Thomas Edison once said that “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” My opportunity came this week dressed in a Lululemon running skirt. The good folks at Team VW gave away 180 entries to this past weekend’s Long Beach International Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and Bike Tour. Yep, there’s no cost whatsoever except some sweat on my behalf. I was one of those lucky people! Though I had wanted to participate in this years race, I had no intentions due to my dwindling bank account. I ran this race last year and this was one of my most enjoyable races, so I jumped at the opportunity presented by Team VW.
Let me say that the SWAG that Team VW gave to runners was AMAZING. Not only was the running tee awesome, but everything inside the bag made me feel like an elite runner. I know what I am wearing on my next run and I promise that it is blue!
I learned a few lessons from my experiences with last years race. I woke up slightly earlier this year, threw on my running tutu and made sure that I avoided the 710 freeway all together. I made it to the race on time and even had time to chat with some Legacy runners. Speaking to these runners gave me the boast and motivation to embrace running as a life long sport which will help me to overcome any obstacles I may face during my journey through life.
Running in Long Beach is very similar to my training runs in Santa Monica. It is mixed with typical city streets and the amazing coastal beach course. The excitement of this course starts at Pike Place and winds through the streets of Long Beach and over a few bridges. Perhaps running this race 2 years in a row I finally understood what the first few mile were all about. As a runner you are always training and working towards a goal or a bigger picture. Crossing over that bridge provided runners with the bigger picture-giving runners a glimpse of the Queen Mary and the magnificent Pacific Ocean which was just snippet of the splendor ahead.
Once you run through the streets of Long Beach and turn the bend at mile 5 you are head on with the Queen Mary and on your way towards the beach bike path. Reaching this point is where running for me turns from physical stamina to mental perseverance. It is all downhill from here, though not literally! Mileage wise I am out the double digits and have the needed confidence to push through and cross the finish line. I love getting to this point of the race, passing the Queen Mary and running along side the ocean. As a runner I am never tired of the beach side and I always find this to be refreshing. I have stated this before, but beach running is way cheaper than therapy and it not only clears the mind, but also cleanses the soul. The crashing waves provides a soothing calmness and nothing shatters the calmness that envelops around you.
The race directors at the Long Beach Half Marathon could not have designed a better course for runners. Though they had no control over it, the weather was not too bad either. Team VW provided an amazing opportunity for a lucky 180 athletes. I can’t begin to thank them for selecting me as one of their athletes. From the expo to the finish line celebrations I always felt like I was an elite athlete. The Team VW hospitality tent was a post-race celebration for the 180 athletes and their families where the excitement of the race continued as we cheered on fellow athletes still running towards the finish line. A delicious brunch was also served which was not only greatly appreciated, but gave each of the athletes an opportunity to socialize and share the excitement of the days marathon and half marathon. I hope to one day wear blue again and have the opportunity to run with Team VW.
QOTD: Are you a legacy officially or unofficially? Is there a race that you look forward to every year?