Safari Park Half Marathon

Saturday morning it was time to pick up our bibs & t-shirts for the race.

I looove the shirt! It’s orange, tech material & has animals on the back.  Not your typical race shirt that’s for sure!

Ready or not here comes Half Marathon Number 3!!

This morning we had a planned meeting time to carpool at 4:45am! I think I turned my alarm off in my sleep because I don’t remember ever hearing it. I received a phone call at 5:00am asking where we were.. oops.. I was still in bed! The meeting place changed to my house and I was ready to go in 5 minutes! It’s a good thing I laid everything out the night before.

We were in the parking lot around 6am.  Not bad considering I woke up at 5am! (Don’t forget daylight savings which means it felt an hour earlier!)  Pre-race was dark and cold! We managed to beat the major traffic and get in the park with plenty of time to spare.  We had time for lots of preparations, pictures & porta potties.

After stripping off some layers it was time to go!  Missi forgot her garmin so had no way to pace.  She said she was going to run with me and I was going to be in charge of pace.  At first I was a little worried as she is faster than me but then I figured she could do whatever she wanted even if that means running ahead!

The first mile was crowded & had lots of runners running the wrong direction!  If you weren’t in the parking lot by 6:45 they shut down the road for the race meaning all these people had to park on the street outside the park and had to run in.  They definitely got a warm-up in before the race and started late.

I lost Missi at about mile 3, or should I say she lost me?

Here I am at about mile 5 which was the first time I passed our spectators (Todd & David).  I started shedding layers & left my gloves with the guys.

Near the turn around point, there was a little out and back where you would pass other runners.  I saw Missi who was probably a couple hundred meters in front of me?  I have no idea if that is accurate but that’s what it felt like.  She yelled for me to hurry up & told me she was going to slow down.  She waited for me a little ways up!

We ran the rest of the race together and it was awesome!  My time wouldn’t be what it is without her there! Thanks Missi!

This course was much hillier than Carlsbad (my only other half marathon).  Two of the hills almost had me walking!  Overall the course was fun & different from the ocean I typically see.  It was very scenic with rolling hills & countryside.  Spectators were few and far between except for one location in the park.  It’s a tough course to have spectators along the side but when I did see them they were great!  As for animals there weren’t many.  I saw cows & horses outside the park but inside we ran by the elephants as well as the rhinos.  I didn’t see elephants when I passed them but I did see a mommy & baby rhino that were so cute!

We finished hand in hand. It was fun, haha.  I can’t wait to see how the official race pictures come out at the finish line!

I successfully completed the Inagural Safari Park Half Marathon.  The proceeds from the race will go to help build a new Tiger Exhibit! I feel good that I actually know where the $$ is going!

Race Stats:

Summary 01:55:11 13.12 08:46
1 00:09:05 1.00 09:05
2 00:08:28 1.00 08:28
3 00:08:23 1.00 08:23
4 00:09:14 1.00 09:14  <–Hill Number 1
5 00:08:30 1.00 08:30
6 00:08:36 1.00 08:36
7 00:08:46 1.00 08:46
8 00:09:38 1.00 09:38  <– Hill Number 2
9 00:08:28 1.00 08:28
10 00:08:42 1.00 08:42
11 00:08:42 1.00 08:42
12 00:08:44 1.00 08:44
13 00:08:46 1.00 08:46
14 00:01:03 0.12 09:00


My official time was 1:54:59 with an average pace of 8:47 min/mile (per Safari Park website)

That is a PR by about 5 minutes! Wow.. I wasn’t expecting that.  I think the hills kind of help.  You are slowed down by the uphills but the downhills really help your time!

Post race food had the typical fruit, pretzels, powerade & mini Larabars! Don’t tell anyone but I kind of stocked up..

Great times with great friends!  Thanks to our awesome spectators (David & Todd) for taking photos, waking up way too early on a Sunday morning & cheering us on the whole time!  It wouldn’t be the same without you.

After the race we were free to enjoy the Wild Animal Safari Park (by the way..the sign at the entrance still says Wild Animal Park).  We weren’t too in the mood to walk around but we did see a baby Cheetah in the nursery, some birds, dik diks & some huge gorillas.

That was enough walking, we were ready to celebrate!  We had brunch at Cafe Merlot in the Rancho Bernardo Winery.  My mom has worked there forever & I used to work there in high school!

We drank many mimosas and shared a bunch of food items.  That’s my favorite way to eat at restaurants because I can never decide what I want.  I always want it all!

Fruit and cheese plate. So much stuff.. soo good!

Asparagus Salad.  Amazing!

Three kinds of soup – Tomato Basil, Lobster Bisque & Pumpkin.

We ordered three entrees to share.  The lobster benedict & Kahlua french toast for breakfast & then the Bella sandwich for lunch.  The sandwich had chicken, carmelized onions and feta cheese.  I still prefer the Reuben or the Salmon BLT if I’m going to get a sandwich.  They are amazing!!  I want one right now.

I missed the photos of the three dishes but got some partial photos.  It’s tough to remember to take the photos after running & drinking a few mimosas!

This was Todd & my half of the Lobster Benedict.  It’s kind of hard to tell what it is in the photo.  It was delicious & came with roasted potatoes.  I don’t think we ate many of those because we had too much food!

Kahlua french toast with bacon.  The french toast was a little sweet.  It may have been the kahlua.  It also had a citrus flavor to it which Todd didn’t like.

The Bella sandwich with a pasta salad.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal as we always do when eating at Cafe Merlot.  Make sure you have reservations on the weekend as they fill up fast!

The rest of my day was spent watching a movie, napping & just lounging.  A very successful Sunday I’d say.  Not ready for Monday tomorrow!



Filed under Eating Out, Exercise, Marathon, Restaurants, Running, San Diego

7 responses to “Safari Park Half Marathon

  1. jillian

    Great job on the mile times, I’m very impressed. I hope to run one with you one of these days.
    P.S. I am now craving cafe merlot, food looks amazing!!!

  2. Missi

    Am I reading this post right? You wrote this at 11:24 last night after you woke up at 5am and ran a half marathon!!!! I know you took a nap, but still…. No naps for me but I was in bed by about 7:30pm last night. Haha. You had an awesome race Tammy!!! So fun running with you. We totally shouldve wore costumes…. perhaps we should plan now for the Rock and Roll Marathon! I love the pic with all the larabars you stole… it was like buffet! I will say though that the Safari Park could have provided better snacks for the runners and better directing of traffic out of the park! Anyway, congrats on an amazing race! It was both our 3rd half and a PR

  3. Wow, great job with the PR!! I love the race shirt!

  4. Leslie A.

    Good times and awesome race!! You’re going to kill the Rock n Roll marathon! We’ll be there to help Todd cheer you on. Hope you’re recovering ok today, my legs are mad at me 😉

  5. That looks like the best post-race breakfast ever!!!! Great job on the race too 🙂

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