved for a race right now, but am trying to be patient so I can save it all for the big one at the end of June. Sigh.

Tricia said...

super exciting!

Sarah said...

I'm running it too! It will be fun to see you...I'm not sure what my goal is yet but at least I'll see you at the start:)