Posts Tagged With: review

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

Dallas Half Marathon Recap (or…That Time I High Fived Meb)

This past weekend was the Dallas Marathon, Half, & Relay. This was a big one. A sold out event. Live TV coverage. Huge city. Running royalty like Meb, Deena Kastor, Ryan & Sara Hall.

I ran the half. I was hoping to PR, and maybe break 1:40, but it wasn’t in the cards. I still had a decent race and a great time!

Big state, little medal...It's all good in da hood.

Big state, little medal…It’s all good in da hood.

It all started the day before at the Expo. I had carpooled down with three female friends…Mistake!!! They treated it like a shopping outing, hahahaha! We were there for hours. At least it gave me plenty of time for red carpet photos.

White sunglasses.

White sunglasses.

Red sunglasses.

Red sunglasses.

After that, it was time to rest up for the race! But like most pre-race nights, I didn’t get much sleep (kept thinking I’d miss the 4 am alarm). But luckily I made it up early to carpool down with another friend. I was glad we were there early to avoid the stress of running late. We chilled for a while before heading to the corrals.

On the way I bumped into Meb! The Meb! But I let him alone so he could focus on his race. I’d see him again later…

I also ran into a bunch of non-Olympians…

Some runner friends before the race.

Some runner friends before the race.

When I got to corral A, I ran into a bunch of members of the WRRC who I trained with most of the summer/fall.

I thought we were supposed to wear our grey shirts that day.

I thought we were supposed to wear our grey t-shirts that day.

Then it was time to race! After some fireworks and confetti, we were off!

The elites at the starting line.

The elites waiting at the starting line.

There was about a 15 mph wind, and it was in the 60’s and like 90% humidity. There was mist in the air and the streets were wet with slickness. The first 9 miles were generally a long steady incline.

Da course & elevation

Da course & elevation

Conditions weren’t great for a PR, but I gave it a go anyway:

5k ~ 25:08 ~ 8:06 per mile

10k ~ 49:15 ~ 7:46 per mile

Halfway and so far so good. But then the humidity and hills took its toll. I started to slow.

15k ~ 1:14:12 ~ 8:04 per mile.

Finish ~ 1:45:01 ~ 8:01 per mile.

Final Results ~ 501/8441 Overall & 75/510 Division

I was hoping to break the PR I set in October, but wasn’t happening. I was still happy because this was my 2nd fastest half to date!

On da course.

On da course.

I haven’t always viewed this race in the best light. But I gotta say, the changes they made this year were great! Except for a few bail bond and pawn shops, the course was pretty scenic. I like how we went through many Dallas landmark neighborhoods.

And the energy was terrific! In particular the crowd support was AWESOME! And it was great to see so many friendly faces along the way, like my pal Tory who went all out with his cheer station…

Tory the sign master.

Tory, the sign master.

There was definitely a lot of creativity by the spectators.

My pal David and his malfunctioning umbrella.

After the race with my pal David, and his malfunctioning umbrella.

It was also cool during and after the race, where I can’t even count how many racing friends I ran into…

My friend Sylvia..I'm pretty sure that was her first half!!!

My friend Sylvia..I’m pretty sure that was her first half!!!

Another cool thing was my local elite friends had a good showing too. Our friend Brent got 7th place overall in the marathon! And my buddy Logan came in first place overall in the half, with a time of 1:08:20!!!

Logan at the finish!

Logan at the finish!

After the race, it was time to celebrate!

Group shot 1.

Group shot 1.

We had a rotating group of some really strong runners join us for some craft brews.

Group shot 2.

Group shot 2.

But I gotta say, the COOLEST thing that happened that day was Meb giving me a high five! He was running the first leg of the relay. After he passed the baton, he hung around to support the runners. When I saw him, I made a detour to hit that opportunity (literally)! So cool! And what’s even cooler, later on I got to meet him formally!!!!

Me & Meb. Like peas and carrots. Or something like that.

Me & Meb. Like peas and carrots…or maybe tortoise and hare.

All in all it was quite a whirlwind. I’m still processing it all. I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed this race. I may have to sign up for next year already!!!

How bout you? Did anyone else race Dallas? Hang out with any Boston Marathon champs recently? Seen any creative race supporters lately?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 18

Disclaimer: Mizuno sent me a pair of Wave Rider 18 to test out. That said, the opinions here are my own.

There’s nothing better than coming home to a new pair of shoes that the mail person left on your front step. In this case, it was Mizuno’s new Wave Rider 18. Yippee!

New shoes! It's like Christmas in October - Octmas.

New shoes! It’s like Christmas in October – we’ll call it Octmas.

First off, I must confess that even though I live in Texas, I’m bit of a hippie.

Yes, we dressed like hippies for a mud run. Why not?

Yes, we dressed like hippies for a recent mud run. Why not?

And since I’m hippieish, I like how this shoe is based on a Japanese concept called ‘Hado’. They say that means, “the intrinsic vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations.” Mizuno says they try to harness the transformative power possibilities of every run in this shoe. Like I said, I like that kind of hippie dippie stuff.

I assume that's the Japanese translation.

I assume that’s the Japanese translation.

I must also admit that I always wished I lived on the beach and surfed all day. But I’m landlocked in Texas, and so I like the idea of thinking of the roads as waves and the shoes as my board. Wave rider!!

Anyway, once I put these shoes on, one thing immediately stood out to me – these shoes are STURDY. I haven’t put many miles on them, but I feel like they would hold up for a long time. That said, they’re comfortable enough to allow my feet to bend and move freely. And the thick sole should provide plenty of cushioning during the course of training.

Here’s some specs:

  • Type: Neutral
  • Midsole Drop: 12 mm
  • Weight: 9.2 oz
  • Cushioning: Med
  • Pronation: Normal
  • Wide/Narrow: Available in Wide

And here’s some of Mizuno’s Key Features:

  • An ideal heel fit and secure midfoot embrace make this lightweight trainer feel like a part of your foot.
  • The parallel Wave in the heel, lightweight U4ic midsole and optimal amount of forefoot flexibility all work together to make every stride smooth and flowing.

If you had the Wave Rider 17, here’s what’s new in the 18’s:

  • Refined toe-spring delivers a smooth, effortless toe-off
  • Upgraded premium sock liner provides more rebound and resiliency at every foot strike
  • New outsole design with added durability and shock attenuation
On my feet and ready to surf!

On my feet and ready to surf!

Now the important part…how do they look??? Well, as you can see in the pics, they are pretty slick. If you went to Auburn University, I’m sure you’ll love the colors of the shoes I was sent. I’m not complaining, but my only wish is that they had sent me the green ones (green is my favorite color).

The green ones.

The green ones.

And for the final factor – coolness. When I first put these on to walk around the house, our 5 year old boy looked at me for a minute and then said, “You’re new shoes are pretty cool.” High praise indeed! As we all know, kindergartners are known for their fashion sense and honesty.

Besides fashion, he's also an expert on running.

Besides fashion, he’s also an expert on running.

Now me personally, I always like to go to a running store to try on the shoes before I buy them. Each brand/style will differ slightly in size, feel, etc. I like to make sure I get the exact right fit. But these were sent to my by the company without me ever trying them on first, and so far, I think I lucked out.

How bout you? Have you tried the Wave Riders? What do you think of them? What do you think of the colors/design?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, product review, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

5k Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge Day 1

Day 1 of 4 of the inaugural Dopey Challenge.  This was the 5k Family Fun Run.  It was chilly, but humid.  I was there with my mom and sis.  It was early.  The 2 am alarm clock did not allow for much sleep – especially since I kept tossing and turning afraid we’d miss the alarm.  I also couldn’t shut my mind off while struggling to figure out which outfit to wear for this race (a manly problem, I know).

Sis, mom, me.  Before the race.

Sis, mom, me. Before the race.

My goal for the first 3 races was to finish with a PW (personal worst).  I wanted to save my legs for the finale of 26.2 miles in just a few days.  To remind myself to take it easy, I had brought a few outfits to wear.  You can’t take a race too seriously if you’re wearing something silly.  I decided on an old Goofy hat that I own, along with giant Disney cartoon gloves.  And of course, I had to represent my Ohio Bobcats!

The theme of the race was Pluto, but Goofy's a dog too...isn't he?

The theme of the race was Pluto, but Goofy’s a dog too…isn’t he?

I also carried a GoPro video camera to capture some of the highlights.  If you have a couple minutes, and don’t mind Blair Witch style cinematography, then you can watch the video here:

And while I wanted to get a PW, I still wanted to RUN all 4 races.  I figured part of the Challenge is to actually run, and not walk.  Save for a few photo ops.  Not that I have anything against walk/runners, but for me personally, I wanted to complete what I took to be part of the challenge – running the races.

Yes, I started and finished the race before the sun came up.

Yes, I started and finished the race before the sun came up.

The 5k started in the Epcot parking lot, and finished there too.  Basically the course took us on a lap of the park.

The warm-up runs.

The warm-up runs.

I was a tad disappointed with the lack of characters out.  They’re were a few – but the line to get a pic with Dopey was insane!!!  Luckily I got to meet up with him later on (stay tuned for that pic)!

Judging from the photos, I ran the whole race with my arms in the air...like I don't have a care.

Judging from the photos, I ran the whole race with my arms in the air…like I don’t have a care.

I was also a tad disappointed that they didn’t have all the Disney flair going on – Like lighting up the giant torches.  This was done for a later race, however.

At the finish, next to a lady with a glorious lion mane of hair!

At the finish, next to a lady with a glorious lion mane of hair!

I was lucky to start in Corral A.  From the peeps I talked to who were in the later corrals (through E), it took a long time before they got started.  In fact, I talked to some who said people were finishing the race before they even started!  Apparently the gap between corral starts were kind of lengthy.

Bird's eye view of the finish.  Hands still in the air.

Bird’s eye view of the finish. Hands still in the air.

In the end, I reached my goal of getting a PW by about 10 minutes – 35:26.  Considering my last two 5k’s I finished right at 21:50, I’d say this result is a good job of taking it easy!!!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

Race 1 done, 3 more to come!  3.1 miles over, 45.5 to go!  And a fun finisher’s medallion to boot!

Medal 1/6 gotten!

Medal 1/6 gotten!

This race was over quick.  Like I said, it was still dark out at the finish.  And it was good to get the race jitters out of the way.  It was weird to line up for a race that I wasn’t “racing”, but like I said – I had a plan and stuck to it!

So there you go, Dopey Challenge Race 1 Recap!  Next up will be the race 2 recap – the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k!  If you missed my recap of the Expo, you can read it HERE.

How bout you?  Ever ran a race that you didn’t “race”?  What do you think of the Disney 5k?  Holla at me!

Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Expo Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge

Since the Dopey Challenge was four days of races, I figured I’d break up the recaps so I don’t bore you with one big huge one.

Anyway, the first day started with an early morning rise to get to the airport.  I was traveling with my mom and my almost five year old.

On dee plane.  He's a good flier, or is it flyer?

On dee plane. He’s a good flier, or is it flyer?

We got in to Orlando where my sis picked us up and went straight to the Expo.  Both of them were doing the Dopey too!  Crazy cause my moms hadn’t ever run a full marathon before, but she wanted in on the action!

With my sis and mom and dwarf.

With my sis and mom and dwarf.

The Expo takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.  That’s where they have all their soccer, baseball, and football fields, along with a track and some field houses.

The Expo was divided into three buildings.  The first one is the main baseball stadium where we had to pick up the boy’s kid’s race packet.  While we did, we took a chance to preview a portion of the marathon course that runs there on the Atlanta Braves baseball spring training field.

Diggin' the dugout.

Diggin’ the dugout.

The other two Expo buildings housed all the usual stuff that you usually see at an expo.

Yup, that's an expo.

Yup, that’s an expo.

I’m not big into expos, I prefer to get my stuff and get out of the crowds.  But I did have to take a closer look at some of the bling we were shooting for!

My precious is so close.

My precious is so close.

I wish that was the end of the story, but it wasn’t.  The big thing this year was the RunDisney New Balance designed running shoes.  There were lines down the street, and people were buying them even if they didn’t have their size!  Turns out a lot of them were turning around and selling them on Ebay for like $700.  Crazy!  That said, my mom and sis wanted some, so we went back to the Expo a few more times the next few days until they were able to get them.

They were all the rage.

They were all the rage.

It wasn’t all bad though, as they had a bar there for me to play at.  And one booth had a Wii for the boy to play with.  And I got to see some of the speakers.  And my mom bought me some new running shades.  And we got stickers for the cars – you know, the kind that say 48.6.  Hayup.

Anyway, we got through the Expo, got some dinner, and went to the hotel to sleep (or at least try to) because the 2 am wake-up call was looming.

My Dopey Game Face.

My Dopey Game Face.

So there you have it, the Disney Dopey Challenge Race Expo Recap (from my perspective).

How about you?  If you were there, do you have any opinions on the Expo?  Either way, how do you feel about Expos –  Do you like all the crowds and merch?  Or are you like me and want to get your race stuff and go because you prefer to buy things on your own terms?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Social Run & Mumford & Sons Concert

Last night was pretty epic.  The Mumford & Sons concert was amazing.  We had lawn seats to this sold out show, which is nice cause I could wander around (and dance around).  I couldn’t believe how many friends I ran into at the show.  Sooo many, and many of which I hadn’t seen in months or years.  My sis came to town for it, my mystery brother made a rare appearance, and even the ‘rents were there (thanks to them for driving, btw).  Here’s a few of the pics:

 

My immediate fams.

My immediate fams.

Ran into one of my running buddies.
Ran into one of my running buddies.

It was a beautiful night with beautiful people.  Funny thing is that when I went to the gym today, I was pretty dang sore.  I don’t know if it was the combination of a week’s worth of workouts, all the dancing, staying up past my bed time, the tailgate chips and brews, or a combo of all of em.  My whole body was pretty achy breaky.  I’m hoping it goes away at tonight’s social run.  A bunch of friends will be at the social run too, and I hope to run with them and shake out the soreness.  If I can do that, guess what the next day is…Rest Day, what what!

Anyways, the show really was amazing.  The crowd stood up the entire concert.  Nobody sat down.  The band even did a few songs acoustically with one mic, and the whole audience had to shush to hear them…and guess what…they actually did shush!  I couldn’t believe out of all those thousands and thousands of people who were drinking funny things and smoking funny things, nobody was jerking it up by making a bunch of noise during that set.

Of course, they ended the final encore with The Cave, which I still sing in my head when I run sometimes, it really gets me going.

Check em out if you get a chance!

Peace out internet!

Categories: Concerts, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 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?

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Meet us under the pirate pennant.

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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

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