Surfside Marathon – The only Marathon and Half Marathon run entirely on the beach!
I cannot think of a place I would rather be then on the beach, and Surfside Marathon is ran entirely on the beach. My friends and I ran the half marathon on Feb. 18th. I kinda expect the weather will be on its best behavior for all my races. Unfortunately this was not what happened. Our race was delayed for 1 hr and 20 mins. due to the storm and lightning. My first race delayed. I was not prepared for this, I started to wonder if I had brought enough gels as I might have to take one at the start line! I really felt for the full marathoners who had started the race on time at 7am and were out there running in the storms that had came through. After the electrical storm had passed we were all corralled to the start line and headed out to finish the race we had signed up for. At least the temperature was in check, close to 60 degrees, but it did feel closer to 50.
The Gun: We were sent off to to run on the beach. Jumping and leaping over puddles of water only at the start, after awhile you just plowed through them getting soaked. The race was great and warm for the first 1 1/2 miles.
Turn Around: It was the turn around that changed everything. All of sudden there was wind that felt like it was pushing you back, like maybe it was telling you, to stop and go back, don’t do it, I know what’s ahead! After a couple of miles here came the rain, and more rain and now we were finding we were jumping and leaping through more long river trenches and messing around with a few rounds of lightning along with it. This was beginning to feel like….
The never ending race: I remember hitting mile 6 and thinking that’s ALL I have ran so far. I think this was the first mile marker I saw, the wind was blowing them over. I chose to not wear my Garmin telling me my distance since their was the chance of rain, hey it maybe water resistance, but I don’t believe it would have held up to the floods of water poured on me. The wind was consistant, rain would pour in buckets then let up some. Thankfully I wore a hat! I helped somewhat keeping the rain from drowning. The best part at this time, was when I ran along side another runner, talked and this helped make a couple miles go by quickly. Finally turnaround at mile 9.
Looking Back, Looking Ahead: The hardest part was now behind me, but you see what you just ran through by looking at all the runners fighting the wind and rain plunging to that turnaround sign that you finally reached. Now it time to go home, eat the BBQ that’s waiting for you! This part of the run was easy/hard, because now your legs are fatigued and the puddles of water are deeper and with the uneven sand, your are consistently looking down and trying to land on the higher sand piles so you don’t twist and ankle. This stretch even though we had somewhere around 4 miles to go was long. And along this leg is where I lost my Ipod Shuffle, omg no more music to help push me to the finish.
There it is: The finish line was like coming home! The staff inside were ready with warm food and very friendly. I have to say after all I encountered in this race, we still found ourselves saying later that day, that we would consider signing up next year. It’s this kind of race that makes me stronger and I realize I am tougher than I thought. I guess I need this sometimes. I know this is one race I will NEVER forget.
All in All, Surfside is a fun race with great people. They were very organized and kept watch over the runners. volunteers stood out in the rain with our water and gatorade. The photographer was out taking photos. They stood up to the elements we were facing too. I am glad I did this race.