Okay, take a look at that picture!
I decided to run the first portion of the Pier to Peak Half Marathon Course yesterday. I’d run the last 8.5 miles of that uphill monster last week and started to flirt with the idea of actually signing up for the event. I wanted to run this first part and see if I felt like I could take on the entire 3996 feet of elevation gain. That was going to be my decision maker.
It just so happens that this first part of the course follows a bit of Mountain Drive – a winding mountain road in Santa Barbara with no sidewalk, no real shoulder, and drivers who treat it like their own personal raceway. I dressed loudly and started early to try to avoid as many drivers as possible.
There are some serious Jerk Drivers out there! I had taken off my white tank top in the first mile or so since it was hot. I hang it like a cape from the back of my sports bra. Refer again to the stunning photo at the side. (I think it gives me super-powers.) There’s no way they didn’t see me, yet a few of those drivers just about grazed me as they passed.) One actually headed right for me and swerved away at the last second. And I know he was looking right at me. Was he trying to brush me back, showing me that I was on his turf or something?
Another driver actually honked at Laura and I. What? Are we not allowed to be here? Is this road your private property? Or do just have a chip on shoulder about runners? Here’s some shocking information for you, whoever you were. Runners are allowed on the streets. Surprise! So are walkers and cyclists. We all do our best to stay out of your way so maybe you could drive with a bit of kindness and consideration instead of acting like you are going to get extra points for hitting a moving target.
I’m glad to report that we both arrived at the Sheffield Reservoir alive. It took some serious alertness on our part, waving of our arms, and jumping onto to the dirt at times, but we did it. I felt pretty good too. I felt like I could tackle the remaining 9.1 miles of ascent.
I have now gone from, “I have no intention of signing up for this event” two weeks ago to hand delivering my registration form and money and doing everything shy of begging to get into this race. Funny how things change. Now if those crazy drivers would just stay off the roads on race day, I’ll be set.