A couple of weeks ago I took to the pixels of this blog to lament the difficulty my wife and I were having deciding which half marathon we should run this spring. Parameters were set. Locations were discussed. Websites were explored. And despite the myriad of potential events, we couldn’t seem to find the right race.
Well… no sooner than I posted my thoughts on our terribly noteworthy dilemma, a half marathon came to our attention that was impossible to ignore. This event seemed to be calling out to us in such an unmistakable way I had no choice than to believe this was not mere coincidence, but rather some kind of Devine Providence leading us toward our eventual destiny. This race spoke to us in such a clear and magnificent way we dropped everything in our orbit and planned out the entire trip. Within a couple of days we had registered online, procured overnight accommodations and booked a flight.
All of this is a dramatic way of saying we’ll be running the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon on May 7th.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that this race is not actually in Santa Barbara. The course begins in San Ynez and finishes in Solvang, aka the town made famous in the Paul Giamatti opus, Sideways. In addition to being the second half marathon I’ve run in California, it will also be the second half marathon I’ve run in California where the town in the race name is actually not the town where the race takes place. (My previous encounter with this phenomenon was the Big Sur Half Marathon which actually took place in Monterey.) I’m not sure why these coastal races in the Golden State insist on misleading runners, but I think a Congressional investigation is warranted.
During our expansive search, the wife and I strongly considered running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half in Nashville and the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. However, the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half was our selection because of its early May date, its west coast-ness, and the fact that “wine” was in the name didn’t hurt either.
Running this race also allows us travel to Southern California, which is something we’ve been meaning to do. In a former life, I lived in the greater Los Angeles area as an aspiring TV writer who was often broke but usually very tan. Since heading north in 2006, I’ve only returned a few times and am currently woefully overdue for a visit. So in addition to spending a few days in the American Riviera, we’ll also be extending our trip to include a few days in the City of Angels.
While in town I’ll be dragging my wife around and showing her all that La-La Land has to offer: the beach, ubiquitous sunshine, Mulholland Drive, the Hollywood sign, air pollution, the Griffith Park Observatory, Dodger Stadium, In-N-Out Burger, and, of course, bumper to bumper traffic as far as the eye can see. If we’re really lucky, we’ll also get to see dolphins in the Pacific and experience a moderately frightening earthquake.
And so it begins! Travel arrangements have been made, new running shoes have been purchased, and a training plan has been generated. The only thing left to do is run four times a week for the next three months.