|Frontrunners Rhode Island|
I joined Frontrunners of RI last summer and this group inspired me to run my second ever marathon. I loved hearing about their individual stories, their training, and race experiences. Their energy and enthusiasm encouraged me to start training late October and I decided if everything went well I would look for a race in February. Looking through a list of Boston Qualifying races I decided to run the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach CA.
This race did not disappoint. The location was beautiful, scenic, with warm, dry weather with the perfect amount of cooling breeze. Fortunately for me the beginning of the winter season in RI was mild enough to great some great long runs in before heading to the West Coast. This event had something for everyone from the beach mile to the marathon held on the Pacific Coast Highway and beach paths. Even the expo held for several days in advance was one of the best including great products and fueling options to surf music and an antique VW bus exhibition.
Race start was at 6:30am with temps in the low 50's. Perfect running weather along with the sunrise views over the water. I decided to take advantage of the cooler temps and the shaded portion of the course by going a little faster than I had anticipated to make up some extra time. I also knew it was going to warm up quickly and the last half of the race would be in the direct sunlight so I carried a large water bottle with me that I had purchased the day before at the expo. In my first and only other marathon I suffered badly from dehydration and had hit "the wall" at mile 21. The race had plenty of well stocked aid stations to supplement. I hit the 16 mile mark and the beach path thinking I am actually going to make it! The last 5 miles were tough but I never hit that awful wall and there was plenty of cheering going on from the crowds of people lining the streets. I highly recommend this course as it was pretty flat and fast and a nice winter racecation getaway.
With the exception of one damaged toe nail I made it through injury free and with a new found love for the distance. My daughter had reminded me that after the first marathon in 2018 I had said NEVER again but it is amazing what camaraderie can do for changing your mind and perspective! A big thank you to all my Frontie friends who were their to share tips and offer support and encouragement! That is where you find the real joy in running!