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When we woke up yesterday morning at 4:10 (only because I couldn’t stand the thought of waking up at 4), the winds, as Weather.com had predicted, were already blowing out of the NE, which is muy bueno if you want to surf pretty much anywhere in Malibu, but no bueno if you are paddling West. And it was cold. Not even weenie cold… temps were in the 40s!

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Transition zone.

Since Malibu is point-to-point, race organizers have busses that schlep athletes from the finish at Zuma up to Thornhill and Broome. Last year, the race started super late, and this year, even though race organizers threatened our lives with a firm 6:00 AM departure time, the start was still delayed, but only by 7 minutes.

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Still the queen of awkward pictures.

This was fine, because it gave us plenty of time to take plenty of pictures. (Thanks, Veronique, for the pic.)

So here’s my breakdown of the event itself.

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RIP, my favorite Rite Aid glasses! Somewhere, a dolphin is sporting super cheesy, ill-fitting, oversized shades and is making all the other dolphins jealous.

They were destined for bigger, better things.

The Run

I snuck in the frontish at the gun, otherwise me and my dime-sized bladder that visited the porta-potties no fewer than five times would have had to wade through a big ol’ herd of runners. Maybe organizers will consider corrals next year? It’s just a lot of people in a very narrow space.

I ran on pace for the first mile and a half, then I was shanked in my side and had to slow it down to a 7:30 pace. I was hoping to keep an average 7:15 pace throughout the seven miles, but it just didn’t happen.

My average pace for the run was 7:36.

The SUP

The dude who organized the SUPathlon, a man named Seth Springer, did a stellar job at putting on a great event. The transition area at Leo Carillo was open to set up gear very early, and he was extra careful to make sure everyone’s crap was moved from the transition to the tent at the finish. He was also super nice and positive, which I was not after I finished because I was a hungry bear.

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Super nice Seth and super hungry me.

Yes, the man’s teeth are actually that white. He should be a smile model.

And, yes, that is a little Perrier. I died when I saw those suckers.

I wasn’t physically prepared to paddle strong for this race. In my mind, I figured that if I could run strong, I’d be fine for the paddle. But, you can’t just get off the couch and compete at an elementally (is that even a word?) tough paddle, as I learned yesterday. I blew a pretty significant lead, and that was a major bummer.

My other problem was that I didn’t consume enough energy. I brought it; I just didn’t use it. I still felt strongish at the transition, and I was pumped to get in the water, so I completely missed taking a gel. I was able to pop some of my remaining Honey Stinger gummies from before the race along the way. They helped, but once I reached the area just north of Broad Beach, and the currents were crazy and the winds were strong, and insanely strong paddler Karrie McFadden passed me and proceeded to smoke everyone else in front of her, all I wanted to do was cry. I was done.

But I didn’t cry or quit, because water safety Jeff heckled me and somehow convinced me that I could keep trekking. So I did. I’d post a picture of him, but he lives in anonymity, and he falls into the shadows once he’s called out on his awesomeness.

The finish was kinda cool. I should have taken a picture, but Seth had arranged for Tikki torches to be set up at the exit for SUP athletes to run through to get to the final stretch of the race, which was down the north end of the Zuma Beach parking lot. Nice touch.

At the finish, I was shivering beyond normal, partly from the cold, mostly from lack of nutrition, and I was handed a Malibu International Marathon and Half Marathon towel, which I promptly wrapped myself in. There were tons of free bars (we use this race to stock up on Mammoth snacks… I’m cheap like that), and there were special medals for the SUP athletes.

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When you’re sad because you just paid $8 for a chili dog and $10 for a beer at Canyon Lodge, know that somewhere on the mountain I’m laughing at you with my hip flask and my stash of free bars.

Actually, I’ll meet you at the lodge for a beer. C’mon. I’m not that cheap.

Better yet, I’ll hit up Karrie and she can buy a round! Kidding. Kinda.

The most glorious part of the entire day was the VIP tent. I’m not quite sure who was responsible for it, or if I was even supposed to be in there, but it was warm, all our transition stuff was there, including a larger beach towel for each SUP athlete, and the food was DELISH!

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Holy eggmushroompestocherrytomato crostini, Batman!

It took me about an hour to gain my appetite back after the race, but once it was back, it was ON.

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Hungry bear! I ate about thirty of those. And by about, I mean actually.

Just ignore the face.

Holly from Wild Ginger catered the event, and it was super delish. I spent some time Googling her catering business, but didn’t come up with anything.

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She laced these cookies with crack. I’m sure of it.

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I heart this little thief.

After races, Olivia always asks if I won. And then she asks, “Well, why didn’t you win?”

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Always asking honest questions. Gotta keep mama motivated!

Overall, the conditions weren’t ideal, but it was still a gorgeous day, and it was a great event. I’ll definitely be back next year.

Congratulations to Meredith, Laura, Veronique, and Kim for finishing! And an even bigger congratulations to my husband for beating me for the first time.

Don’t worry, folks. I’ll beat him next year.

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