Posts Tagged With: beach

Key West Half Marathon Recap

It's a two sided medal, it's a wine stopper, it's fun and functional.

It’s a two sided medal, it’s a wine stopper, it’s fun and functional.

Ahh, the Florida Keys. Who doesn’t love em? Key West in particular, has always been a magnet to the funky-fresh folks.

Closer to Havana than to Miami.

Closer to Havana than to Miami.

If you haven’t been, well, it’s kind of like a tropical and clean New Orleans. If you haven’t been to New Orleans, well, it’s kind of like an anything-goes sort of haven – full of good food, strong drink, history, openness, tolerance, and zero inhibitions. Both cities were home to pirates, poets, performers, and parties. Needless to say, I love it!!!

Two similar cities. Only separated by 600 miles.

Two similar cities. Only separated by 630 miles.

In case you get lost.

In case you get lost.

And I’m glad to report that the Key West Half Marathon & 5k had the same feel to it that the island has – laid back, scenic, inclusive & fun! Peeps could even register under a “walker division” – can’t get more inclusive than that.

The fun feel starts at the race expo, which was held at a seaside bar and oyster joint…DUH!

Ain't I purdy?

Ain’t I purdy?

I was so excited at the expo, because it meant we got our race shirts! They are so over-the-top amazesauce!!!

The shirts....I heart them!

The shirts….I heart them! And check out those bibs!

And if you’re so inclined, there are plenty of shops next door to load up on souvenirs.

Yeeeeah buoy!

Yeeeeah buoy!

From there, there were plenty of good joints on the island to get your carbo-load on.

Sushi grade raw tuna "nachos"

My sis with our sushi grade raw tuna “nachos”

The eggs in the restaurants were very fresh.

The eggs in the restaurants were very fresh.

The artwork in the eateries was very high brow, as my sis and her bae recognized.

The artwork in the eateries was very high brow, as my sis and her bae recognized.

My sis with some key lime pie, natch.

My sis with some key lime pie, natch.

The whole pie.

The whole pie.

And of course, there were good bevvies to wash it down with…

Key West beer, why not?

Key West beer, why not?

My sis and a Moscow Mule at Louie's Backyard.

My sis and a Moscow Mule at Louie’s Backyard.

Hog's breath is better than no breath at all. So they say.

Hog’s breath is better than no breath at all. So they say.

Anyway, on to the race! It started at 7am over by the boat docks. Very laid back – no formal corrals, no pre-race formalities…

Can you spot me?

Can you spot me? Hint – white Ohio University shirt. Photo courtesy of http://www.fotobyfreas.com

I was a little worried going into the race. I was in good shape, but I’d been training in Dallas in 20-30 degree temps. Race morning it was in the 70’s with 90% humidity – 90%!!!!!!!!! OUCH!

IMG_2804But it was time to race, and hahaha, there wasn’t even a race starting horn – Someone must’ve said, “Go.” cause all the sudden, we were off!

I started my gps about a 1/4 mile into the race. My bad.

I started my gps about a 1/4 mile into the race. My bad.

The course took us down famous Duval St., past the Southernmost Point marker, then an out and back along the beach.

Our friend Carrie caught me on the course. Throwin Dueces!

Our friend Carrie caught me on the course. Throwin Dueces! Or maybe quotation marks cause I was feeling “great” in the humidity.

I crossed the 10k mark at 48:34, but it was all I could do to maintain that pace in that humidity. Shortly after, the wheels fell off. I was taking walk breaks to dump cold water on my head at each aid station.

Anyway, on the way back we went past the Hemingway house, the lighthouse, the A1A Mile Marker 0, and through Mallory Square (where everyone goes to watch the sunsets).

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

The race eventually ended at the boat docks. But I was really hurting in the humidity. However, I sucked it up the last couple miles to finish at 1:50:00. A full 5 minutes slower than the Dallas Half last month.

At the finish, smiling on the inside.

At the finish, smiling on the inside. Photo courtesy from video from http://www.wildsideonline.com

I was hoping to break 1:40 at this race, but with the humidity, it wasn’t meant to be. I really did push hard though – so much so that I was very sore the next day.

That said, it was the same for everybody out there, and so I was still able to finish 27th in my age group and 201st overall (out of 3-4000 runners)!!!

See, I told you the race ended at the boat docks.

See, I told you the race ended at the boat docks. Sweat much?

Even though I didn’t have the race I hoped for, I still had an absolute BLAST! It was so SCENIC! The volunteers were WONDERFUL! And the post race party was OFF THE CHAIN!

Before we could really get turnt up, I had some other friends and family finishing the race that I went back to root for!

Some friends.

Some friends.

Some family - my ma.

Some family – my ma.

Sister's bae.

Sister’s bae.

My dad's first half marathon!

My dad’s first half marathon!

My sis also ran, but I didn’t get a pic of her finishing. But we did get a selfie with the race announcer. This guy was THE.BEST.MC.EVAH! He was cracking us up with gems like, “This is the best day of our lives!” And I think he called me “dude” when I crossed the finish line.

Michael the Boston radio DJ. Solid dude.

Michael the Boston radio DJ. Solid dude. Perfect match for the Key West laid back attitude.

With everyone finished, it was time to party!!!

We had fun.

We had fun.

Da Key West crew.

Da Key West crew.

The post race concert was Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band. I’ve heard him before on Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville. Such a great performer!!! He even made us margaritas with a modified boat-motor-blender at one point.

Howard on stage.

Howard on stage.

Did I mention all the beer was FREE?!?! That probably led to us making some new friends. Like when I photobombed some stranger’s selfie because Howard had jumped off stage to be in it!!!

Selfie stick, Howard Livingston, Photobomb.

Selfie stick, Howard Livingston, PirateBobcat Photobomb. Love this pic! Thanks to Elizabeth T.F. for sending it my way.

Hahahaha, the race photog actually got a pic of us taking a pic of ourselves.

Hahahaha, the race photog actually got a pic of us taking a pic of ourselves.

From there it was on to Duval St. where we could proudly display our medals and shirts.

Da Key West Crew all cleaned up.

Da Key West Crew all cleaned up.

Yet another patio bar to celebrate on.

Yet another patio bar to celebrate on. I figured I’d wear loud shorts with my screaming shirt.

The patio drinks led to even more selfies. Well, that and narcissism.

Look, a coconut tree and a coconut head.

Look, a coconut tree and a coconut head.

And I even tried my best to copy RunColbyRun and her high angle, partially-obstructed-face selfies, but I couldn’t master the master.

So sexy.

So sexy.

So to sum up, it was a blasty blast!!! If you are ever thinking of running the Key West Half Marathon, I say DO IT!!!!

And besides, you can’t run all the miles until you run the first one…

Mile Marker 0. Yes, I was in Birkenstocks.

Mile Marker 0. Yes, I was in Birkenstocks.

Good times people, good times all around!

How bout you? Ever run Key West…or do you want to? What do you think of the swag? Ever go on a runcation?

-Scott

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Categories: Concerts, expo, fitfluetial, Fuel (food), Life Times, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 80 Comments

Unplanned Running Blogcation (Key West will do that to ya)

Hey y’all! I’m sorry to have been absent from these blog parts the past week. After my runs in Ft. Lauderdale, I was able to write a post about them on the drive down the Keys (I wasn’t driving, duh). And I had planned to keep posting while in the Southernmost City, but island life and island time can change a man.

Island boy.

Island boy.

As the famous philosopher, John Dewey wrote about living in Key West, “The climate here is too relaxing to be conductive to work.”

Dewey wasn’t screwy…His words are true-y.

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

But I also know many great writers wrote some amazing stuff living in Key West – everyone form Hemingway to Frost to Tennessee Williams to Jimmy Buffett. Like them, the Keys also inspired my writing.

I’m working on my recap of the Key West Half Marathon. It will be ready for you on Monday. I’m sure it will be as good as For Whom the Bell Tolls, or at least on par with Cheeseburger in Paradise…But with more selfies.

How’s everyone been? Vacation ever slow your mind?

PS. Please check back Monday for my Key West Half Marathon recap!!!!

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, Life Times, marathon, run, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Flying Pirate 1/2 Marathon Review 2013

First off, let me just say that this may be my favorite race to date.  Had an incredible time. We lucked out on weather.  We had good times before and after the race, so that may be swaying my opinion.  My sis and I flew into Raleigh, NC.  One of my besties lives there.  We stayed with her and she showed us her town.  It was my 2nd time to visit her there and I love this area of our country more and more each time I visit.  Such great food places (not many chains).  Such great brewpubs.  Such great great people.  Such great sights.

With my sis and sis from another miss.

With my sis and sis from another miss.

After I got into town, I had a few hours to kill so I went for a run.  I ran in Umstead Park.  Even though it’s called a park, it’s really a forest.  It’s huge.  Lots of trails, lakes, wildlife, and really tall trees.  It was gorgeous.  And I’m told it’s where Gwen Paltrow would go on runs when she was there shooting Iron Man.  She has good taste.  My trail run was wonderful.

Tall trees.  Sounds like the name of a crappy band.

Tall trees. Sounds like the name of a crappy band.

But enough about Raleigh, this post is about the race.  It takes place around Kitty Hawk, NC in the Outer Banks.  The OBX is basically a string of islands off the coast.  It’s where Blackbeard the pirate hung out.  It’s where the Wright Bros did their first flight.  Hence the name of the race – Flying Pirate.  It was my first time to OBX, and it was beautiful.  So any race there has a great chance of being scenic…and it was!

A flying pirate would be a very dangerous thing indeed!

A flying pirate would be a very dangerous thing indeed!

This race was so much more low key and laid back than the races I’m used to.  You run a Rock n Roll Marathon Series race and you’ve got lots of hoopla, and lots of people.  This race was the opposite.  People were so chill.  Getting ready for the race to start, it felt more like a casual Sunday jog than a competitive race.  People were genuinely happy and chill.  Oh, and there were lots of people dressed like pirates.  Of course!

Right before the start.  That's not a threatening pose, I'm trying to show of my temporary pirate tats on my hands.

Right before the start. That’s not a threatening pose, I’m trying to show of my temporary pirate tats on my hands.

The course starts through a parkish-neighborhoody area.  It then ran along the Sound.  We were literally feet away from the water.  It was beautiful.  The course then went through some neighborhoods.  Most of the places on the island were empty since it was the off-season (no tourists), but the locals who were there came out to cheer for us.  And they also cheered in a laid back manner.  They weren’t jumping up and down with crazy signs and noisemakers.  They were supporting us with golf claps and words of encouragement.

Even the other runners were supportive.  I don’t see that at most races in Dallas.  As I passed other racers, they would actually take the energy to to yell out encouragement to me.  I really appreciated that.  It was really cool.  More on this in a minute…

Anyway, the course then took us past the Wright Brothers monument where they had their first flight.  Yet another scenic spot.  But then things got hairy.  The course left the paved surfaces for the dirt pathways of a nature preserve.  The last 3-4 miles were a hilly trail run.  I wasn’t expecting that.  I hadn’t trained for that.  My pace to that point had been pretty good and a PR looked like it was a given.  It wasn’t.  Running trail hills after 10 miles took it’s toll on me.  I had to walk up a few of the steeper ones.

Tacklin the trails...kind of.

Tacklin the trails…kind of.

There was a guy in an Elvis costume doing the same thing.  We’d have to walk up some of the hills, but then were able to run down.  In fact, as I was walking up a hill, a small group of racers passed me, but on the downhill I caught up to them and they all cheered for me.  They encouraged me to finish with them…and we did!  That was really cool.  Runners helping runners. In fact, after the race, some guy came up to my sis and thanked her for running with him for most of the race.  He said she helped him finish and didn’t even know it.

No PR this time, but it was a great time!

No PR this time, but it was a great time!

After the race, there was a big pirate party.  Pirate ship, live band, free food, free beer, people laying in the sun.  Again, laid back.  Totally chill atmosphere.  That’s island life for you.

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I think a pirate threw up on me.

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Our medals turned Christie into an owl.

At the finish.  Pirate kites everywhere - why not?

At the finish. Pirate kites everywhere – why not?

fp3

Meet us under the pirate pennant.

fp4

More pirates. Arrrrgh you glad?

And yes, the medals were cool.  I didn’t take a pic of the backs of them, but they’re cool too with cool inscriptions.  “Happy Happy Happy” they say.

Yes, that's a pirate ship behind me.

Yes, that’s a pirate ship behind me.

In the end, I finished right at 1:48:32.  That’s 8:17 per mile.  Good enough for 24th in age group and 177 overall.  My time wasn’t what I was shooting for, but given the tough final three miles, I’ll take it.  I will say that the only cool thing about the hills is that as we left the nature preserve, we entered a field.  It was 100 yards downhill to the finish.  You’d never seen so many people running so fast at the end of a half.  Like I said, 100 yards down hill!  And it was a serious slope.

Anywhoodle, after the race, we got some seafood, then some bottles of wine, then chilled on the beach all day.  It was really chill.  Dolphins and surfers out in the ocean.  Great way to recover after a race.

Here's your typical beach photo of legs and feet.

Here’s your typical beach photo of legs and feet.

The next day we actually went and checked out the Wright Bros monument.  It’s probably the highest point of the island had great views at the top.  I was surprised to learn how even Amelia Earhart had visited it.  They also have a set of statues where they recreated the famous photo of the first flight.  We had fun posing with the statues.

Say "Whiskey!"

Say “Whiskey!”

Gotcha!

Gotcha!

We also checked out the sand dunes.  One of only a handful in the country.  I had been to the ones in Michigan before, but that was many moons ago.  These were pretty cool though.  They teach hang gliding there, and supposedly Blackbeard buried some treasure there too.

This will by my solo album cover whenever I become a recording artist.

This will by my solo album cover whenever I become a recording artist.

So I once again must declare this my favorite race to date.  It was like none other I’ve done before – smaller and laid back.  Supportive runners and spectators.  Really cool swag (I forgot to mention they also gave us a pint glass too).  Extremely scenic course.  Very flat course until the very hilly last few miles…But even those last tough miles were very beautiful too.  Cool medal.  Fun afterparty.  Great part of our country.  Historical location.  Excellent food around.  Nice people.  Beaches.  I could go on and on.  I have nothing but positive thoughts on this race.  Can’t wait to do it again!!!

Peace!  -Scott

Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Flying Pirate Half Marathon Preview

As  you may be able to tell from the name of this blog, I kind of like pirates.  I’m not one of those people who dress up like them year round or decorate my house like a pirate ship, but I do like them.  As you can also tell, I like to run too.  So when I saw the Flying Pirate Half Marathon, I had to register.

It takes place on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  The Outer Banks are basically a string of long skinny islands just off the coast.  Made famous by the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk and as a hideout for many pirates including Edward Teach – Blackbeard.  In fact, it’s where Blackbeard was killed.  So the name for this race is a combo of the flight and pirate histories.

A flying pirate would be a very dangerous thing indeed!

A flying pirate would be a very dangerous thing indeed!

The course is a point to point one.  I’m assuming it’s going to be mostly flat since we’ll be at sea level.  Hopefully we won’t have to go over any sand dunes!  The course is also mostly straight…no major turn arounds or anything.  And as of today, the weather is supposed be in the 50’s.  It’s also supposed to be low wind and low humidity.  Man, I hope that’s all true – if so, could make for a chance to PR.  We’ll see though, as I’m not in top endurance shape at the moment.

The course also runs right through Kitty Hawk and past the monument to the Wright Bros. “first” flight.  I put first in quotes because my father doesn’t believe it was the first time they flew.  You see, we are from Ohio, where the Wright Brahs are from.  My dad is convinced that they did test flights there before taking the plane to NC for the official flight.  So sit on that North Crackalacka!  Makes sense, but it could just be Ohio pride.

After the race, there’s supposed to be a big party!  My sis is also running this with me and one of my bestest friends, who lives in Raleigh, will be there too.  So here’s how I see it:  Beaches, Running, Pirates, Fams, Friends,  Parties, Cool Medals….What could be better???

Oh, and get this, they put me in Corral A:

I'm not elite, but I can at least start out with them.

I’m usually in Corral B, so this is a first.  And I’ve never had a bib number that low.  Coolio.

All in all, I’m hoping this will be a really fun race with lots of good scenery and good times.  I don’t know many of the specifics about the course or event set up as I live about 1,200 miles away, but I’ll give a full recap when I get home next week.  Until then, keep it fresh!

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