This is never what you want to wake up to on race day — in April! Delmar is about a 20 minute drive south for me, and the roads were a snowy, slushy mess. Miraculously, down in Delmar all the snow/ice had already melted off the road.
Packet Pickup is in the gym of the school the race starts in front of. It’s always easy — no frills with this one, you get your long sleeve tech shirt and your bib. End of story.
I ran into my friend Jan almost immediately, and hung with her and her friend Christina, after using the facilities. Christina, in an odd twist of fate, had been on the bus to (but not running due to an injury) the Celebrate Life Half Marathon.
I saw Darlene but she was chatting with her own friends initially. She came over and I introduced her to Jan, who has a place in FL in the winter and we know how Darlene loves FL.
We all continued to chat and my friend Denise showed up — I wasn’t sure she’d brave the weather!
Despite the RDs trying to convince us to get outside early, we stayed inside for as long as possible.
My Race Plan
This is a flat and fast race (but small — 440 runners) that has always been kind to me, even when I ran it while recovering from a very nasty cold. With the initial snow, I was planning to treat it as a training run, but when we got down there and there was no snow or ice on the roads, I knew I’d be racing. I wanted to come in with an average pace under 11 minutes per mile.
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 10:49. A little too fast.
- Mile 2: 1054. Still moving good.
- Mile 3: 11:12. Water stop — and I knew the last 2 miles would be a struggle, due to going out too fast. Also Denise had caught up to me somewhere in mile 2, and we were chatting, but eventually she had to drop back.
- Mile 4: 11:03. A girl ran up to me and asked me if I was doing run/walk, and I said, yes, but that I was a slow runner. She thought I was about her pace. NOT! But we stuck together for about half a mile and chatted — she was banditing; just getting back into running and her parents lived in the area. Then I ran with another girl for a little while; we chatted, and she was also trying to run a half in every state; she’d already run one in Kauia, so I pumped her for information about that.
- Mile 5: 11:00. Denise caught up to me again, and we crossed the finish line neck and neck with each other.
55:17 — Official Time
11:04 Average Pace
So I didn’t quite make my goal, but I was darn close. I know some of the running I did with random strangers and my friend did slow me down a little bit, but I also know I probably started out a bit too fast too. All in all, I’m very pleased with this race.
The weather & dressing
The forecast was for cold (20s) and gusty winds. I was also planning to complete another 5 miles after the race with Darlene and Denise, so I packed clothes to change into. It’s nice to have the use of real bathrooms at the school.
I went with my heartbreaker skirt with built in tights from Skirtpors (love them — more colors, please!), a half zip, and my thermo ball. I brought another long sleeve tech shirt and a medium weight jacket to change into after the race.
Unfortunately it didn’t really get windy until after the race — I should have worn the medium weight jacket for the race and the thermoball for the miles after the race.
Was the race well run?
Yes, as always. Everything about this race is easy — except for parking — you really do need to get here early because the parking lot fills up fast.
There’s food before and after, although I made goodies so I didn’t sample anything. Plus I got my massage first — free massages after the race! I don’t why my massage therapist seemed to take more time with me, but I was grateful.
Darlene, Barbara, Denise, Jan, and I hung around a bit chatting and refueling for the next 5 miles, although Jan wasn’t running more and Denise decided to go home and finish her miles later.
That left me, Darlene, and Barbara. Barbara was just going to do a couple of extra miles but then she just kept going and going and going . . . until they saw people looking up — yes, this is the race we saw the eagles flying around afterwards.
The wind got crazy afterwards, and Darlene wanted to do one mile more than me, so she ran me back to the school (and I was thankful my car started!). We chatted a bit but I really couldn’t take being out in the cold by that point. I don’t know how Darlene ran another mile!
I definitely recommend this as a flat, fast, well run race. So far it doesn’t sell out, so there isn’t pressure to sign up early. When I’m here I always try to run it.
Almost a 1 minute PR over last year — although last year there was some icy/snowy patches on the road I had to walk through. It makes you wonder: was I really faster this year, or did the walking slow me down that much last year?
I’m also linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup, because I’m a little bit under the weather this week — I’m losing my voice and sound a bit scary — and trying to rest up. In between chores.