I ran the 9th annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon on February 4th. I ran the same race last year and I guess I had a good time if I came back for more! The good course, great organization, and awesome beneficiary all brought me back.
So I put on a bunch of weight during the fall, feasting for the holidays and packing on pounds through Dopey training. I knew I wouldn't beat my time from last year. I hoped to run under 2:45.
Race Day: February 4, 2018
It's a lot of fun driving into the speedway. Getting to the venue, parking the car, and picking up my shirt and bib were all super smooth.
I had pre-ordered the race Tervis cup and forgot about it. It wasn't offered or mentioned during packet pickup. While looking around the vendors on the way to the bathroom I noticed a booth selling the cups along with previous race year t-shirts and swag. When I mentioned that I didn't get a cup, the volunteer just gave me one without asking for my name. I thought that was kind of strange. Anyway.
It was 63°F with 94% humidity at the start of the race (last year it was 55°F with 100%). It was partly cloudy through the race, with the sun beating down at times and extremly light sprinkles touching down around the time I finished.
Mile 1, 2, 3: 11:03, 11:27, 10:57
Running on that racetrack was pretty cool once again. Even though I'm no Nascar fan, it's neat to be running in such a famous and recongizable place.
Mile 4, 5, 6: 11:16, 11:38, 11:29
We ran down residential streets of Daytona, with a few spectators out to watch the runners. The traffic police did a great job keeping drivers in line and us runners safe.
Mile 7, 8, 9: 12:29, 11:05, 12:54
Just before the race began we learned that it was high tide so we would not be running on the beach. I don't really understand this because I thought that tides were predictable, but whatever. We still had to run over the causeway bridge twice, and it sucked. Going back over the bridge after the turnaround was particularly brutal and I had a nice stream of profanities running through my head as I trudged over. Ugh.
Mile 10, 11, 12: 13:10, 12:57, 13:34
So after the bridge, I struggled. My watch can detect my heart rate, and while it spiked during the two bridge crossings, it remained elevated for the remainder of the race. This is kind of interesting / discouraging / motivating. I think I need to try hill repeats in my training more often -- maybe it will help my future bridge / hill performance. Right now it's quite abysmal.
Mile 13+: 14:06, 2:50
Total mental defeat for the last mile, and I'm not sure why. Way too much walking, too much struggling and failing with race math, too much defeat. Ugh. I managed to run the last bit on the speedway on my way to the finish line. I heard my name called again as I went over the mats and that is always fun.
After the Race
I picked up my medal and found fellow club member Naymond, volunteering at the finish line, to get my finisher towel. I went and got a complimentary sack of popcorn and sat down on the grass along the track to watch 3+ hour half marathoners and superfast 5K runners finish their races. Eventually I got up and checked out some of the sponsor tents. I got photos with our two famous local turtle mascots.
The noms on offer weren't as elaborate as last year but I didn't mind. I snagged a egg muffin sandwich to go before saying goodbye to my club mates and heading home.
No complaints. I like this race and will run again in the future if it fits my schedule. I decided to "just" run the half marathon rather than the challenge, which would have added the 5K and some more awesome swag. I do think I'll run that challenge at some point, though...
Chip time: 2:40:53
Placement details: 38th of 75 in Age Group, 678th overall out of 1058 finishers (I don't know why there is a difference in my certificate info and the official race results?)
Race Amenities: Nice gender specific race shirt, finsher medal for all, beach towel for all, great course, free race photos. After the race there were some free treats, like breakfast sandwiches and popcorn.
Report written February 10, 2018
Professional race photos (c) BB Action Photo
WVR team photo (c) Almost There Photography