Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2013 Beauty and the Beach

Now that I have been running for a few years I'm starting to repeat races. Two years ago I ran the Beauty and the Beach Run, a 5-mile women's only race in Long Branch, NJ. Two years ago I wasn't blogging as much and my race recap was tied in with other races I ran that fall, including my first half marathon.

Last November I planned to repeat the race. This time I would run with Sharon, my running buddy. Then Sandy hit. Much of the course was washed away. Many of the volunteers running the event had major damage done to their homes. It was just not possible to hold the race less than a week after that storm. Of course everyone understood.

To make it up to those of us who registered last year, they offered a huge early bird registration discount. My thought at the time was that the long-sleeve tech shirt with the thumb hole alone was worth that price, let alone the fun of participating in this race. The flip flop necklace finsher's "medal" was icing on the cake.

About the same time I registered for that race, I also registered for the Princeton Half Marathon. Sounded a lot like a repeat of the Double Double Dare (10K and half marathon in the same weekend), but without the extra bling or Disney characters.

I'll admit, part of me was getting a little nervous about doing two races in one weekend. I'm not a serious enough runner that I enjoy waking up before dawn two days in a row to drive and race. Then my friend Diadra asked me a question I couldn't resist -- would I be willing to walk the Beauty and the Beach Run with her at her pace. 508 days before the race, Dee had her ankle replaced. The doctor told her she couldn't run again, but she could build up to walking. To be able to walk all 5 miles was a huge deal for her. To have me keep her company meant a lot to her.

The weather turned out to be perfect. We were all a bit concerned about a cool breeze off the ocean. Instead we had sunshine, temps in the 50 -- or about 20 degrees warmer than when I did it in 2011.

Our goal was simple -- not be the last women to finish. We made that goal by at least 20 women. Our overall pace was 17:18 a mile, finishing in 1:26:31. When we got to the finish line there was no pushing and shoving to be first, just high fives on a job well done, and made lunch plans at Sissy's to celebrate.

Though many runners and walkers wore pink, and some wore boas, I was one of only a few wearing a sparkle skirt. I got a lot of compliments on my skirt.

As a bonus, I bumped into "Perfect Princess" Debbie. We keep missing each other at races, so this was a treat. Actually she kept spotting me. Debbie blended in with so many other women wearing lavender.
Other thoughts for my running friends: the course is pancake FLAT. Easily 90% of the course is along the ocean. The start and finish lines are the same. There were 3 or 4 water stations. It is for women only, which means the tech shirts fit us, and are in girly colors, and the swag bag included nail polish. The atmosphere is very positive and encouraging. Near the 4.5 mile mark I saw a woman in tears talking to EMT personnel. I stopped and gave her a hug. She thanked me. It is that kind of atmosphere.

I look forward to doing this again next year.

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