This race was a last minute decision race, I actually ran it for a friend of mine who was not able to make it to the race. And who could turn down a free race? I knew that even though this race would not count towards my Storm Series medals I would still have the satisfaction of being a secret category 4 runner. The only thing that had me stressing about this race was the fact that it was 2 hours from home. I tried to weigh the pros and cons of getting a hotel and staying overnight there or driving up there very early the day of the race. I ended up driving up there the day of, which I will not do if I choose to do this race again, next time I will stay in a hotel and get some rest rather than waking up at 3am to drive on a very lonely highway. On the way up there I noticed a couple of cars swerving so I was a little paranoid about getting hit by a drunk driver on the way there. Turns out I did end up getting hit by a car, but not on the way, but rather while I was parked and racing. Not a terrible hit, but still a dent in the side of my car from apparently someone who does not have a cell phone or phone number to call and report.
Anyways back to the race, I had never been to beach area of West Palm Beach, only to the concert venue up there, which is not close to the beach at all. I drove up the day before to pick up my race packet since there was no race day packet pickup, and ended up making the day of it, stopping by Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale to go shopping. For the race I decided to again find a pace group and run with them, I choose the 4:20/2:10 group. This race was a half and a full marathon and some of the people in the pace group were doing a relay option for the marathon. I talked to a lady who had been running for 20 years while I ran the first 7 miles. Then I started to feel really bad, crampy and just lightheaded so I started stopping at the water stops and walking through them, at that time my music started getting screwy and skipping songs after 30 seconds. It was an extremely hot morning, I’m pretty sure I got a tan it was so hot. I knew I had to stay as hydrated as possible and keep going, even if I had a bad time it would not count against me. There was hardly any shady areas in this race, meaning we were being roasted by the sun the whole time. I was never happier to see a finish line when I finally got there. Another kind of bad thing about this race was that we had to run by the finish line when we still had about 5 miles to go, kind of annoying. Something I really liked about this race was the fruit on the course, they had strawberries, I normally do not eat the food/gels on the courses since I bring my Honey Stinger energy chews but this time I walked eating a cup of strawberries. I finished the race in 2:16:01. I exchanged my race shirt for my size and went over to World of Beer for my free beer, I choose Sierra Nevada since it’s a pretty light beer. I normally get a banana at the end of races but this time when I went to get one they were green so I passed on that. I ate a Luna bar that I had in the car instead. I rested a bit before the long 2 hour drive home and then journeyed home to later discover the dent on the side of my car that I overlooked while in my post race daze. This race was dedicated to Matt, who could not race this one.