The only time this race was referred to as the "Island to Island Half Marathon" was at registration. During the rest of the race, it kept its old name - the "Ocean City Half Marathon". The day before, the family piled into the truck and we made the hour long trek to packet pick-up in Ocean City at a local hotel. There really wasn't much at all in the goody bag, but we got a decent shirt and a drawstring bag.
This is the first half marathon I didn't spend the race eve at a hotel. I got ready in the comfort of home and prepared for the race the night before.
I had to wake up bright and early (a 4:45 wake-up call) to be sure I could make it to the start in time. For this race, I wore hot-pinkish and black. You can't really tell in this photo. Once again, no one was awake, so I took my own race morning photo for prosperity.
I drove to the race start alone, in the pitch black. It started to get a little lighter as I approached Ocean City. This is a pic of the first bridge we would have to run over.
While waiting for the race to start, I took a pic of the view to the north . . .
. . . and the south.
It was a chilly morning. The race started at approximately 7:00, and we all huddled together to stay warm. We started near the boardwalk, made our way through parking lot, and back up on the boardwalk.
We ran past some typical boardwalk sights . . .
and headed through some streets and on to the first bridge (pic above.) The rest of the race route took us along some country backroads and highways as we made our way to Assateague Island - home of the wild horses. It was perfect running weather - crisp, cool, and overcast.
At times, the race was crowded since the busier roads were not completely closed off. You had to battle cones, people, and ditches if you wanted to make a move to pass another runner.
Since I wasn't really prepared for this race, I decided to use the Galloway method. I used a 4:1 run/walk interval. To my surprise, I was able to run about a 9:35 pace for much of the running part of the race. The walk breaks really helped me mentally, and it was actually kind of fun to implement. I kept passing certain people on and off as I took my walking breaks. Eventually, I passed them and never saw them again - even as they continually ran. This method really worked for me during this race! It truly broke up the monotony of continuous running and made the race - dare I say - fun! (Even though I was NOT sufficiently trained!)
I wound up finishing this race with a PR . . . unbelievable! I never would have imagined this would be the case considering my training - and using Galloway. I finished with a time of
I learned not to be ashamed of running the Gallo-Way. I finished long before some of those who were bragging at the end that they didn't stop to walk. I didn't walk away with knee pain and kept a better pace than expected. I will certainly use this again for another long distance race. I really think it made the race a better experience for me!