Race Report: Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon 2017

Lighthouse Loop is my club's race. WVR puts on this awesome local race that benefits the athletic departments of 10 Volusia County schools. Student athletes and coaches from the schools staff the 10 water stops on the half marathon course. The Lighthouse Loop 5K was my very first race ever in 2015. This year runners were given the option of running the new Aunt Catfish Challenge, which offered extra swag for those that completed the half marathon and the 5K race, which was moved to later in the morning. I signed up for the challenge.

Training & Goals
All of my running focus for the last months of the year are going towards training for Dopey in January 2018. I had long runs of 16 and 17 miles in the month prior to this race, along with regular maintenance runs. Since I had been somewhat struggling with speed, especially during those long runs, my main goal was to finish the half within 3 hours so I could be at the 5K start line and complete the challenge.

Race Day: October 29, 2017
I drove over to Port Orange for the races early in the morning. I found a good parking spot and headed over the bridge to packet pickup and bag drop and the start line. I met up with some club members and we got a group photo.

At the start, the weather was clear. It was 68°F with 94% humidity.

Mile 1, 2, 3: 11:25, 10:52, 11:27
Feeling pretty good! Ran my usual intervals from the start and tried to slow myself down. The kids at the water stops were all pretty great and it was always a nice boost to hear the cheering students.

Mile 4, 5, 6: 11:53, 11:28, 11:48
Still feeling good and slowed to a nice pace. The course took us through Lighthouse Point Park. Everyone was taking selfies with the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. Good times.

Mile 7, 8, 9: 13:07, 12:54, 13:15
Since starting training for Dopey I've been a little bit terrified of injury. So when I got an ache in my hamstrings around the halfway point I decided to slow down even more. I took a selfie with the school mascot at one of the water stops.

Mile 10, 11, 12: 14:28, 15:44, 15:48
The weather took a turn. It looked stormy and a light misty rain started to fall. The wind really picked up and the long slog across the bridge was tough. More aches and more worry about injury = more slow trugging along.

Mile 13+: 15:44, 1:44
Well, I did not conquer the bridge.

I came in at 2:51:35 and chugged a water. The breakfast buffet would have to wait -- I had made it back in time for the 5K so it was time to find the start line and get ready to move again.

5K
I started out jogging a bit but mostly walked after the first mile or so. I came in at 46:47, 204th out of 262 finishers.

After Party
The famous Lighthouse Loop after party! There was a breakfast buffet from Aunt Catfish and beer for finishers of age. There was music and dancing. The PR bell was rung numerous times. Good times.

Recommendation
Lighthouse Loop is a great race with a nice course, awesome volunteers, and a great cause. I'm totally biased but seriously, this is highly recommended.

Half Marathon chip time: 2:51:35
Placement details: 34th of 46 in Age Group, 382nd overall out of 487 finishers
Race Amenities: Aunt Catfish Challengers got both race shirts, medal for the half, and a nice custom tumbler for completing both races.
Cost: $88.40 for the Challenge

Report written November 28, 2017

Pro running photos (c) Almost There Photography

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