Sunday, April 21, 2013

RunAPalooza Half Marathon

Yesterday was the AP RunAPalooza Half Marathon in Asbury Park and it was such an awesome experience.  It was the perfect race for my first half, in fact, this was my first race longer than a 5k.  This race was to benefit the Special Olympics of NJ, as well as to benefit the Restore the Shore campaign from Superstorm Sandy's devastation. Although I am a Jersey girl, I honestly don't remember ever going to AP aside from passing through.  When I was younger, AP was not in it's prime and recently (since '02) has been going through a revitalization. With that said, I was amazed at how fantastic the shore and city looked.

In light of the terror occurred less than a week ago in Boston, we were asked to wear blue and yellow to show support our fellow running community who endured tragedy during the marathon.  It was awesome to see everyone with not only blue and yellow clothes, but messages of hope, support and love through shirts, ribbons and signs.  Not only was it inspiring to run for those who were affected by such a horrific event, but to see runners twice my age or in a wheelchair was touching too.  If they could do this, I could too.

All week the weather forecast was showing rain showers early in the morning on Saturday.  However, the sun was trying to peek out most of the morning, but didn't come out until after I crossed the finish line.  Although it was super windy, at least it did not rain.  Not only for us runners, but for the spectators watching and cheering us on!

The first five miles I felt great.  Strong and energetic.  Miles 8-10 were quite possibly the most difficult of the race.  And twelve through thirteen point one I just had to dig deep and run to the finish - there would be no turning back and no quitting.  On the final sprint on the boardwalk, my beautiful daughters & mother-in-law were cheering me on!!!  It was the perfect sight to give me that final burst of energy.  I cross the finish at 2:25:12 (chip time was 2:24:52) and the first person I saw was my husband.

Definitely still on a runner's high from finishing my first half and looking forward to my next one!  Not sure if I am ready to tackle a full marathon.  But never say never.

There are many wonderful articles and videos on this event:
RunAPalooza Runs the Jersey Shore
CBS News Running for Boston
RunAPalooza Start & Finish

My chica band! 

runAPalooza Swagg!