I've never been so stoked to pick up a race packet. Bib number 406 it is!
Being on Halloween Weekend the race organizers challenged everyone to wear a costume. I finally decided to dress up as Bleeker from the movie "Juno." I never imagined it would be so hard to find yellow running shorts for men. Nine stores later I found some cheap Russell running shorts at Sports Authority. I failed to notice there were no pockets until the night before the race! Wear do I store my Gu and Gels???
Oh yes I did! I took fishing line and sewed them into my yellow dorky pants!
I got to meet Melissa of I Don't Need Excuses before the race! She also rocked her first Half Marathon. We both struggled through injuries and finished strong!
I'm still unsure exactly how many runners were at the start line, but someone said 800.
This was just minutes after starting the race near turn 1 of Daytona International Speedway. We ran completely around the track once before exiting and heading out toward the beach.
One major obstacle to running this race is running up and down the International Speedway bridge TWICE (a mile 6 and mile 8). We don't have many hills in Florida, but we do have tall bridges! This was my view from the top the first time up after I charged it like a fool! The second time kicked my arse!
A small stretch of the course runs along the beach. I was rewarded for making this far with a beautiful sunrise. I remember looking at the waves and wanting to stop running and go surfing.
Melissa going strong around mile 6 right after conquering the bridge.
I ran next to this guy and his dog for about 1/2 mile before passing him. I had to tell him how awesome his dog was! My dog can't even make it 2 miles before conking out on me.
This in case you forgot what you are doing at Mile 10... I saw this in the road and just started laughing out loud. Run Bitches Run! For some reason it was really funny to me after running 10 miles.
.5 miles to go! Pumpkins anyone?
On the final stretch with the finish line in sight! I ditched the Bleeker T-shirt around mile 8 as it was 100 percent cotton and killing me in the humidity.
Caution: Redhead Running came all the way over just to cheer on Melissa and I. She's the best spectator ever and quite the awesome full marathon runner herself! The sign she made for me was my motto for the race: "Aut viam inveniam aut faciam!" or Latin for "I'll find a way or I'll make one!"
After finishing I collapsed (or posed) on the actual finish line of the Speedway! Just think, I crossed the line going about 6 or 7 miles per hour. The race cars cross at 180 mph!
Did I mention how good the free beer tastes after you run a Half Marathon??? Oh and the cookies and pizza were pretty good as well. Oh and the awesome Breakfast the three of us ate at Cracker Barrel was the best! I've been eating like crazy for the past two days!
Some of you might be asking, "What about the surfing part of the weekend?" ... "What about the Halloween Costume Surfing Contest?"
Well, it never happened. I mean it happened, but not for me. Because of two factors I did not participate. First, my friend Brian woke up Halloween morning with a splitting headache. His entire left eye was swollen up. Brian just got back from a trip to Thailand two days before so playing it safe he went to a clinic. The people at the clinic told him to go to the hospital and it turns out he had a staff infection of the eye socket. I was going to surf the contest with Brian and his girlfriend, but both of them were in the ER all day long so I surfed the inlet instead. The second factor was the costume contest was not going to happen until after the regular surf contest, which I had no desire to take part in and that wasn't going to end until around 2 or 3 p.m., which is WAY to close to kickoff to the Florida Gators/Georgia Bulldogs football game. You know I had to go cheer on my Gators instead! But seriously, folks, don't ever mess around with a staff infection. Brian had to have several shots and he's on all kinds of antibiotics, but that's the kind of stuff that kills surfers. Play it safe. If you're in doubt, go to a doctor! I did decorate my surfboard and I'll leave you with this final picture.
Next blog: "Half Marathon Recap Part 2 (the story) ... stay tuned!