Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Run Like a Diva, North Myrtle Beach Half Marathon

Another race, better yet another flat race! The Run Like a Diva races are a series, primarily aimed at women. The result....an explosion of pink. A few men gave it a try, some were even fun enough to dress up for the occasion.
The expo was in a community centre on Friday and Saturday. The race was on Sunday morning. It was a decent sized expo and since this was a women's race it featured a lot of stuff I didn't see at other expos, like sparkly skirts. There were stands for allowing you to make up signs and take pictures with them..part of the fun atmosphere of the weekend.
The Medal

Before the Half Marathon started there was a sizeable field of 5k runners that ran before us. I felt a bit bad for them as a fair number had to fight through half marathoners just to cross the start line. Then the rest of us were off. For once I wasn't shy about moving up to the front of the pack. I knew this race would attract a lot of walkers and not everyone lines up according to their pace. It seems I made the right choice as I pretty much ran with the same crowd for most of the race and didn't have to dodge anyone.
Accidental Bitch Face

This race was super flat with only a couple of mild inclines. It wound through the area surrounding the beachfront in North Myrtle Beach, but we didn't really see the sea. Since we doubled back toward the start at one stage, I got to see my cheerleaders (Martina and Boomer) at the start, 5 mile and 7 mile points. Every couple of miles there were aid stations with gatorade and water and at around 4/5 points there was live music/ a DJ. Of the the races I've done this year there seemed to be the most spectators at this race. The points mentioned above, as well as the finish were packed with people and there were loads of others scattered along the course. People came out of their houses to watch and some even put out water and sweets. It seems North Myrtle Beach can get pumped up for a race...good on ya! Including one man following his wife/significant other on a bike....the saint! This made for a nice pick me up whenever I was feeling bad. After seeing Martina  and the pup at the seven mile point we headed away from the Ocean Blvd. area and along a stretch of highway.

 At this point the sun was out and it was strong. Although we have had some nice weather here in SC for the last few weeks...they haven't exactly been heavy on the running for me as I've been trying to baby myself through these race heavy couple of months. Soooo I haven't exactly adapted to the heat. On an encouraging note I am starting to recognise when I am beginning to overheat. Most of the water in my bottles started to go over my head and at every water stop after the 7 mile mark, I took my couple of sips of water and then walked to pour the rest over my head and back. A bit of a shock to the system but I started to perk up after a few cups :)
Again my left leg was a bit sore after about the 10 mile mark but not enough to slow me down too much! It seized up after I finished but a bit of stretching released whatever was causing the problem.

We ran through some nice neighborhoods towards the end, that reminded me a bit of Bluffton, and then it was back towards the 'downtown' area for the finish. Along the way I got talking to an awesome women, Janet. Her husband is deployed and they trained together (albeit apart) for her first half. I checked afterwards and she finished her first half in under 2 hours. I hope it isn't too stalkerish that I looked her up but I was curious. Janet if by some fluke you read this...great job and I hope your husband gets home soon.

About a quarter of a mile from the finish I got handed a pink boa and a tiara. Now I know I looked ridiculous but it's all part of the fun, and Martina said she'd skin me alive if I didn't appear at the finish wearing them. So I did!!!
Crossing the finish line I was confronted with a line of tall, shirtless, very muscled firemen. One of them even put my medal around my neck..normally its just shoved into my hand, maybe because I always look like I'm going to spew. As part of making all the racers feel like Divas, I was also handed a long stem red rose and given a choice of champagne or ginger ale in a flute. Fancy!!  There were bagels, bananas and cookies as I walked through the finish area. Music was playing and up on stage awards were being handed out. There was also a pool party at a local resort afterwards but I had to rush off as usual...always on the go.

Rockin the Boa
The puppy was exhausted after being cooed over and loved on all morning and I needed a shower. We camped at Myrtle Beach State Park, which was not only beautiful but had the added bonus of a 12 pm check out time. Lots of time to shower and pack up the tent. Strategic packing meant our lunch and cooler full of drinks as well as other beach supplies stayed at the front of the car so we were able to checkout and park the car before heading to the beach for a couple of hours before the drive home. Despite liberal and frequent applications of sunscreen, I now have a burned backside....aw well it might get rid of that sexy shorts tan line I'm rocking.

Overall a great weekend. Would I recommend this race......yes. Especially to anyone running their first half. The whole thing was designed to really make the participants feel special. I'm a bit jaded (not quite the right word, but I can't think of a better one)...so I just zoom in and out of expos and race finishes but I think I'd really appreciate the effort if it was my first big race. The atmosphere reminded me of the Flora Women's Mini Marathon at home...a 10k with a field of 40,000 (mostly) women running to raise money for charity. There was a bit too much pink involved in this race for my liking but if thats my only complaint it must be good :)

Run Like A Diva Half Marathon 1:56:55 Chip Time

My GPS didn't kick in for some reason so I pressed lap at each mile marker so these are only approx. splits 9.20, 8.34, 8.39, 8.30, 8.37, 8.37, 8.40, 9.17, 9.02, 8.42, 8.48, 9.18, 10.45

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a super fun race, Kathy! Congrats on yet another solid finish. You are a running maniac! I love the fact that there were shirtless firemen waiting for all of you at the finish line - motivation much? I'd probably be sprinting ;) The medal and fun accessories seemed well worth the effort - love that bling!