The Beginnings



The San Diego Marathon (as Carlsbad Marathon was known then). I finished at 4:57:51 but love this pic as it shows gun time (we started an hour early)

My very first marathon was the Carlsbad Marathon (formerly called The San Diego Marathon), held on January 19th 2003. I was still a SoCal (Redondo Beach) resident at that time, and a young 28-year old!  After running this race, I ran and completed 3 other marathons that same year.  I fell in love with running.  I set a goal for myself, to complete 50 marathons by age 50.  Longevity is what I wanted for my running.

Below is my marathon race report.  Since it was my first time, I didn’t really know how to write down a “real” race report. Still, I penned it and then emailed it to my running friends (and family). Very old school!

Unfortunately, I cannot find my results on Athlinks, but was able to find it archived on


p.s., Didn’t drop my first toenail after this race, though!


Hi all!

This was my very first marathon ever, and I liked it! This may be long, please bear with me as I am still not familiar with the running terms. In summary, it was a great run, I joined a Clif Shot pace group, and the pace leader was the greatest cuz she kept us in pace and helped us finish within the goal, plus motivated us on the way.

Here come the details:

The location: Carlsbad (it’s really the Near San Diego Marathon), by the ocean and some inland neighborhood. It had nice scenery; we passed an area with lots of trees (but we were on the road, not in the forest). We could also see the ocean on most of the way. In the early morning, when it was foggy, we could hear the waves break when they reach the rocks on shore.

The weather: Perfect! We started at 6:30 am; it was a foggy, cold morning, then the sun came out of the fog about an hour after we were running (I think). The rest of the run was sunny, but cool weather.

The route: It was a flat and fast course. There were few inclines, but not really hills (compared to the Temescal hill with Jackie, or that 20-mile trail run/hike/walk with Karen).

My finish:


Start Time: 06:31:26.00

1484 10:49

Half Marathon:
1491 11:11

19.6 Miles:
1428 11:24

(Half Marathon) 6.55 Miles:

1310/1950 11:22
(Sorry for the format; I just copied and pasted from the website).

Here’s the background:

The day before, Karen (our trail running mentor who came with me to Carlsbad and did the half marathon-congrats to you, too, Karen!) coached my friend and I and gave us tips on what to expect, what to eat, what to do, and so on. This was my 26-mile training run. I didn’t know anyone else doing the marathon at 6:30 am (except Sharon, but she was leading the 5:30 group and that was too long and I had friends doing the half who will be waiting for me 3 hours after they finish their half), so I joined the 5 hour (approx 11:30 pace) Clif Shot pace group to keep me in pace and to run with a group. (Sharon, I was the one with Karen when we saw you at the expo, and at the start the morning of the run.) I was reluctant at first to join them, because I know they don’t do the run/walk. However, the pace leader, Star (her name), said she will walk at every water station, so I figure I’d be okay. Sharon also suggested to run ahead of them so I can still catch up when I do my walk breaks. The problem was, I do not know how to set my watch so that it will ring every 6 minutes for the walk break. Anyway, I just ran with the group, and the walks we took at the water stations were good enough because we probably walked for 30 seconds or so. There were a lot of water stations, almost every mile I think. There were also Clif Shots given out at a lot of the aid stations throughout the course, probably at least 8 times(?).

After mile 15, star (the pace group leader) told us that we will start walking for 1 minute each time we passed a mile marker (all miles are marked). So, I really didn’t have a problem with taking walk breaks. The other good thing about the pace leader is that she cheered us on, we cheered other groups, and she shared motivational stories about other pace leaders, milestones in some people’s lives, etc. Our group also played the music band/artists game, we gave nicknames to some people in our group, etc. I was nicknamed the Galloway Girl because when they started talking about Jeff Galloway I said that that is how I’ve been trained, doing the 6/1 run/walk. Then they asked me, shouldn’t one run the marathon the way one trained for it? I just said I’ll do my best. There were probably 10-15 people in our group, and we gained some and lost some on the way.

I was able to stay with the group all the way till mile 25, when I just went ahead a little, since Star also told us we can go ahead if we wanted to, and so I can get back to the hotel, shower and check out cuz my friends who finished the half marathon 3 hours ago are probably waiting. (I just thought also, wouldn’t it be cool to break 5 hours, even if it’s just a couple of minutes?)

I would say, the training with the [LA] Leggers really paid off. The longest I’ve ran before this was the 22-mile with Jackie, and I remember feeling so tired and fatigued after that. After this marathon, I still felt okay, and not as tired as I was after the 22-mile training run. Karen can attest to that cuz she was there and saw me when I was done with the marathon. Anyway, thanks to Karen’s trail runs and training runs, and to Jackie’s just-right pace during the Saturday runs, and Sharon’s leadership at the 10:30 pace group, I was able to finish my very first marathon, and enjoy the whole experience! I would recommend this marathon to all, especially if you want to do it for time, and want to set a fast time because you can definitely do it here. Perfect weather and nice fairly flat course.

A very happy and satisfied first-time marathoner, Minel