This weekend I ran my 4th half marathon in Ocean City, MD! This flat, fast course runs from Assateague Island to Ocean City. This was one of the most fun weekends I've had in a long time - I think my cheeks still hurt from laughing so much!!!
My pal Steph and I packed up my car and headed south on Friday afternoon! We spent the 4 hour drive chatting about life, love, running, marathon training (Steph ran her first marathon in November!), boot camp (where we met), boys (she's one of my many matchmaker playing friends), and most importantly...what kind of food we'd be treating ourselves to!!
One of the fun things about this race was that 4 of the "Fab Five" would be running in it, and also 37 people from Gruver Fitness (the outdoor boot camp I attend). About 18 of us from boot camp did our carb loading on Friday night at an Italian place on the Boardwalk (Davinci's By the Sea). This was the restaurant choice because "they have unlimited salad and it has chickpeas and it is amaaaaazing" (direct quote from Jeremy, our boot camp trainer)
After many, many laughs and some good food - we headed to bed early! The race began at 7:00am on Assateague Island - but to get there, you had to line up at the Inlet in Ocean City and take a shuttle. We wanted some group photos before heading down, and wanted to be sure we'd have time to hit the restrooms and stuff - so that meant a 4:15am wake up call. OUCH.
It was so cold and windy while we waited, that our friend Johnny resorted to wearing Steph's pink and read heart arm sleeves. Haha!!
This is the first year this race has run from Assateague to OCMD - it's always been the other way around and then they'd shuttle the finishers back to OC at the end. There are definitely some kinks for them to work out. They had nowhere near enough bathrooms and shuttles. The race ended up starting at 7:30 instead of 7:00. Even with that, I walked out of the bathroom, got in line with the 2:00 pace group and we started within minutes.
Of course we had to take a pre-race selfie in the start corral!
One of the nice things about this course is that it is FLAT. It's the first time I've ever looked at my elevation chart and have had completely flat lines. There's 2 small inclines on the bridges going off and on the islands, but otherwise it is the flattest course I've ever run.
Since it didn't go through a town really, there wasn't a whole lot of course support, but I wasn't bored. I had the perfect playlist set and I was running with some friends for awhile. There were 2 places where you got to pass other runners, so it was fun to see friends along the way! The water stations were a little understaffed and frustrating, but that happens.
My goal for this half was to finish it in under 2 hours. And I did!!
I am pretty annoyed, however, that my chip time from the race says 2:00:04. My mile splits, my personal watch, and my pace guide all agree with 1:59:45 - so I'm going with it!
We took lots of post-race pictures, and hung around to enjoy some beverages and pizza after the race!
(We came, we ran, we conquered!)
(Steph and I post-race!)
(3 of the Fab Five! SO SO SO proud of Dawn and Cathy for doing awesome in their first half marathons!!!!!!!!!)
(The Gruver Fitness gang!)
After some time relaxing and showering, it was time to celebrate a great race!! We started with Fractured Prune donuts (Steph got Chocolate Peanut Butter, I got Carnival - vanilla w/ rainbow sprinkles) and ice cream (coconut chocolate chip).
Jeremy, Steph, Mark, and I shared some delicious sushi for dinner. After that, we met up with our fellow boot campers at the Purple Moose Saloon...and well...those photos will not be blogged. There was dancing and all kinds of fun happening! I felt like a college kid again - it was a blast!
Sunday morning we had more beautiful sunshine and blue skies! The Kite Festival was going on down on the beach, so Steph and I met up with Jeremy and Mark to enjoy the sunshine, grab some lunch, and have fun in the shops on the Boardwalk.
An awesome race, lots of laughter, plenty of sunshine, and great friends - can't think of a better way to spend a weekend!