There were some specific motivating factors behind the selection of this race.
1. It is a Marine Corps race.
Last years hurricane looming run at the MCM was my favorite full marathon. There is no half-marathon in the DC race, so the decision to skip this year was one made in logic, considering my half-fanatics goal to run 52 races in 365 days. Logic aside, it had left me with an emotional gap when I examined my running schedule, hopefully this race would satisfy the need.
2. It is close to home.
Trying to coordinate 52 half marathons demands that as many as possible are driving distance from my home, and Jacksonville fits the criteria. While not my favorite place to run, it is convenient.
3. Race day packet pickup.
A two hour drive is reasonable on race morning when the packet pickup can be completed on the morning of the race. Both my schedule and budget dictate that this is a necessary option for many races in my schedule.
4. The price is right.
I paid less than $50 to enter this race – combined with all of incentives above, this was a done-deal.
This shot, taken on the final mile of the race – reminded me why people are drawn to the Jacksonville riverfront. It is truly beautiful, and after a hot 13.1 miles, the cool breeze off the river was a welcome relief.
I had taken it fairly easy – and enjoyed the run. This was the second in three weekends of double runs – for a total of 6 races in 16 days. Not knowing how my body would respond, caution was my compass.
Before the race there had been some complaining on the official Facebook page about the medal. I have to say, I love it. It has a regal feel and is heavy – made of Brass. Admittedly some medals are more impressive than others, but rarely am I truly disappointed in one – and I love that this says FINISHER.
After the race there was real food! Turkey subs provided by FIREHOUSE subs – A pleasant change from the pile of snacks I have grown to expect.
While I replenished my senses with water and nutrition, I watched the marines showing the kids their gear. It was a very nice finish line set-up. I did not stay and enjoy it however – I was off to Raleigh for tomorrows race.
I did not really examine the race swag until Monday when I was unpacking my bags from the weekends adventure. There were some pleasent surprises! The bag is nice, with an outside zipper and separate drawstring pouch – great for dirty shoes after a race!
A large and nice quality towel (it is folded in half in the picture above) was handed out at the finish line. On it is pictured some of the unique swag that I discovered inside the bag:
A customized 13.1 sticker
A key ring on a sturdy clip
A safety whistle on a neck-strap
A small (and bright) flashlight also on a clip
I realized as I examined these items that they were well thought out – essentials that I should be running with, especially when I am alone on early morning runs. Another reminder that the marines are looking out for my safety and security. Thank you.