Thursday, February 4, 2016

2015 Holden Beach Half Marathon

Way back in September, I ran my second half marathon. I should have published this a long time ago, but the post has been sitting in my drafts for way too long with no words. Since I do want to be able to look back and remember this race, instead of the in depth post that I should have written I'm just going to leave a few quick pictures here!

My friend Susan and I decided to sign up for the Holden Beach races and make a girls weekend out of it. Who can ever say no to a weekend at the beach with friends? 

We drove down to the beach after work on Friday afternoon and made our way to packet pickup. It was just a little table set up outside of a restaurant, no expo or anything. I grabbed my half bib and Susan got her 5k bib. We also got shirts that are super soft and that I love!

We woke up way earlier than anyone should have to on a Saturday to drive the 5 or so minutes over the bridge and to the start. After parking, this was our view. Kind of worth the early wake-up, right?
Right before the race started (the 5k and half started together) we were rewarded with these colors in the sky. This was a smaller race than I'm used to at just over 600ish half marathoners. The start was easy to find and there was plenty of parking, but the one thing missing was bathrooms. Seriously- at least a thousand people (since the 5k and 1 mile runs start with the half) and TWO bathrooms. Zero port a pottys provided by the race at the start or along the course. That's a major issue in my opinion, and one I hope they fix for next year! 

The half course started by taking runners up and over the Holden Beach Bridge, down and around short gravel drive, and back up and over the bridge. Umm, wow. I knew the rest of the race would be flat but those first couple of miles going over the bridge were tough! But again, we were rewarded with gorgeous ocean views while on the bridge, so it was worth it!

After the back and forth over the bridge, I REALLY wanted to turn left and finish up with the 5kers....but I decided to stick it out and headed right to run nearly 11 more miles. And yes, it was all flat, which was amazing. But I totally didn't count on the crosswind, which was crazy. Like at times hard to walk upright much less run crazy. There were several water stops along the way with just water- so if you need any other fuel options, be sure to carry those with you! 

I was super excited to cross the finish line and get that huge (and HEAVY) medal!

 I didn't see any of the advertised post race eats (except bananas) - but being able to stick my toes in the ocean after finishing find of made up for that. (And I'm sure faster runners had more options.)

Overall, this was a good race. I was a little disappointed with some of the organizational things (lack of restrooms, running out of food, etc...) but I'm hoping that the race director will take the feedback from this heat and make changes for the better next year. I can see myself making this an annual event on my race calendar.