On Sunday, Chris and I ran the Daytona Half Marathon. It was my 4th half marathon, believe it or not, and Chris' first. In many ways, this was my favorite.
It began at 6AM, which is good, because it has been unseasonably hot lately. Although it was humid, the sun stayed behind the clouds for the whole race and we weren't too hot.
At around 5:30 AM, we drove through a tunnel and on to the middle of the Daytona Speedway! Although I can't stand car racing, it was very exciting to be there. We got our chips, hit the bathrooms one last time, and lined up to start. The race began on pit row and we proceeded around the track for one lap. Although I knew it was a very steep incline on the curves, it's much more impressive in person.
From there, we ran out of the speedway and on to the beach. It was a great feeling to stop traffic on Route 1! We had to run up the big bridge twice. The Seabreeze band was there by the bridge to urge us on. It really worked for us, too, because Chris knew many of the parents and students and had to look good. We got to the beach, turned around, and ran back to the speedway. We ended near the checkered flag! By this time, it was light, and there were some spectators there. Some of Chris' co-workers were there and took this picture of us.
We were using this half marathon as part of our training for the Disney full marathon in January. I was hoping to finish under 2 1/2 hours, and was delighted when our time was 2:21:17. Except for water breaks, we ran the whole way. We WON'T be running the entire full marathon.
Here we are, running through the final corral. They're tearing off our chips. Then we went in search of gatoraide and water! This race had the strangest food. It included some of the normal staples - bananas and bagels - and some unusual choices - pizza (plain and pepperoni), donuts, beer, mimosas, and sub sandwiches. We ate a bit, then went home to shower. We made it to church in time for the 10:30 service, wearing our race T-shirts, of course. Want some inspiration? Here it is!