I knew after the Little Silver 5K that I would be on board for one more race in 2014. I found out about this one and was sold on two things: an 11:00 start time and costumes!
So, I signed up about a week and a half ago, and started planning my costume. I knew I wanted to do something Disney related, and thought of Jessie from Toy Story. I went with that.
I made my own shirt, paired it with an accessory kit, and bought some cow print knee socks. It wasn't perfect, but it was definitely recognizable once I got to the race site. WIN!
As I mentioned earlier, the race had a late start (11:00). However, there was a kicker. There was no packet pickup the day before the race (Lame!), so I had to wander down to the site early to pick up my race number and shirt.
I got down to Long Branch about 45 minutes before the race start, got my number and shirt, and went to the park where the race was starting and did my best to stay loose before the race start.
Oh, and get a pre-race pic of course. Okay, maybe two. ;-)
This was the one I posted on Instagram this morning with the caption "Jessie is ready to rock it in Long Branch!"
This one, on the other hand, didn't get posted until later in the day. Hey, I had to save some data! ;-)
As I mentioned earlier in the post, this costume was recognizable almost right away. There was one little girl who every time she saw me just kept saying, "Jessie!"
Can you say it was a hit with the little kids? I think so. =)
Soon enough, it was time to make our way to the start area. I say "area" because there was no actual start line. Uh, fail much? Seriously, if it's one thing any race should have, if nothing else, is a start line. I felt like the start was a little chaotic, since there was no actual spot.
Before the national anthem, I took a pic with the water as my backdrop. Hey, when you race along the ocean, it's a must!
The national anthem was sung, last minute instructions about the course were given, and soon enough, we were off!
I knew from the start that this would not be a PR race by any means. No start line at all, plus the wind was nasty this morning. Cold, rain, and even moderate heat I can handle. Wind? Not so much...
The course was pretty much a out and back loop, but the wind wouldn't do much damage until the second half of the race. I ended up with a first mile of 10:30, which was a little faster than I was hoping for. Still, I was feeling good!
After about another half mile, the turnaround came. And the wind roared its evil face. I hit the second mile at about 22:30 (ish?), so that was a sign to just let thoughts of a PR go, and enjoy the rest of the race.
Which I did. I soaked up the views of Pier Village (gorgeous area) and the Atlantic Ocean on each side. I mean, how can you NOT enjoy anything like that on a race course?
Seriously, if I can have a view like this on every run, I would be a happy girl.
Soon enough, it was back into the park for the finish. I took off my headphones early and just soaked it in. This was my last race of the year, and I wanted to enjoy the last moments.
I wound up coming in at about 36:00, just about 1:30 slower than my PR. Given my unfamiliarity with the course and the wind, I was okay with that time. I loved the scenery and had fun seeing everyone in costume!
Overall, I have mixed feelings over this race. I loved being able to rock a costume and having ocean views on the course. However, I was disappointed with lack of a start line as well as a timing chip. The packet pickup situation was not a fav of mine, but I wasn't too upset about it. I would do this race again, but have to plan it as more of a fun run. I mean, how many times a year do you get to run in costume?
That's a wrap on my 2014 running season! Looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings my way!