My cousin, Kris and I ran in the OBX 1/2 Marathon at Nag's Head last year. It was so much fun and a great course for a beginner (code word - FLAT). I wanted to do the 1/2 marathon again but after the Nashville 1/2 I had to have knee surgery and so 13.1 miles wasn't an option this time.
But, I was able to still run the 8k and run we did.
My uncle, John and I started training a few months ago - running a few nights each week. He had completed a 5k previously but that was his longest distance. I was so proud of him for beating his goal of finishing in less than 1:30.
Those medals are your ticket to walk around town all day and act like a rock star. He's already planning his training to run the 1/2 marathon next year. I can't explain it either, but after you do one you're hooked.
Kris, his wife Amber and our friend Katie all ran in the 1/2 marathon on Sunday. Amber and Katie ran their first race with us in Nashville back in April and were hooked also. The three of them all had goals of beating their previous times.
These are the crazy things that running makes you do. Like waking up at 5:30 AM, stuffing carbs in your mouth, and stretching. Amber is multi-talented and can do all at once.
The supporting cast (my parents, my grandmother, aunt, uncle, my boyfriend and I) all gathered at the 1st mile marker to watch them come by once the race got under way.
There's Katie getting started. She was the first to come by and the first to cross the finish line (1:54:23). She was shooting for under 2 hours. That's what being a distance swimmer in college will do for you. That and the fact that she actually starts her training program and sticks to it.
This picture really makes me laugh. Amber was pumped up. Kris acted like he was quitting at mile 1. He was kidding of course, but you should have seen the looks on the faces of the runners behind him.
Here's the final shot after they crossed. Kris came in at 2:06:45 - beating his previous time by almost 10 minutes. Amber came in at 2:27:11 - beating her previous time by almost 5 minutes. In our running group beating your time is your only goal. That and not being carried off by the EMS guys before you cross the line.
There's another very important component to a successful race that's not often pictured.
The support crew
Aunt Sherry's decided that the supporters deserve their own medal. They get up earlier to get the runners up, cook breakfast, pack and carry the extra gear, stand by the road just to watch and scream, drive like crazy to get to the finish line in time to stand there again...and wait, then cheer some more. I couldn't agree more.
I let her borrow my medal for the picture. :)
We finished up our trip in Manteo at the after-party. There were runners everywhere, drinks flowing, music and a lot of great food.
I think I almost have Whitney convinced to run with me next year! (fingers crossed)
It was a perfect trip with some of my favorite people.