By Sergio Reyes

The toughest part of this particular Sunday hard effort was trying to figure out where to do it. The Long Beach 1/2, San Jose RnR, and City to Sea all fell on the same day, had HOKA bonuses, and I've raced them all and had great experiences if not PRs at all of them. Long Beach is closer, San Jose is faster, City to Sea is home.

Coupled with the fact that I got the Monday afterwards as a holiday, this sealed the decision to return to where I ran my first ever race as an Aggie. As part of my Fall marathon buildup, I didn't back off the mileage much but felt rested enough for a solid effort. The downtown downhill mile got us off to a great start on this Sunday morning. I treated it much like I would a tempo workout with the team, trying to keep us grouped together for the first half but set a strong pace.

I think I wanted right around a 5-flat effort and I think that's what I got. Despite a snafu in the finish and some horribly made up finish times, I thoroughly enjoyed my scenic tour of the best city on earth and its surrounding coastline. So happy I could be a part of the event and get a tough workout done in what has to be the best race conditions available, typical SLO.

Best of all, I got to enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend just chillin' in my hometown with the fam. All in all, a good day's work with no heavy pressure and showing good signs in the buildup at this point.

Winning Shoe: HOKA ONE ONE Clayton 2