I ran the Seabrook Lucky Trails Half Marathon on March 19. I chose to run the half marathon on Sunday. The entire weekend is filled with racing events... starting with a 5k and quarter marathon on Friday; marathon, marathon relay, half marathon and 5k on Saturday; and the half marathon and half marathon relay on Sunday. You could run an event, or several and complete the Pelican Challenge.
I took it easy on race day eve ... getting a facial and my hair did. Then headed to Gino's East for my pre-race dinner of pub chips, some veggie deep dish pizza, and a glass of wine. Oh... that pizza was sooo good!
[caption id="attachment_2450" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Chicago deep dish pizza... yum![/caption]
I prepped my things for the morning, watched some of the NCAA tournament and headed to bed early... wake-up time was going to be early!
[caption id="attachment_2445" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Flat Vicki ready to roll[/caption]
On race day morning the alarm went off at 3:00 am. I got some warm lemon water in me and made my toast/almond butter/banana. I showered, got dressed, brewed a cup of coffee for the road, and was out the door by 5:15 am. Seabrook was about 90 minutes away from the house and I wanted to get there before the roads started to close.
The race started and ended near the pavilion at Rex Meador park in Seabrook. Parking was just a few blocks away and very convenient to the start and the festivities. There the pavilion was a line of port-a-cans, which seemed plentiful for this race (I didn't have to wait in line. There was a bag drop, manned by some friendly volunteers.
Weather conditions that morning were muggy... temp at the start was 64 and humidity was 100%... it was foggy (continuing my race day theme). The fog did not burn off during the whole time I was running.
The race began promptly at 7:15, right after the national anthem was sung.
The course ran through the Seabrook nature trails, which are surrounded by a diverse habitat of marsh, Galveston Bay coastline, wetlands, and wildlife and bird sanctuaries. For the half marathon it was a double loop, there were also a couple of out and backs. It was very scenic and well marked.
There weren't very many spectators on the course. There were a few in the residential areas and along the finish, but that was about it. As we did the out and backs, the runners seemed to cheer each other on.
There were 4 aid stations along the course, all manned with some enthusiastic volunteers. One aid station even had Girl Scout cookies (which I did take a Thin Mint as I passed after mile 11). I carried my handheld with Nuun and took my Huma gels as I had practiced in training.
I finished at 2:23:22, I hit the struggle bus on the 2nd loop. I'm not sure exactly why that second loop seemed so hard... if it was the fog, my mind not wanting to do another loop, or the little bit of soreness I was having in my ankles. Regardless, I pressed on but took some walking water breaks every other mile.
At the finish, they handed out the finishers medals and waters. Headed to bag drop, then had to get a medal picture with the pelican. I changed shoes and drank my recovery drink while cheering on some runners as they were headed into the final curve.
[caption id="attachment_2446" align="aligncenter" width="300"] At the finish... happy to be done[/caption]
The post race treats were my next stop. I got some vegetarian beans and rice and a beer (they had the Shiner coffee beer - a new favorite). There was plenty to choose from... ice cream bars, hamburgers, pork rinds (?), fruit... and I'm sure some other stuff I forgot about.
[caption id="attachment_2448" align="aligncenter" width="300"] vegetarian rice & beans and a cold shiner coffee beer[/caption]
I stuck around for the awards ceremony and the costume contest.
[caption id="attachment_2449" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Costume contest participants[/caption]
The weekend festivities were put on by the Running Alliance Sports (RAS) group. I can't say enough good things about their events. They are fun... everyone gets VIP treatment... check out the swag! If you get a chance to run one of their races, you definitely should!
[caption id="attachment_2452" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Great swag - hat, shirt, buff, and socks[/caption]
I made a few goals prior to the race - let's see how I did:
- Run strong. I really don't have any time goals... I don't know what to expect. The race website states that the course is slow due to narrow trails and congestion. - Met... I boarded the struggle bus on the 2nd loop, but I kept at it and made it to the finish with a smile.
- Don't fall! So for most people this wouldn't be a goal... but, I'm not most people. - Success! Didn't even trip!
- Take in the scenery... the race is held on the Seabrook nature trails ... according to the race website it's surrounded by a diverse habitat of both fresh and salt marsh, the coastline of the Galveston Bay, wetlands, and wild-life and bird sanctuaries. - Took it all in, and got some great pictures.
- Keep hydrated... the forecasted weather is for a beautiful warm day... starting out in the 60's with some pretty high humidity, hydration will be important. - Kept hydrated with my handheld filled with nuun, in addition to stopping at a couple of water stops.
- Have fun!! (this is the most important one) - Had a blast! Even stopped for a thin mint at the mile 11 aid station :-)
After the race I couldn't wait to get home and shower and take a nap... I was really wiped out from the race. I'm not sure if it was from the humidity or from the crushed granite trails (new running surface).
The Seabrook Lucky Trails Half Marathon is a great race. There are a variety of distances to choose from and you can even run multiple days/distances. It is very well supported. The swag and after-party are like no other local race. I would definitely include on my race calendar again.
I'm linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin’ for the Weekly Wrap; and with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My no-guilt life for Tuesdays on the Run