I’ve waited longer than I wanted to do this recap. Things got really busy with the end of the year approaching. If I’m being honest, this isn’t my favorite race so I wasn’t super pressed.
This year I signed up for Space Coast half marathon because my husband was finishing number 5 of the Big Bang Series and so were a bunch of friends. Instead of missing out on some quality hanging out time I decided to run the race.
My biggest disappointment with this race is that it has nearly doubled in size since the first time I did the race in 2013 (which was the first year of the Big Bang Series) and it hasn’t really changed. In some cases people would think that was good but with more people one would expect some quality improvement. For example, the expo is still in a tiny ballroom at a local hotel when it has FAR exceed capacity for the space. Move it outside or change locations.
We headed to the hotel to pickup our packets on Saturday because the race is 3 hours away from home. Thankfully, I had sent a friend that lives in the area to pickup one of the 5 year completer mugs for Jon for his birthday. Cause they ran out of merchandise before we even arrived. We did one quick lap around the expo but it was WAY too crowded for our liking so we just headed to check into our hotel.
That night we met up with friends for dinner. I forgot how much I missed my northeast friends! It was a glorious evening of catching up, telling stories, and throwing jabs! I can honestly say I haven’t laughed that hard in a really long time!
After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get things ready and to get to bed early. We laid out our “flat-selves” and put our tags on. Again, the small details of this race, they still us D-Tags. It is the only race that I’ve done in a while that still uses the D-tag for timing.
The next morning we headed to the race. Now, there are host hotels with shuttles and I believe they had a pickup point somewhere this year to take you to the hotel. Regardless, parking at this race is a big ole pain in the butt! However, we choose not to use provided transportation, so not on them. This was also the first time in easily 5 years that the weather in the AM didn’t SUCK! I even had a long-sleeve shirt on before the race.
I was excited to be running with Megan, it had been FAR too long. I wasn’t really trained for this race, and had done the St. Pete half the week before. She wasn’t really trained for this race so we set out with a goal of finishing and having fun. For which we did both. We got annoyed with the 3:15 pacer since we ended up near them at one point and made it our goal to stay in front of them. Thankfully, we quickly pulled ahead of them. I mean that woman was doing a :15/:15 interval, I couldn’t do that!!! We trucked along with our 1:1 interval and enjoyed the course. This is the first time I can say I enjoyed the course. Usually it is crowded and hot and gross!
This year, pleasantly, we finished before majority of the marathoners were getting onto the half marathon course, and we found a good place where the crowd around us wasn’t super thick.
The post-race festivities for Space coast are ALWAYS top notch. They had pizza, pancakes, muffins, etc. They had chocolate milk, sodas, beer, etc. Everyone was having a great time hanging out and waiting for other half marathoners or in our case marathoners to finish. The downside to waiting for a marathoner is the last timing mat for them is at mile 20 so you have six miles of trying to figure out when they will be coming in. Since most people hit the wall after 20 this is hard.
Everyone we were cheering on finished with a PR or just finishing. Jon finished his marathon with a PR but just under his goal time. I’m happy he finally broke 3:50. Apparently, next year they will have a 2 course option for half marathon runners, which I’m not sure how that will go. I know a lot of people that will be starting the next series that they are doing but I think I’m out for now. It is a good race that has been around for a very long time. However, it feels like a local race that wants to be a BIG race but can’t figure out how to make the leap. I think I’ll stick to the St. Pete half marathon that is the week before and closer to home 🙂
I also think I’m done with the back-to-back half marathon weekends. That is EXHAUSTING I tell ya!