Just a few short weeks after racing in Missouri, I headed to California to again run as part of Girl Power 2 Cure to raise money for Rett Syndrome. This race was the inaugural Avengers Half Marathon. I had never been to California and flew out a few days before the race to spend some time with a friend, see Disneyland and California Adventures and spend time at the ocean. 


We went to the expo, which can take awhile as the Disney expos are HUGE! We spent our fair share of time walking around to see all the vendors, but made sure not to try any new drinks, gels or chews. Nothing new the week of the race! 

We ended up going to Disneyland and California Adventures the ENTIRE day on Friday. I grew up a huge Disney fan, so I wanted to get in as much Disney time as we could! Luckily we had all day Saturday to recover from all the walking, rides, food, and fun that was had Friday.

Saturday we went to the beach and just relaxed. The temperature was perfect for me, but not great swimming weather. Luckily we were pretty pooped and just laying in the sand was what we needed to do before heading back to our hotel for a nice pre-race dinner with Girl Power 2 Cure.

Pointing out my cousin Martilee, who has Rett Syndrome, at the GP2C team dinner.

Pointing out my cousin Martilee, who has Rett Syndrome, at the GP2C team dinner.

Running as part of a charity is an amazing experience. It really helps to run for something OTHER than just a PR (not saying that that's not plenty of run either!) It was great to meet the other runners that were part of Team GP2C and see the girls we were running for. All these little ones have Rett Syndrome and fight against it daily, so to run 13.1 miles for them seems like nothing!

Always have to get a picture of the castle!

Always have to get a picture of the castle!

Race morning dawned dark, warm and WINDY. The race announcers told us that there was a solid chance the Santa Ana winds would be coming through during the race and they were not wrong! 

Race ready! Let's go!

Race ready! Let's go!

The Avengers course took us through Disneyland in the first few miles, so it was neat to see the park at "night" all lit up. All the characters were out on course, especially the super heroes! They came out in full force for photo ops.

Once we were through the park we hit the roads to head towards the Angel's Baseball Stadium in Anaheim. That's right when the winds kicked up and MAN were the winds strong! I ended up having to pull my cape to the front and holding it in my hand to keep it from whipping around everywhere.

We were able to run one lap inside Angel Stadium which was pretty cool, however there weren't really any crowds inside. After exiting the stadium we had a long stretch on a paved trail next to a giant ditch. I thought the wind was strong before... but now it was wind throwing sand right in our face!

Holding up both the Avengers Half Marathon and Coast to Coast medals!

Holding up both the Avengers Half Marathon and Coast to Coast medals!

We made a few more turns and were so close to the finish! 

I was surprised to see that I was coming into the finish close to a PR on my watch, especially with the winds! Once I saw that I decided to really kick it in to try to get that new record.

I was able to! I just barely snuck under 1:45 with a time of 1:44:54 (8:00 flat pace). I ended up taking 7th in my age group and was the 29th woman overall.

This race also completed the Coast to Coast challenge, awarding me with a second medal. The CTC challenge is completed when you run a Disney race both in Florida and California in one calendar year.

Allison and me at the finish.

Allison and me at the finish.

After completing the race I headed back to the Girl Power 2 Cure tent to wait for more team members to finish. Due to the wind they actually made us leave the finish area! Some of the team tents and the grand stand were blowing away! Even then, I hung out with one of the amazing Rett mom's, Allison. She's speedy! 

Running for Rett Syndrome has really changed my life. I've met so many amazing people and found even more reason to keep running. We will run until she can!

To go back to the race report archives, click here.

I like to run and love to travel

Welcome to my blog! A little about me… I’ve always been fairly athletic and loved playing sports (watching is a different story… unless it’s a track meet or some type of running event). Growing up I played every sport I could and eventually found track in middle school and immediately fell in love.

From middle school through college, anything over 400 meters seemed much too far to run, though I did run cross country in high school my first three years. I had a successful sprinting/hurdling career during that time achieving school records and qualifying for the State meet the NCAA DII national meet. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Health and Human Performance from Fort Hays State University in 2012 and no longer having a coach expecting me to show up for practice daily, I had to figure out what was next for myself. 

I turned to distance running in the summer of 2012 mostly to keep health and fitness as a large part of my life as I worked towards my personal training certification. I didn't realize I'd become hooked to distance running while training for my first half marathon in spring of 2013! Since then, I have successfully completed multiple 5ks, over 20 half marathons, 4 full marathons, two Half Ironman triathlons and one Full Ironman triathlon. In these accomplishments I've also raced in 19 states and qualified for (and ran) the Boston Marathon.

Now that the Boston Marathon has passed, I plan to continue learning how to run as a new mom and build my fitness back to my previous abilities. I have a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states, as well as running all six World Marathon Majors.

I’ll write up a short race recap of all my races over half marathon distance for you to follow along on my journey. They will also post chronologically right here on this blog. I plan to eventually post other tips and tricks, recipes, and the “whys” of distance running. I hope you enjoy!