Balboa Park 8 Miler; A new annual tradition

Along comes an event that just begs to be run again and just yesterday, August 5, 2017, was such an event. The Balboa Park 8 Miler is a mixed course run that brings together people who love to challenge themselves and each other while supporting each other and having fun! This year marks the 63rd anniversary and I am forced to shout out loud, "HOW DID I NOT EVER HEAR OF THIS BEFORE?"

The morning was warm but the humidity had finally subsided a bit after so many days of that 'breathing under water' feeling. When we arrived and parked at about 6 AM (for a 7 AM start) we were met with vendors and a start/finish area that was welcoming and wide open. We were greeted by a very upbeat and spirited MC who regaled us with his humor and funky music that just added to the positive vibes flowing everywhere. We joked about the port-a-potty lines narrowing into three lines snaking into the warm up area and wondered (not so silently) why there wasn't a line for each tiny outhouse. Never-the-less, everyone made it to the starting shoot with time to spare and the wave starts began just after 7.

Once passing under the starting arch, the tour of Balboa Park and the edge of the San Diego Zoo began in earnest. I purposely started out slower than I wanted to because I had never run this course before (again, how have I been running for 25 years and NEVER heard of this race?) and I knew there were hills and although I've been training for incline lately, I am not as confident, yet when I am unsure of the course. This race did a tremendous job of boosting that confidence; however. The elevation was noticeable but not as challenging as I had anticipated and I was able to navigate even the steepest incline at mile 6 (a dirt switchback that caused most to slow to a walk) at a sub 10 min/mile pace. I believe my conservative pace in the beginning definitely allowed me to tackle the elevation changes with fresh legs and provided me the reserves to finish the entire race with a 9:03 per mile pace and negative splits.

So, how do I feel about running right now? Well, right now, running is my best friend, my sanity, my solace, my spiritual outlet, my sunrise and sunset, my gratitude, my life. And this race is simply an affirmation that what I choose to do for health and recreation is sustainable as long as I train wisely, stretch often, eat well, sleep completely, and keep an open heart. Now, I just need to get my BRF and Dearest friend, Jean, to join me and get her back to this craziness. I think I'll get ahold of her right now. 😊

Happy feet, happy running, be grateful that we can do this!



  1. Aww, you are too sweet! Thank you for reaching out and getting me back out there! I'm looking forward to our trail run Saturday! And congrats to you on an amazing race with such a fast pace and negative splits! You are killing it!!


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