I’ve wanted to run the Surf City 10 for a couple of years, but it usually falls on a weekend when I’m busy or have another race to do. I was excited when it seemed to work out this year. Plus, one of my good friends, Brittany, was able to run, and it’s always nice to have company.
Before the Surf City 10:
We left Edwards around 12:30. When I plugged Huntington Beach into GPS, it said it would take 3 hours. Woof. Usually, it’s a 2:15 drive, so I knew there would be some traffic. Luckily, it took about 2:40, so it wasn’t “as bad.” We arrived in Huntington Beach around 3:30, picked up our bibs, ate at Cucina Alessa, went to Sprinkles, and then went to bed. I was excited to get to bed early, considering the Surf City 10 started at 6:30. That’s my earliest start time in a little while. It’s much easier to get out of bed to run an easy run at 5:30 than to race a hard effort at 6:30. Don’t ask it’s logic. I also didn’t feel like I had enough pasta at dinner and could have used another half a meal but I figured it “would be fine.”
The outdoor Surf City 10 expo was great. Parking in Huntington Beach is always challenging and you are fighting beach traffic for a parking spot, but after 20 minutes we found one. One of my favorite running shoe brands, 361 Degrees is the shoe sponsor for the Surf City 10, so it was fun to talk to them and see what kind of shoes they are coming up with.
The Surf City 10 race morning came early, and I didn’t sleep well. Even though the weather was great the night before, it was a hot and humid race morning. I thought: ah yes, typical when we went outside.
We warmed up around 5:50 a.m. I had planned to do 2 miles but settled on 1.6 because I did not feel good. In some races, you don’t feel good and race fairly well. In some races, you don’t feel good and run poorly. I thought for sure it would be the latter. I struggled to warm up at a 10-minute pace. I wasn’t too concerned because this wasn’t my goal race. It was just a race I wanted to have fun at (but running well is always fun, LOL).
Surf City 10 Race:
The Surf City 10 race started promptly at 6:30. I lined up between the 7:00 and 7:30 pacers because I figured I would run the same pace as the Bra Run in 7:15, and on a not-bad day, I hoped to be faster. I was still hoping to be faster, although I wasn’t sure what my body would feel for the day.
I ran the first mile of the Surf City 10 in 6:55. I was surprised because the only goal was to keep it smooth and not feel like I couldn’t hold that pace. At one point, I glanced down, and my watch said 7:22, and I thought, I guess that is what I have for the day.
I ran the next mile in 7:01. I was behind the 7-minute pacers and thought, maybe I can hang onto this pace. During the third mile, I went to grab electrolytes, and they weren’t ready, so I slowed down to pick up a cup off the table. Mile 3 of the Surf City 10 was 6:54 and my fastest mile of the day. It’s likely a 6:52ish without the weird water stop blunder. I was glad I picked up electrolytes because I needed more than average, and the race only had two electrolyte contents on the course.
I ran mile 4 of the Surf City 10 in 7:01 and mile 5 in 7:03. Miles 4-5 felt so long, and I thought, how will I ever run six more miles? When we turned around, I realized how downhill the first half was. Looking into the distance (even though I’ve run this course with the Surf City Half in 2022 and 2023, it felt so long and never-ending…and uphill.
I just focused on keeping it together the next two miles as much as possible. I ran a 7:07 and 7:05, and I was pleasantly surprised. We started climbing in mile 6, and I thought it would be done around mile 7. Sadly, it lasted about 2 miles, and I ran a 7:12 and 7:16.
During mile 8 of the Surf City 10, the overall winner of the Surf City 10k passed me, olympian Kim Conley. I told her she was awesome, and she gave me a smile. It motivated me to keep working as hard as possible. I counted mile 9 down and kept telling myself 1 mile to go. Half a mile to go. .2 to go. Then, finally, I crossed the Surf City 10 in 1:11.07 and was the 17th female.
Surf City 10 Thoughts:
I’m thrilled with this, considering I didn’t feel good. I crossed the 10k mark 30 seconds faster than the Santa Monica Classic 10k the weekend before, which was motivating. I cannot emphasize how bad I felt (and not just in a maybe I’ll secretly just run well) but more of a how in the world will I run that far today?
I’m looking forward to running a race on a day I feel good because I think I’d be able to run under a 7-minute pace for 10 miles (I thought that about 10k last week, but I ran 7:01 paced 10k and then died the previous 3.8 miles).
Questions for you:
Have you run the Surf City 10?
What is your favorite race?