Celebration Half Marathon
First off thank you all so much for all the well wishes for my first half I could feel all the love and no pressure at all! LOL!
Celebration Florida is a little town outside of Orlando. For me that is about a 35 minute drive at best. This course promised to be flat and fast and after my 2 half marathons last year in Nashville and Atlanta and was looking forward to flat. I am not gonna lie! The race sold out with 1880 runners in the half and 489 for the full. This run was also certified as a Boston qualifier for those that are interested in that kind of thing.
The course was just beautiful! It was truly like running thru a movie set. The course was set up to loop around so if you were running the full marathon you would run the course twice. This always makes me nervous, any one else worry about missing that last turn and running further or shorter than you wanted to?
So we will pick up the story at the start line. Belinda (weekend warrior and BRF) line up at the 10:00 minute mile pace marker and we anxiously awaited the start! There was only one quick announcement and the race was off! We quickly moved up to the start line and we took off running. No walkers! Yea! I hate when that happens! We wandered thru the small downtown area and took off towards the main road, finally we all spread out! First mile, 10:28 and I smile!
I am running at a comfortable pace and I come across my first on the road DJ. There were 3 in total on the course playing music and cheering the runners on. I thought they were super fun! The group is called Mix on Wheels and we ran into them again at the after party too. All souped up electronic cars turned into instant DJ stands.
Around mile 4 or so we hit the boardwalk and this was a really pretty park of the run. It was like running thru the woods. I was worried that the boardwalk would be slippery but it wasn’t. This made up a good couple of miles of the run. The course offered plenty of water and gatorade stops- 12 overall! So hydration was not an issue. I believe we started with temperatures in the low 50’s and it made for a perfect Florida run morning!
My first 6 miles are all in the 10 something range and I am really enjoying it. The only thing bothering me is this case of boob chafing that I can feel developing, what can you do? I walked thur the mile 6 water stop and try to suck down some of my GU and finish my water. The music was driving me crazy so I changed the station and the hubby finally sends me a good luck text, geez! I get back at it but I am now at a 11:30 pace so I am slowing down. This race course had a fair amount of spectators as we ran thru different neighborhoods.
I came around the last corner still chugging away and new I was going to meet my goal of finishing at under 2:30 and I did! You could sign up for the racejoy app and this was the cool display of my finish!
When I crossed the line I received my medal and first time ever I was handed a recovery jacket, never had one of those before so I put it on. You know in Florida if it isn’t 80 degrees outside we are cold! Belinda was waiting on me and we took off towards the party. They promised me a mimosa and I was going to find it! We first came across a make shift photo station. Look how fun these are and a super momento, yes, included no charge!
WE made our way down to the street party and we were handed our sample card. The local restaurants all had treats for us to try and yes my mimosa and 2 free beers! Belinda and I sampled all the treats we wanted and she hopped in the beer line. I of course went to see if my favorite little wine bar was open early on a Sunday morning and it was! I scored a sweet little table and chairs with a great view of the finish line! Now I have wine and I am loving watching everyone cross the finish line! I just went back and checked my email, I paid $80 for the half and I say it was $80 well spent! Would I run this one again? Heck yea! Who wants to come down and run with us next year?
Thank you Jill for the link up!.