This past weekend marked the running of the Avenue of the Giants, near Weott, California. Avenue of the Giants is one of my favorite races yet. I cannot say enough about how beautiful this course was. The Marathon is a double out and back, while the Half Marathon is a single out and back, all taking place in the Redwood National Forest. The course runs along a two lane road which is closed to drivers and lined with enormous trees, a river at one point, and helpful volunteers every 2.5-3 miles. The course is almost completely flat, with the exception of one little hill at the very end of the course, and it is optimal for a PR. There were just under 1000 participants in the 10k, Half, and Marathon distances, which created a steady flow of traffic throughout the course, however it was never crowded. Race times were staggered with Marathoners beginning at 7:45, and Half runners starting at 8:45, thus everyone finished relatively around the same time.
The race was highly organized from start to finish. Instructive emails leading up to the race were helpful when making travel plans, and preparing for the race. Our group of 20 runners predominantly stayed at the Best Western in Fortuna, approximately 25 minutes from the race start, while a few runners opted to camp in the camp ground near the start line. Packet pickup was offered the day prior and was streamlined and organized. Race directors were helpful and allowed several runners to make last minute changes including participant names and changes in distances-this is almost unheard of at Marathons, and many runners took advantage the opportunity to substitute another runner in for an ill or injured participant.
This is a great race to plan a trip around. Traveling from Southern Oregon, we planned for just a weekend, left ourselves time to stop and play at the beach, and walk around some of the nature paths along the 101.
This race is a bucket list must do, I highly recommend it. And bring your camera, it is absolutely gorgeous.
My finish line photo, that is an ultrasound in my hand, my husband and I are expecting our first little one in December!
Make your day great,