Friday, April 8, 2016

Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon Recap

After Saturday's race my joints were killing me. We were suppose to get a crazy cold front rolling through and I know how my body responds to pressure change.

Let's also mention that the winds were projected to gust around 50-60mph and we are running on the boardwalk. Thank goodness I found my emergency bag of winter layers in my trunk. 

The thunderstorm rolled in around 12:30am and I could hear this crazy wind and hail. I tried my best to fall back asleep and try to keep my mind off the conditions. By the time I woke up, I saw this. 

This was going to be an experience. 

The four of us headed back down to the boardwalk. I drove separate since I had to leave right after the race. We were all so thrilled to be at the race. Not. Chelsea wasn't feeling good, my joints still hurt and we all just weren't feeling it. All I wanted to do was have a decent race. I wanted so bad to break two hours to start progressing from the injury.

They had to delay the start by 10 minutes because the traffic lights were blinking in town causing traffic jams. We decided to go inside and get out of the wind. It literally was pushing us at points. How were we going to run?

It was finally time to start. Kristy and I said good bye and good luck to Mar and Chelsea and moved up towards the front. We weren't planning on racing, we just knew we had to get up front. Kristy told me to take it easy and enjoy it. I told her not to get hurt. 

I lost her within the first quarter mile. It was nice because the buildings were blocking the cross breeze for points. As soon as there was a break in the buildings, you got crushed. Legit having my legs taken out from under me. Then add sand blowing up. I have never wanted to give up so badly in my life. I didn't feel like I was moving. That lasted a little over two miles. 

I don't know if by the third mile I was getting use to the wind or what, but I started to be able to breathe a little. Sure, I was still running sideways at some points, but I was still going forward. I saw the 5k timing mat and checked my watch. I was about .03 short. I have NEVER been short on a race before. It was a first for sure. 

5k split: 28:39. 

Around mile 3.5 we were off the boardwalk and on the road. I was hoping that being near more buildings the wind would dull down a little. WRONG! This is where the headwind came in to play. We were running on the left side of the road and traffic was still open on the right. 

Mile five was the worst mile of the race, wind wise. I got blown over into another runner. I felt so terrible but he was a very sweet man and must have seen it coming. It was around this time I saw Hollie leading the women's race! I made sure I screamed for her. Home girl was crushing! 

Around mile six I saw Kristy and she looked alright. I could tell she was over it. The turn around was about mile 6.5 and I could see it up ahead!!! 

10k split: 57:54. 

At the turn around I felt like I hadn't ran at all. My legs were ready to go. If I wanted to hit a sub-2, I needed to let them go. And go they did! Even though there wasn't really a tailwind, it wasn't as bad in this direction and I needed to use it. 

These people have got to think I'm crazy. I could barely move a few miles ago and now I'm looking at an 8:15 average pace on my watch. About mile nine we were back on the boardwalk. We got on a little further down than before and it was all open. I was so worried about that crosswind. It wasn't as bad as the first time, but the sand was. I was being pelted. It was awful. 

Look at that man's pants. Can totally see the wind.

10 mile split: 1:27. 

Wait a minute, did I just make it to the 10 mile mark under 1:30? Holy crap, I can go sub-2! Only a 5k to go, I can do this! Then I remembered that AWFUL wind from mile two. I wanted to run as quickly as I could while I could. 

Then it happened, the wind. It came back with a mighty vengeance. I was running sideways again. Sand blasting from every direction. Gosh I hope I banked enough time. I don't even feel like I'm moving at this point. How are my legs still moving through this? This is the longest I have consistently ran since the marathon in January. I'm just in shock.

I could hear the announcer. The finish line was so close! I couldn't sprint. My legs felt like they were sinking in the boardwalk. Plus, one of my toes were bleeding and I could see the blood coming through my shoe. The wind and blowing sand is really starting to hurt! 

The announcer is saying "Let's congratulate all of these runners coming in under two hours!" THANK SWEET BABY JESUS! I am going to do it! 

I crossed the finish line, got my medals and soft pretzel and finally looked. 

Finish time: 1:57:48. 

Not only did I break two hours, but I ran the final 11k in under an hour! In 50 mph wind gusts! With very little training! What did I just do and how!?!

You can tell the windy miles for sure.

Taking the weather out of the equation, I would not recommend this race. It's boring. Point blank. If you are looking for a flat race at the beach, go for it. Don't expect things to look at, especially the six miles through town. It was an adventure for sure, but I would not do it again. 


  1. Congratulations! You are all braver than me for running in that madness!

  2. Great job kicking ass in that horrible weather.

  3. I should have run with you. I really had zip interest in moving any faster given how much the wind was blowing me all over! the sand was just uck and I'm with you on the course. So boring! GREAT job lady, I know you were feeling it.

    1. Thanks Mar. It was just such an experience lol