Posted by: jawsome | February 21, 2009

Roses En La Playa 2009

Roses En La Playa Race Report:

Overall, I’m going to call the race experience odd. Let me start with a brief description of last year. Last year’s Roses went off without a hitch, in spite of the rain (rain in california??!!). There were buses to take us to the starting line, police escorts, and fans up and down state street to lend their voices in support. The post-race festivities were great, with lots of people, music and fun.

This year’s race was like – as the British say – the redheaded step-child of last year’s race. What the heck? They didn’t have the information about the race posted until about three weeks ago, and didn’t give out any real information when they did post the date. Turns out they changed the course AND start time. I didn’t pre-register because I wasn’t sure I was going to race if I didn’t get an internship match. I looked online to see when I would have to come down in person, and it said between 6:30 and 7:30. So, I hauled my tired self out of bed and went on down (at least it was close!) Turns out there were only 2-3 people milling around, and the guy begind the table looked just as annoyed as I felt about the miscommunication. He handed me my t-shirt and pointed up a long hill. “you have to walk to the starting line – it’s up there.” Okaaaaay…..

Wasn’t even close to start time, so I waited in my car for Shaun W, a fellow Smooth Mover who also had the misfortune of showing up early. Luckily, our earliness was good as I forgot cash to pay to get out of the parking lot. Shaun was kind enough to bike home and get a check while we were waiting for the start. I noticed that there were many fewer people than last year, even though last year’s race was on a rainy day. It felt kind of sad and desperate. I heard a lot of grumbles about the course change. People love running down State Street (our big street in town).

Ok, time to start the race. It was an open course, and only about 200 people registered. This made it feel even more jenky, but whatever. I lined up at the chalk starting line with everyone else and trotted off when some guy with a bullhorn shouted “go!”

Shaun immediately sprinted off like the rangey gazelle he is, but I was cooking along pretty well myself. The first mile and a half was uphill, and I did the first mile in 9:05. I went out a little fast, and had to take a mini-walk break at the top of the hill to slow my seizing diaphragm. Mile two I saw Shaun whizz past on the return leg fairly close behind the lead runners (darn you Todd Booth you sandbagging semi-pro!). Mile two was completed in 9:01, and Mile three in 9:05. I sprinted to the finish, feeling a little silly zooming past a couple people (come on, don’t you guys save something for the end? I know it’s a fun run, but at least pretend there are hordes of screaming fans!) and ended the race with my tell-tale almost-about-to-hurl feeling. No worries, I didn’t vomit on anyone (although there is a first time for everything!).

I got a 27:58:52. Wohoo!! New PR for the 5k distance. I beat my last year Roses’ time (which was on an easier course) by almost 6 minutes! Shows what losing some weight and training hard will do for you. I was happy with my result, which made me feel more benevolent toward the race “organizers” than I might have felt otherwise.

Shaun came in at a blistering 21 minutes in 15th place! I love it when people ask how I place in races. “‘Well, uhhh, I got 82nd place.” …pause… (asker): “ohhhh. well good for you for running at all!”  Ha ha!

Shaun is now at home putting frozen peas on his tortured IT band, which he gorped something fierce during the race. I recommended eating the peas, which probably was not helpful. 🙂

Overall a good race, if poorly organized. Tomorrow Matt and I are scoping out the 1/2 marathon course on our bikes and I’m going to try running the hill of death (AKA Ballard canyon road – you may have seen it on the tour time trial in Solvang – it’s part of the 1/2 marathon).

Happy Running!



  1. OMG! We are totally tied on the 5k distance, check us out! Great job on the 6 minute PR on a harder course. 🙂

  2. Nice work. 6 min of last years time. WOW!!!

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