On an unusually warm Sunday before the rain set in that week, I drove up to Ventura for the Third Annual Santa to the Sea Half-Marathon. This race was featured in the calendar section of Runner's World Magazine because of its Christmas theme. Last year, Runners World caught Julia Roberts running it. I was itching for a half, so I signed up for it. I really love the half-marathon distance. It’s just long enough, and by the time you want to roll over and quit, it’s over.
Many participants dressed up in Christmas attire (knee high red stripped socks, etc.) and we were shuttled to the start line which centered around a large Santa Claus. The gimmick of this race is that you run from this huge blow-up Santa to the Oxnard Fisherman’s Wharf. Too bad this gimmick ends up handicapping the route. Mostly industrial and not very interesting, I wouldn’t recommend this course to anyone who isn’t a local. There were a few glimpses of farmland which proved interesting, but otherwise it was largely on the street. In fact, I have never done a race where so many cars went through our route. The exhaust was a little much.
I should thank all of the volunteers who navigated traffic. Without them, there would have definitely been some problems.
I finished the race at an 11:30 pace . The sea at the finish line was really beautiful. And Oxnard is a great beachy town. I wouldn’t recommend this race if you have any high expectations. But the locals are great and you could combine your run with an afternoon in town.