The alarm went off early the next morning and, looking out our window, the sky looked surprisingly clear. So I assumed we would be running. Derek and I started getting ready but when I got downstairs, several folks were sitting on the deck and they said it still looked 50/50 at best that the race would go off. I walked outside and realized why they said that – the half of the sky right over the ocean and beach was clear, but the other half was very dark and threatening. Which side would win?
We all continued to get ready and walked to the start line, still unsure of whether the race would proceed. Heading to the “front” (ignore the date on the photo):
All systems seemed go – so we took a pre-race photo:
The Wildwood racing squad: Beth, Robyn, Noel, Scott, me, Derek, and Mark (a friend of Noel’s from Wildwood). Gail, Eric, and Noel (Beth’s husband) were our cheer squad. And of course Leilani and Kona:
Noel had backed out of the half and was running the 8k because of injury – but the rest of us were in for a penny, in for a pound.
The race ran along the boardwalk to the end and then zig-zagged throughout some neighborhoods to the causeway. It was largely an out-and-back course, although there was a little bit where we had to run past the finish and then return. The weather was humid, temps were close to 80 – so they weren’t ideal racing conditions. I had set some targets, and should have reassessed them that morning, but I didn’t. Mark, Robyn, and I started all together – it was very congested in the beginning and there was some standing water to run around or through (I opted for through). They took off from me around mile 1, as I needed to take it down a little. Even so – I didn’t manage my race very well – I could tell my heart rate was inappropriately high for that point in the race, but I still tried to maintain my target pace.
That strategy didn’t pay off very well for me. I slowed down probably around the halfway point, but even still – my heart rate continued to soar. I really hit a wall around mile 10. Those last three miles were painful. The last one I felt like I was practically walking – I just couldn’t get my legs to move. I had tried to take some Gatorade at a couple of the stops to try and prevent cramping, but I think it was probably too little, too late.
The finish was in the sand on the beach. Robyn had a great race and finished strong:
I was the phantom runner – after the turnaround (where I did see Robyn and then Derek and Beth) – no one saw me. I saw Noel sitting on the curb, but she clearly didn’t see me. And no one saw me finish either. Trust me, I ran the race and crawled to the finish. Even after I finished – I saw Mark, but no one else from my group for quite some time. I waited around to see Scott, Beth, and Derek finish (Scott and Derek were pacing Beth during the race). Finally after some time I found Noel and Gail. Whew – I wasn’t lost forever!
Beth had had a hard race like mine (I think even harder than mine), so she didn’t hit her goals either. But the three of them looked awesome finishing together:
There was a lot of diet-breaking with drink and food after that race and we had a wonderful time with friends. I consider myself so fortunate to have found a great group of friends and love the times that we can all get together. Until the next great Peacock gathering!