Monday, January 20, 2014

Race #12, State #12 DE

Race #12, State #12 DE

December 7, 2013

As soon as I discovered that there was a half marathon in Rehoboth Beach, DE, it was a no brainer that I had to run in it. My dearest friend Annie’s parents have a home there, and I have so many fond memories of times we’ve all shared together there. It had also been quite a few years since I’ve seen Carol & Charlie (Annie’s parents), so when I contacted them to see if they’d be open to having me visit, they didn’t hesitate a second to say yes. The great thing about this race location was that my husband and kids could come along and enjoy it, too. We all had fun catching up with Carol & Charlie. We all decided it had been way too long since we’d seen each other. Great fun was had by all.

Race morning was very windy, chilly and a tad bit rainy. Luckily, the rain backed off by the start of the race, which was a nice early 7:00 am. The race consisted of basically two out and back routes, the first of which went right by where we were staying. For any runners who have kids, this is HUGE! My husband and kids were able to sleep in until 7 am, hurry outside by 7:15 to see me run by at mile 2 or so, and then see me run by again a couple of miles later. And for me, it was energizing to have them cheering me along. 
This first stretch of the race started in the center of Rehoboth at the gazebo right on the main street. It headed up the main street and then turned right to head back along the beach area out to a protected seashore area where the turn around was. After that we went back toward town, but turned right down another access road then over past the little welcome lighthouse and over the bridge heading toward route 1. We took another right and headed through a newer neighborhood there which led out to some farm fields. At this point, the race turned in to a trail run. There is a walking/biking trail that winds through the farm fields out to some woods. The run through the woods was lovely, albeit muddy and sloshy at times. It was nice to have the race consist of part road and part trail. Little wooden bridges and areas of wetland peppered the trail route, keeping it interesting. The half marathon turn around was at the point where the trail entered in to a fairly new housing development. And the nice thing about the turn around was that it was at about mile 8, so the return to town was nice and short from that point. Bonus!
I felt like the trail running was a little slow because of the wetness and mud. At times the narrowish path was crowded with runners heading in both directions, and we had to run around each other and muddy sections to continue. Once off the trail, I tried my best to quicken my pace toward the finish. We retraced our path back to the main street and by the little lighthouse. As I came around that corner, a car drove by and beeped and waved at myself and the runners around me. The finish was less than a mile away at that point, so I waved, but my eyes were blurry with wind and the driving desire to get to the finish line and see my loving family. (It turned out to be Carol driving by at the exact moment I was running along! We were so excited that she got to catch a glimpse of me.) 
My wonderful husband and lovely girls were waiting for me steps in front of the finish line. They really put a smile on my face. I was happy with my 1:47 finish, and I found out later I was 13th in my age division. I was thrilled with that, of course! And, to date, this race boasts the largest finisher's medals. I felt like I just won a WWE belt rather than a half marathon finisher's medal. 

Post-race, the family and I took a chilly walk along the beach where the waves were absolutely huge and the wind was whipping. The girls didn't seem to mind very much, but my husband and I were freezing before too long. Still, the beach in winter is starkly beautiful, and we had fun letting the waves chase us up the beach. 

I highly recommend this race, as the area is beautiful, and the runners were hands down the friendliest I’ve encountered so far. The only tricky thing about this one is the weather at this time of year. Race day was colder than I was expecting, but luckily any precipitation happened the night before and held off for race day. We did, however, leave the next morning in the beginning of light flurries that turned in to whiteout conditions by the time we hit the Jersey Turnpike. We were glad to be back in CT after that. (I think the Philadelphia area picked up something like 10 inches of snow from the storm! Yikes!)

Many thanks to Carol & Charlie for hosting us and spending such a special time with us. We loved every minute. 

No comments:

Post a Comment