By Michael John Stanley

As a manly deep voice echoed through the loud speaker, “Attention all marathon runners, please report to the starting line, we are 10 minutes from the start. Attention all marathon runners…” I felt flush from a sudden adrenaline surge that tapered into a perfect blend of nervous and excitement. It all comes down to this. All the lonely distance runs, the lack of sleep from exploring every “what if” scenario, the hours of online research, all wrapped in the hopes and dreams of accomplishing the goal today. As the gun went off, I found myself in that phenomenon of what feels like jogging over a minute faster per mile than my target pace. I love that feeling…I just wish it would last through mile 26! Sound familiar?

Ventura Marathon Banner

I really enjoyed the vibe of this race. The area around the Ventura Pier is fairly compact, so putting four thousand runners, their friends and families, staff and vendors all in that one area really gave it a large race feel.

When you add in the scenic beachfront, the smell of the ocean, the relatively cool weather (I’m from Riverside where it’s been hitting the 100s!), and the flat and fast course, you just know it’s the perfect scenario for a PR just before Boston Marathon registration opens!

I will definitely be doing this marathon again for all the reasons above, and although I didn’t hit my target time, I did PR at 3:04:05, took second in my age division, and beat my BQ by 11 minutes. Boston here I come! As for Ventura, I’ll be seeing you again real soon at the Lexus LaceUp Race November 2nd!

ventura marathon photo