This half marathon takes place at Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, RI and winds along the beachfront properties, out to Watch Hill, and back. It is a fast and flat course that offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and has been on my list for a couple years now. My Nana lives in Mystic, CT so this course is accessible because I can sleep over 30 minutes away while visiting family!
The most remarkable part of the race was the start - and it was not good. In fact, this was the very worst start to a race I have ever had. There were 1,800 runners registered for the 13.1 and another 400 registered for the 5K. There aren't too many paths leading to the ocean, and our commute took twice as long as it should have. By the time we found parking we had to run 1/2 a mile to the registration tables, run 1/2 a mile back to the car, then 1/2 a mile back to the starting line. The race start had been pushed back 15 minutes and we still crossed the start line 4 1/2 minutes late! We actually had to walk the first bit because the 5K runners were already lined up our course and would not move out of our way when we tried to jogged through. Never, ever, have I had to travel so far from parking to packet pick-up, never have I encountered such disorganized parking, and never have I missed the start gun.
Lucky for us, our goal was to have fun and enjoy the race - how disappointed we would have been if we were planning on running for time! We grabbed our iPods as the course passed the car and decided to be obnoxious and talk over our music the entire way through. Looking back, we were probably very annoying to all those we passed. Considering that we started so far back, we passed many other runners and didn't shut up for a second of the over two hours of running. One man remarked, "Man you guys make this look so easy, I can't believe you're still talking!" We smiled and laughed - it was a nice reminder of how far we have come since our first half marathon in 2010.
After consuming our calories, we moved over to the ocean and did some yoga and gentle stretching. Oh man - if you have never done yoga IN the ocean after a race, you are missing out! It was such an incredible healing feeling and I felt so whole.
Next week: Rugged Maniac! I must be crazy.....