I am back from vacation…unfortunately, but I did end it with a bang. I ran the 11th annual Virginia Beach 1/2 Marathon yesterday morning at 7 am, right before our 10 hour drive back to Long Island.
This is a big event in Virginia Beach, it is a weekend of concerts and fun at the beach ending after the race on Sunday night. Stone Temple Pilots played Friday night, ZZ Top Saturday night and Brett Michaels on Sunday night. I did not actually get down to the beach to see them on stage but I was able to hear Stone Temple Pilots from our hotel balcony. Saturday night I was pretty much passed out by 8pm in prep for an early start on Sunday and unfortunately we left immediately after the race on Sunday so I did not get to see Brett Michaels….:(
We were able to see the construction of the stage as it went up during the week and it was pretty cool to watch.
I woke Sunday morning at 5:30 and got ready, ate some oatmeal then walked over to the start of the race. This was by far the largest race I have ever run with 11,219 people total. This was also the first race that I have run that had corrals and started in waves instead of everyone at the same time. I was in corral 7 with all the other runners planning on a 2 hr 1/2 marathon, I liked the corrals because I felt the race started in a more organized and smooth fashion with the waves rather than all at once.
There were a few elite runners at this race including the American 1/2 Marathon record holder Ryan Hall, who was hoping to make this his first win in Virginia Beach.
This was my view from the corral at the start of the race:
The race started promptly at 7 am with the elite runners first, then every 1-2 minutes each corral was let loose and at about 7:10 we were off running. I started my Garmin as soon as I crossed the start line and ended it as soon as I crossed the finish line. My Garmin said I ran 13.22 miles, it always seems to be 1/10th of a mile longer than the race. Does anyone else find that this happens with their Garmin? I know it can’t only be me because right before each mile marker you can hear all the beeps of the watches signifying that we hit another mile. Here is my pace and time according to my Garmin:
This is my official time:
Even thought this 1/2 marathon was my slowest thus far I am still of proud of my time. I did not have high expectations for time during this race because not only was it the last day of my vacation, I had not been training as well as I wanted due to much laziness over the summer.
The course was flat and mostly shaded which thankfully made the entire run much easier. About 40 minutes into the race we got to see the elite runners coming back towards us racing to the finish and boy are they fast. These runners make it look effortless, by mile 4 I was dying and these guys were on their 11th mile barely breaking a sweat. The winner finished in 1hr 2 minutes, Ryan Hall unfortunately did not achieve his win but he did fantastic anyway coming in third 39 seconds after the winner……..all I can say is wow!!!
Amazingly enough I was still smiling at the finish!!!!
A great end to a great vacation!!!!
My medal, bag and race #!!!!
This was my favorite race to date. Not only was it in beautiful Virginia Beach but there was a band at every mile and an enormous amount people along the race course dressed up and cheering!! Thanks Virginia Beach for hosting an awesome race!!!!
Do you have a favorite race?