I am SO sorry that this recap is coming so late. I’ll be totally up front, I’ve been slacking. Between both of my kids getting really sick, then the holidays happened, and I have not been training due to trying to completely clear up my knee pain, I just haven’t had the time or the motivation to write. It’s funny how an injury can seriously wreck havoc on your entire being. I have not wanted to write at all because it just makes me even more depressed. Though, it looks like the IT band issues are gone! So we are in the clear to get back to training. I have a half marathon in March that I’m going to gear up for and my marathon goals have been pushed out to Chichago. Here is to a healthy 2017. On that note, lets talk about the Kiawah Island Half Marathon I did.
To be honest with you guys, I was a little worried a few weeks ago that I wouldn’t even be able to complete this race. I knew a few weeks prior that this was going to be a training run for me. At this point, completing thirteen miles was going to be an accomplishment in itself since I had to drop my weekly mileage down below 20 miles per week while rehabbing the knee. But I’m happy to say that I finished the race and had SO much fun doing it with Penney.
Kiawah is just a hop, skip, and jump from Charleston. It’s an easy enough drive that Penney and I were able to wake up
pretty unpleasantly early and make the drive to Kiawah. The drive there was super peaceful and the roads were empty, as we approached freshfields village we found the huge field where we were to park. Kiawah is a gated community, so in order to get in we had to take buses. There was no shortage of giant buses that were pumping out heat to keep us all warm and toasty. We grabbed the things we needed from the car and hopped the first bus over to the starting line. Once we arrived, we used the port a potties and then headed inside the main building where same day packet pickup was located so we could stay warm. We found a big dining room area that had some empty floor space. We talked, stretched, and tried to figure out what clothing options we were going to go with for the race.
It was super cold out and even the 10 minutes we stood outside before the race had us shivering and seeing our breath. We shed our hoodies and lined up for the start. The best part about the start of the race was there was Santa waving to us from up above. That’s definitely a good way to get a crowd roaring for a full or a half marathon.
I didn’t pay close attention to each mile within this race. I was running to have a good time with Penney and I wanted to stay present in the moment. I made sure to talk to Penney, point out hilarious signs, and do my best to be a good coach and help Penney get to a PR.
The beginning: The beginning of the race was kind of crunched. The full & the half groups were running together and some of the road ways were pretty narrow. Penney and I found ourselves on the heels of some racers with very little room to maneuver around them. Although it was crowded, it really was a beautiful course. I made sure to keep looking around and fully enjoy the sights. There were pacers all around and the conversations we had with them were really nice. They did a great job having very upbeat and fun pacers for the race.
The middle: After we broke away from the full group, it definitely thinned out a bit. We ran by some great musicians along the way though. There was a group with some huge drums that we really enjoyed. I wish there had been even more of them set up along the course. My favorite though was a guy in a T-Rex costume. My god he was hilarious and then as we were running, we saw him go by on a bicycle to head towards the finish to cheer people on. Have you ever seen a man in a T-rex costume on a bike? No? Funniest thing ever.
The end: The final miles were sort of off the beaten path. We ran right along the ocean which was GORGEOUS except for the fact that we were on gravel. I wont lie, I got really worried about my footing on the loose gravel. Battling injuries will make you paranoid all the time about how you are running and what you are running on. Once we got out of that area we had to go on a narrow trail heading towards the final miles. I tried to be the best running partner for Penney and stopped at the aid stations to refill her water bottle for her with some Gatorade. The part I thought was slightly a bummer was that the final mile stretch didn’t really have any crowd support. It wasn’t until we turned the corner for the final .25 that there were crowds cheering us into the finish line.
We crossed the finish and Penney set herself an amazing PR! We got the most gorgeous medals I’ve ever seen and headed straight for the beer.
The beer choices were good craft beers and it didn’t seem like they were counting as we had an older gentleman in front of us who was on #5 ha. Getting his money’s worth! Prior to getting to the race we had read that there was a post race buffet. We were assuming there would be apples, bananas, granola bars… the usual for a post race food. Boy were we wrong. The buffet was worth the cost of the race itself. The buffet had the usual banana, and oranges but also 3 different types of pasta’s, taboulli, corn bread, delicious white bean soup that was perfect since it was so freaking cold outside, and brownies. Seriously, for no other reason, come do this race for the buffet afterwards. It puts the Charleston Marathons, shrimp and grits to shame.
The covered tents were nice and had a really good DJ playing at the post race party. There were guys on stilts doing juggling, massage tents, and other local vendors. Penney and I warmed up with our soup, grabbed an extra beer, and headed towards the finish line to cheer on the finishers for a while. We wanted to make sure to stretch out a lot after the race so our legs didn’t cramp on the drive back. There is honestly nothing better than reading peoples names on their bibs and screaming for them as they come in for the finish. You could see the smile people would get when they heard us call out their names.
After we hung out for a bit we headed back to Charleston. This race was definitely a fun one that I would absolutely spend the money to do again. The beer, food, and gorgeous medal win it for me. Even though I don’t think the course is necessarily the most PR friendly, it’s a gorgeous one with some beautiful views. It’s even more fun when you have a good friend to enjoy the day with!