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Race Recap: Lap the Track 5K 2019

Posted in Race Reports

The Daytona Beach Half Marathon weekend made some changes for 2019, including adding a Saturday 5K and moving up the Sunday 5K to start shortly after the half marathon. I had planned to run the half marathon for the third year in a row. Read my previous reports from 2017 and 2018. I was glad to have the option to transfer to the Dual 5K Challenge. Following the Beachin' It 5K Saturday night, next up was the Lap the Track race on the famous Daytona Beach International Speedway.

Training & Goals
[Cue the usual of late] My right Achilles tendon is still bothering me so I haven't been running very much. No training, no goals.

Race Day: February 10, 2019
The venue for the finish line was changed for 2019. Parking was close to the finish line at One Daytona, across the road from the Speedway. I missed driving inside and parking the car in the middle of the race track. But everything went very smoothly at the new venue with plenty of volunteers to help guide us to the parking area and the event start.

My club's awesome pacers paced the half marathon and a lot of other club members ran as well. We had a group photo before the half runners took off.

Rain was threatening once more and it was a bit gloomy again with overcast skies. It was 66°F at the start with 94% humidity.

Relive 'Morning Run'

Mile 1: 12:42
The first two miles took us around the race track. I was a bit achy from the Beachin' It 5K the night before (complete lack of training) so took it slow.

Mile 2: 13:06
Achy but at least enjoying the run on the track.

Mile 3+: 13:17, 1:33
The last mile took us out of the track to a small out-and-back before we crossed International Speedway Boulevard via a pedestrian bridge. It was funny running up and down the wide access ramps; I thought we'd cross the road. Tried to push it at the end and felt ok crossing the finish line. It was fun to hear my name announced (see short video below).

After Party
Vendors and food and drink were immediately adjacent to the finish line. There was a nice spread including free beer and various snacks from First Watch, Ben & Jerry's, and other vendors. I stayed to watch a few of the first half marathoners come in before heading out for the day.

Recommendation
Organizers continue to do a great job with the events of this race weekend. Recommended.

Chip time: 40:42
Placement details:
13/45 AG and 354/668 overall
Race Amenities: Finisher medal for all, soft cotton gender-specific shirt, challenge medal for completing Dual 5K Challenge
Cost: $68.32 for the Dual 5K Challenge

Report written February 11, 2019

Group and finish line photo (c) Almost There Photography

Race Recap: Beachin' It 5K 2019

Posted in Race Reports

The Daytona Beach Half Marathon weekend made some changes for 2019, including adding a Saturday 5K to the challenge options. I had planned to run the half marathon for the third year in a row (read my previous reports from 2017 and 2018). Because of my current shape I was glad to have the option to transfer to the Dual 5K Challenge. First up, a beach 5K on Saturday evening.

Training & Goals
[Cue the usual of late] My right Achilles tendon is still bothering me so I haven't been running very much. No training, no goals.

Race Day: February 9, 2019
I parked at the Ocean Center and walked to the start. Packet pickup was quick and easy and bag drop was available for those of us who needed it. Restrooms were available at the host venue LandShark Bar & Grill.

It was 64°F at the start with 88% humidity. It had been threatening rain most of the day with mist, fog, and drizzle. Rain held off until after the run.

Mile 1: 12:25
A bit of soft sand right at the start but then we were running on hard sand with the wind strongly at our backs. Wee! I felt pretty good.

Mile 2: 12:00
Wind still at our backs until the turnaround. I felt good until the wind hit my face. Ugh.

Mile 3+: 13:01, 1:27
So running back in the headwind was no fun, but I was still really happy with the run and felt great. My Achilles didn't bother very much at all. Sunday afternoon, though...

After Party
There was a nice spread out for the runners, with free beer and beef sliders and something else (no vegetarian option so I'm foggy on the details) warm being served. It started spitting rain so I headed back to the car fairly soon after finishing.

Recommendation
Runners could register for this race as a stand-alone or as a Speedway Challenge with the half marathon on Sunday or as a Dual 5K Challenge with Lap the Track on Sunday. This was the first year for the Beachin' It 5K and I think the organizers did a great job. Recommended, along with the rest of the Daytona Beach Half Marathon weekend events.

Chip time: 38:46
Placement details: 18/40 AG and 269/492 overall
Race Amenities: Finisher medal for all, soft cotton gender-specific shirt
Cost: $68.32 for the Dual 5K Challenge

Report written February 11, 2019

Branded race photo (c) Almost There Photography

Run for the Woods 2019 12K Race Recap

Posted in Race Reports

I signed up for another trail run, Seminole State Forest -- Run for the Woods, even though I don't really like running trails and I broke a rib on my last trail race. What's wrong with me? Anyway, money raised from these races (a 5K and half marathon were also available) is used for facility and park improvements.

Training & Goals
[Cue the usual of late] My right Achilles tendon is still bothering me so I haven't been running very much. This race was walker friendly though so I thought I'd give it a try. Trail running should be gentler on my injury as well. No goal in mind, though I thought I'd finish in about 2 hours.

Race Day: February 3, 2019
I had to pick up my packet the morning of, but since Seminole State Forest is close to home I didn't have to leave crazy early. Friendly volunteers helped guide everyone to parking. Packet pickup was easy and efficient. I knew it would probably be wet on the course so I wore old shoes. We had an informative pre-race briefing before we were let loose on the trails.

It was 63°F at the start with 100% humidity. It was foggy, misty, and overcast.

Relive 'Morning Run'

Mile 1, 2: 13:01, 14:09
The early miles were mostly single-track so I kept pace and took shorter walking breaks when I could move to the side. There were a couple of wet spots that we could avoid by stepping around. All three distances started out on the same course and everything was extremely well marked and clear. Arrows and colored ribbons or tape showed the way. No chance of getting lost (even me!). Awesome.

Mile 3, 4, 5: 20:23, 19:40, 19:38
Water, water everywhere! Plus mud. Walking, sloshing, slipping, fretting! I guess looking back it was a little bit fun but at the time I was just hating life and cursing myself for ever registering. Racing usually makes me feel like a kid but this kind of running makes me feel like an old lady because I'm constantly worrying about falling down or losing a shoe in the muck.

Mile 6, 7+: 17:42, 15:27, 4:01
Mostly dry but I was over it! I mean the trail and the park are beautiful but I have to stop getting this runner's amnesia that lets me sign up for more trail races. Halp?

After Party
Free beer for all runners! Snacks and treats, green chili, PBJs, and more. Better than average food and beverage spread. There were also fun booths from local nature groups, the Central Florida Zoo, and government natural resources agencies. The Avian Reconditioning Center brought a couple of education birds and the Orianne Society brought along a pair of Indigo Snakes. Definitely my kind of vendor action.

Recommendation
Volunteers were incredibly friendly and helpful. The event organization was smooth from start to finish. The courses were marked to perfection. Great swag. Highly recommended for trail run fans. Ugh, how much do you want to bet I'll be there next year? Pls send help.

Chip time: 2:03:38
Placement details:
45/71 female participants; 82/110 overall
Race Amenities:
Very nice soft unisex shirt, nice medal, great food spread and free beer
Cost:
$42.25

Report written February 10, 2019

Finisher photo (c) Almost There Photography

Race Recap: MeStrong 5K 2019

Posted in Race Reports

The MeStrong 5K in Deland, Florida, is a huge small town race put on by a local cancer charity and fund-raising group. 2019 was the fifth running of this race that grows larger each year; in 2019 they had over 5,000 registrants! This is a really great charity group; you can learn more about MeStrong here.

The popular race goes through the streets of and around downtown Deland. The 3.1 mile course is lined with spectators and the 2019 line-up had 48 (!!!) different cheer zones. Local businesses and student organizations from Stetson University cheer the runners along with live bands and other groups.

Goals
Arthur joined me for this race! We walked the course with countless others -- we were in a huge sea of people!

Race Day: February 2, 2019
I had picked up our packets the day before so all we had to do race morning was find a parking spot. I hopped in for the group photo with my run club West Volusia Runners and then Arthur and I made our way to the back of the start area.

It was 63°F at the start with 94% humidity. Rain and possible thunderstorms were predicted for the morning but held off. It was gloomy but we stayed dry!

Mile 1: 15:33
We started near the back but ended up walking a lot faster than many fellow back-of-the-packers. There was a lot of bobbing and weaving, even among the walkers.

Mile 2: 15:52
The on-course entertainment kept us smiling the whole time.

Mile 3+: 15:21, 2:03
Electric energy down the finish chute! What fun!

After Party
MeStrong takes over downtown Deland with sponsor booths and food and drink vendors. A lot of shops and restaurants opened early for the runners. The after party is legendary! Arthur and I had plans for the day so we unfortunately did not stay too long.

Recommendation
Excellent race organization. Fun on-course entertainment and great after party. Highly recommended.

Chip time: 48:39
Placement details:
48/300 in AG; 2192/4248 overall
Race Amenities:
Nice cotton race shirt (no finisher medals), great after party
Cost: $38.25

Report written February 10, 2019

MeStrong branded photos (c) Almost There Photography

Race Recap: Shark Bite 5K 2019

Posted in Race Reports

The fourth annual Shark Bite Half Marathon and 5K took place on January 20, 2019. This fun and popular event happens in the shark bite capital of the world, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The charity Girls on the Run Volusia County is associated with the race.

Training & Goals
My right Achilles tendon is still bothering me so I haven't been running very much. While running the tendon isn't painful. The pain sets in later and lasts a couple of days, depending on how much I ran. My endurance has taken a huge hit with the lack of regular cardio. Shortly before race day I traded my half marathon bib with another runner's 5K bib. I hoped to complete the 5K in under 40 minutes.

Race Day: January 20, 2019
I left home around 5:45AM and managed to find a parking spot about a half mile from the start line. I hung out by our club's tent until it was time to run. After a quick group photo I got my bib and shirt from my trade partner and the half marathoners were off at 7:30AM. When the 5K started 10 minutes later it was a cool 59°F with partly cloudy skies. As the morning continued the sky cleared and the wind started howling. It was brutal for parts of the half marathon. Luckily for all the predicted rain passed through the area before the races started.

Mile 1: 12:19
I've been running 2:1 intervals so that's what I started off with. I felt okay.

Mile 2: 12:09
Geesh, I started feeling extra winded pretty fast. I kept up my run:walk at 2:1 through mile 2.

Mile 3+: 13:02, 1:20
Super winded, super high heart rate. I switched to 1:2 for the last mile, feeling completely exhausted. Ugh.

After Party
Legendary! Have a local craft beer in your new finisher's pint glass! Enjoy a slice of piping hot pizza! Ride the mechanical shark! I had fun cheering the half marathoners as they came in, including so many WVR members and the club's amazing team of pacers.

Recommendation
Great swag and a smooth operation. You can't ask for more. Highly recommended.

Chip time: 38:48
Race Amenities: Swag: huge finisher medal, pint glass, and super soft casual t-shirt for all finishers of both races; finisher hat for top 10% half marathon runners; free race photos. All this plus an after party including beer, pizza, vendors and a mechanical shark
Cost:
$55.06 (discounted price for half marathon)


edited finisher certificate (my name in place of the bib owner's)

Report written January 22, 2019

Group and professional race photos (c) Almost There Photography