Runners, regardless of experience, ran mile after mile throughout the rocky, mountainous terrain of the Las Pulgas foothills during the 2013 Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon here April 13.
The 13.1-mile marathon takes place annually in conjunction with Pendleton Race’s Hard Corps Race Series, and is the second of the six events available to military members and civilian running enthusiasts.
"The weather was perfect, the starts went on time without a hitch and the award ceremonies were great. The (base) commanding general even ran the race and loved it," said Jill Prichard, race series supervisor and race director with Marine Corps Community Services. “No race is perfect, but this is as close as it can get.”
This year, competitors were able to run a half marathon, 10K or 5K course designed to challenge participants with numerous elevation changes.
"The uphill sections were the most difficult parts for me," said Kayla Boatright, a 16-year-old sophomore track and field athlete for Temescal Canyon High School. “My dad ran alongside me and motivated me to keep going.”
Boatright, placed first overall for the 5K female division with a time of 23 minutes, 22 seconds.
Those who conquered the multiple-terrain course received a race medal. Awards were given to the top three overall male and female finishers in each event group.
"I try to go out every day and train to get better for my age group," said overall half marathon winner, Rick Herr. "I really don't expect to win races like this anymore. I’m just trying to improve my ‘over 40-year-old’ finish times."
The 46-year-old Corona native crossed the finish line in 1:17: 40, besting his previous course time by nearly a full minute and finishing 95 seconds ahead of the next finisher.
"I love this course, with all of it's rolling hills," Herr said. "It's always a great run for me."
The third event for the Hard Corps Race Series will be the 2013 World Famous Mud Run, scheduled for June 1, 2, 8, 9 and 15. For more information on the series, visit www.hardcorpsraceseries.com