I was excited to run the She is Beautiful 10k in Santa Barbera. The last time I was in Santa Barbara was for the Run Local Half Marathon, which has been my fastest half marathon in recent times. I love the area, and the weather is usually reasonably nice.
Before the She is Beautiful 10k:
I heard many good things about the She is Beautiful 10k, and it’s a race I’ve wanted to do. There is also a 5k. Race packet pickup was pretty easy and in a large park along the water. It made for a nice scenery for packet pickup. The night before wasn’t exciting, and we ended up staying in Ventura since it was much cheaper. My good friend Brittany and her husband joined us, so it was super fun to run a destination race with someone. I woke up around 5:30 for the 8:30 start. We got there around 7:30, parked, and did 2ish mile warmup. I didn’t feel great, but it was also because I ran pretty hard the day before at our Base 5k. Not hard enough to race but harder than usual (I think I ran around 23 minutes or so).
I was skeptical when the She is Beautiful 5k and 10k races had a row of about ten porta potties, but it all seemed to work out, and I didn’t wait too long in line. Brittany and I headed to the She is Beautiful race start, and they started doing a prerace Zumba warmup. I don’t take myself that seriously that I couldn’t enjoy the prerace Zumba. It was high energy and fun.
Before the She is Beautiful 10k, I read they didn’t have any aid stations due to COVID. While I am all about precautions, not having water stations for participants was more dangerous. The weather was not cool (around 70 with 90% humidity). Some people were out on the course for 2 hours. At a minimum, the She is Beautiful 10k should have had water, but a standard procedure would be to have electrolytes. If they were worried about COVID, they could have had small bottled water, which I’ve seen plenty of races do. Not having water, was not just disappointing but dangerous.
She is a Beautiful 10k Race:
The She is Beautiful 5k and 10k start simultaneously, and we all headed away from Santa Barbera. The first mile was fairly uneventful, and I was looking to find my groove. Unlike last week in Santa Monica, I started further towards the front, so I could easily run. I hit the first mile of She is Beautiful 10k in 7:09, but the mile marker wasn’t until about .1 later. My husband said he thought I ran the first mile in around 8 minutes.
During the second mile, the She is Beautiful 5k and 10k split up. I didn’t know that the She is Beautiful 10k was about to go up some gnarly hills. The She is Beautiful 10k has about 200 feet of climbing and is all contained in 3.1 miles (that the She is Beautiful 5k does not run). I hit the second mile at 7:22 and realized my goal of running under 7-minute miles was out the window. During the second mile, a group of high school cross country runners went by me taking up the entire course, just doing their daily run.
The third mile of the She is Beautiful 10k contained more hills. I assumed we would be coming back that way and kept reminding myself what comes up will go down. We got a lot of gorgeous scenery of the Pacific Ocean, so that was nice. I really enjoyed this section of the She is Beautiful 10k, despite it being challenging. I started to get pretty hot, and I wish I had electrolytes or water…or anything.
We turned around at about halfway and headed back towards the She is Beautiful 10k start. I was excited about some downhills, but I also had forgotten we had some more uphill too. I hit mile 4 of the She is Beautiful 10k in 7:19.
Mile 5 of the She is Beautiful 10k is the hardest because it goes back up a relatively large hill. Then finally, you rejoin the 5k. The problem is, when we rejoined the 5k, there was nearly no room for 10kers to run. It was extremely packed, and I ran on the outermost section near the cones. This meant I was slightly closer to cars than I preferred. I don’t love when races have different paces because it’s not enjoyable for anyone. 5kers don’t want people rushing by then, and 10kers don’t want to weave through a packed sea of people. Plus, it can get dangerous.
Finally, it spread out enough. There is a Hoka contest where the fastest person to run the last half mile wins a prize. So I gave it my all at the half mile. Luckily I had a room just to sprint. I ended up running 3:10 (you cross mats) and was the second fastest half-mile time. I crossed the She is Beautiful 10k finish in 45:40 and as 10th overall and 8th woman.
She is Beautiful 10k. Thoughts:
I’m happy with the effort at the She is Beautiful 10k. It was a much more challenging course than expected, but I worked as hard as possible. I am disappointed with the lack of hydration on the course. They could have even had water bottles. Plus, the joining of courses was not my favorite. In all, I enjoyed myself. There were some weird (and maybe dangerous) quirks of the race that hopefully they get sorted out for next year.
On a random note, I find it interesting that they didn’t give out medals, which seems common at races these days. They said it was because of the swag bag, but the swag bag had a few snacks and a bottle of water.
You can see Strava here, and all race recaps here.
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Questions for you:
Have you raced the She is Beautiful 10k?
Have you done a women’s only race?