A small field of 165 participants lined up under the floodlights by the Pier in Cocoa Beach on Sunday morning ready to race across the sand. It was a pretty amazing sight, and worth getting up at 4:24 am to drive an hour over to the coast to run with them.
I like small running fields like this because you get the chance to talk to other runners and spy a familiar face or two in the crowd. The RD had set up coffee, donuts, bagels, bananas, water and Gatorade for the pre-race get together and advised that water and sports drink would be availabe every other mile.
The sand was packed tight due to low tide, the beach wasn’t practically deserted as the count down started. 3…2..1 and we were off. The runners quickly seperated into little clumps by pace. For me, this was 1/2 marathon number 5 for the year. With 7 more to go over the next nine weeks, I had to pace myself and couldn’t push… well, not too hard.
The sun started to inch up over the Atlantic turning the water purple and the sand gray. Simply amazing. The wind was at our backs and the race was incredible. I was out and back in an hour and fifty minutes. One of the women runners, a 20-something up from Ft. Lauderdale run barefoot in 1:23. Watching her muscled form shift under her suit was reason enough for anyone to start running. This woman was in shape, and looked amazing. The men runner’s were no slouches either, these guys were serious about three things. Being fit, having fun, and enjoying the company of like minded individuals.
They’ll have this run again next year, and I’ll try to be a little faster. The awards were conch shells, and I wanted one!
Next up, I’m trying to decide if I want to do a 1/2 for Halloween down in Miami. The medal is two zombies, and I kind of want it. Do I drive 3 hours to run two then drive back? Maybe I do. Then run another 1/2 on Sunday for the Florida Halloween Half a thon. Man, lined up like that, this runner sounds like he’s nucking futs. Promise not to stop when I say when.