Sunday, March 18, 2012
Florida Beach Halfathon Race Recap
Now, about the swag....simple. Got some Dole fruit snack, a shirt and some papers. But, this shirt? I almost regret getting my husband a shirt. Seriously, after every race, he keeps on saying "You don't wear these, so why don't you just get my size so I can wear it." Well, I finally do...and seriously this is a shirt I would so wear. First, there was a choice of white or green (it is St Patty's weekend after all). Second, there is no annoying sponsorships on the back! Seriously, you are NOT walking around like a billboard. I have issues with this. I pay for a race fee and therefore, I am paying for a shirt. Why would I pay to advertise some business on my back? Seems this is the opposite of any other sense of normality. Third, its simple and kinda cute...but not girly cute....gender neutral cute. Anyways, Joe was happy with it. He loves the fact that I do all the work, and he got the shirt!
So, to step back, while the race series does promote early packet pickup at a few locations Thursday-Saturday, its not needed at all if you plan to get to the race location around 6am. So, I'm all set...so I walk back to the staging area and meet up with some other HF's for a photo op. One of them even brought a case of gum, so we all enjoyed that! But, this required another walk back to the car. Perfectly ok with me since the car was so close. :) Went to the restroom line afterwards and by the time the line dwindled, it was time to get to the start!
The first 3 miles is a wrap around the paved trails near North Beach as you can see on the map (I'm thinking its the same path the 5kers complete). The next part southward runs to Fort De Soto. Honestly, I don't even recall noticing the fort (and I've never been to this park before), so maybe I was just focused on the path? The next section was a bit harder. The light was getting brighter and the heat was setting in. It was a long straight away....but the view at the turn-around all the way to the east was beautiful. Picturesque in fact. This is right around the 8-mile mark.
The return was harder. I hit the 9 mile mark around 1:35...but the heat was seriously affecting me now and the water stops were clearly not coming fast enough...I kept on thinking how a sprinkler would be nice to run through right around here! Right around 11 miles, I just had issues. Wasn't really in pain at all, even though I was starting to feel it...just simply lost the desire to push it. Again, my goal was NOT to go for a PR...so I don't feel bad about this...I'm glad to see that my wall is coming at 11 miles now, rather than where it came in earlier races!
With the last half of the season coming up next month (Iron Girl Half), I don't expect to break 2:20. There is a seriously intimidating bridge AND it will be hotter! But again, I'm seriously going to enjoy this one...as it will be the last for quite some time!
So, would I do this one again? You betcha. Its a "runner's race" ...run by runners for runners. Its safe, clean, well managed and doesn't have any "fluff" that simply doesn't matter. Now, I do wish someone would have used a golf cart to drive the path (with a shovel) before the race began to scoop up any inconsiderate dog owner's stuff...but hey, thats really my only negative comment. I don't miss the expo. I don't miss the hoopla. I don't miss the cheerleaders. I don't miss the bands. That being said, sine this is a "runner's race" if one is accustomed to placing around the middle of the pack in a big race, it will not be repeated here. There are no "first time half marathoners" at this race...so while its not uber-competitive, your standings in your division will be negatively affected. But again, you don't run this for the esteem...you run it for the enjoyment. I'll be at this one for the Halloween Halfathon....same course (I think) and similar medal (starfish with halloween theme)....and this time I will bring Joe and the kids!
Why? The course is very spectator-friendly. Seriously, the kids could have seen me at the start, around the 3 mile mark and the finish line. If they chose to jump in the car and drive a tad, they could have seen me at the 5-mile mark as well as the 10-mile mark (really tons of places they could have pulled over and cheered me on...really, any place on the north-south stretch...just driving the east-west stretch to the turnaround would not have been well-received by course officials). And if they chose NOT to get in the car, the place has tons of playgrounds and is safe...and they would not have been lost in the crowd.
Definitely a race to recommend to anyone. I just hope that next year's (which is actually on St Patty's day) has a medal with the requisite starfish draped in a shamrock :) Listening to this Chris? Hint hint hint!
Labels: races: Florida Road Races