Logistics: Getting on and off Santa Catalina Island involves giving in to the Catalina Express Ferry or taking a helicopter. Based on Jimmy's past experience, we chose to fly into LAX on Friday morning to be able to take the 4:30 Ferry over to Two Harbors from San Pedro (the only port offering service to Two Harbors). From the airport we grabbed a shuttle to San Pedro that was rather convenient and timed perfectly. The race offers bib/packet pickup at either the start or the finish. Some racers choose to stay in Avalon (which offers far more in the way of city life than Two Harbors), however, they must also take a 4:30AM ferry around to the north end of the island, which is infamous for toying with breakfast. We partook in the pre-race pasta dinner and then camped a few minute walk from the starting line. We also chose to hang out in Avalon on Saturday and take the Sunday morning Ferry back to Long Beach. This requires a late afternoon flight out of LAX for the timing to work out, which one should probably plan this section before planning the flight times.
|Chilly ferry ride over to Catalina Island|
|Saw some whales in the water and buffalo on the island from the boat|
|Someone's bonfire on the beach in Two Harbors|
|Standing around pre-race. Pretty cold here.|
I had some Garmin watch issues where the battery wouldn't hold a charge very long, so I had my watch charging right before the start. I also wore my heart rate monitor strap, carried my phone in my shorts pocket and carried a water bottle with 2 gels. At the start, my watch said low battery, so about a half mile in, I grabbed my phone and fired up strava to simultaneously record the data. My HR was pretty high 90-100 before the start possibly due to the instant coffee I just drank or due to other race day jitters.
Once underway my HR spiked up to about 180 and then settled back to 150. After about a half mile the first hill came and Jimmy and I found a very comfortable pace and I mostly quit looking at my heart rate, just tried to keep it comfortable. There are a ton of aid stations on this course, so I made it a point to try to not pay much attention to most of them, however I did notice that none seemed to have any gels so I planned out how to best utilize the 2 gels that I brought with me. I took the first one at 45 mins in to get the caffeine boost and planned to save the other for mile 17 to get me to the end. Given this, I decided to switch from water to Gatorade at the aid stations to get some extra calories.
|Working on the first climb|
|Flat section at mile 13-14|
I got passed here by a good number of people and I think we were all ready to jump in the ocean as it was really warm out. The big downhill came at 23 and I did my best to muster up a 9m30s pace. I could have benefited from a little extra left in my quads but it wasn't there. The dirt turned into pavement and I knew I was close but not sure how much to trust the distance signs as they were correct up to mile 8 and about a half mile off from 9-24 miles. There was a 1.5 mile space between the 24 and 25 mile signs and once I saw the 26, I could also see the finish, but my watch turned off at mile 17.
|Relaxing on the beach|
|Post race party and awards ceremony|
Link to Strava Data