Hollywood Half Marathon Race Recap

I have been excited for this race for months! Running in Hollywood, road trip and a weekend away. I was looking at options for some sightseeing and getting more excited. I was even more ready after being sick for my March half marathon, looking forward to some redemption.

 Then, on April 1st, that all changed. My grandfather has been sick since December and in palliative care hospice. On Easter Sunday, he passed away. I won’t go into a lot of detail, because emotionally, I cannot go there yet. Here is a quick recap: he was my best friend and greatest supporter. I loved him more than I can ever express in words. My heart is broken. I spent a few days back home in PA, attended his funeral, and flew home Thursday night.

 I decided that Monday (the 1st) to still go to the race. After discussing it with my husband we agreed it would be good for me emotionally. Honestly, up until Friday morning, I was unsure if I would still go. Up until the race started on Saturday, I was unsure if I would actually run it. The three weeks prior to the race were crazy: I was sick for a week, traveled and recovered from the sickness with a severe cough for another week, and then tried to deal with the grief. Guess what didn’t happen, yep… running. I hadn’t run except for intervals during a workout session while traveling for work the second week. My body and mind were exhausted, my heart numb. IMG_3323

 I showed up at the start line with the decision to finish. To honor my grandfather I would run. I honestly believed at that moment that my grandfather and my body would give me the race I was meant to have that day. I set no other expectations, even chose to safely do a 4:1 run/walk ratio to not overdo it.

 Throughout the race I felt him with me. At one point between mile 8 and 9 I felt this wave of emotion, strong enough where I took a walk break to refocus. At that moment I checked my runmeter app and realized that with my pace I could most likely PR (especially if there were no more hills). I could keep going at my pace and push it the last 2 miles to really get a good PR. Oddly enough, the moment I realized that I also realized that the PR did not matter to me that day. Usually I set and work towards a time goal, when you realize you can PR it gives you the motivation you need. I felt none of that. I shrugged, ate some chews and kept running. With the decision to enjoy the last 4.5 miles, I did just that, encouraging others, high fiving people, you name it. Just enjoying the run.

 Then, at mile 11, I came across exactly the race I was meant to have. I am giving no details on the moment other than a first time half marathoner with an injury and I met up and stayed together until the end to make sure she got the finish she worked so hard for. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.


The medal with a shoe charm with pappy’s picture. He is always with me.


 The after race events were fun. Taking pictures, displaying the medal, enjoying the moment, even the entertainment was great. Superhero Events did a WONDERFUL job with this race. The new course was fun (even with the hills), the race director was very present and involved with the runners and the event, the organization and volunteers were amazing. The medal is stunning. Even the after party at Drai’s Hollywood was amazing. I could rave about the race director, Superhero Events and the race for another 10 paragraphs… but this is long enough. If you are a runner, I suggest this event. A great time!!





My friend Charlene and I, the race director Ken and his friend.

 So, no PR, a finish time of 2:44, but the opportunity to heal my heart a little and the gift of assisting others made this the best race of my career. I’ll save the PR at Hollywood for next year.


My souvenir coffee cup!