Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dela-where? In Decem-brrrrr?

 The two most asked questions when I told people I'd be running a marathon in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware the first weekend of December. "Where?" And.... "Won't it be cold?"  Well, I can now tell you that Rehoboth Beach is on the coast of Delaware and you go through pretty much nowhere to get there when you drive from Baltimore.  I can also tell you that the temperature couldn't have been more perfect for running a marathon. 

I rejoined Miri in Delaware only a few months after attempting the Marathon du Medoc.  She may also write about her own experience with the race, so sorry if this is redundant.  We were joined by Miri's friend Laird, who is also tackling the challenge of a marathon in every state.  He's part of a more official group called Marathon Maniacs and this was his 15th state.  He's done about 20 marathons just this year, which I think is completely remarkable.. and a little bit crazy.  Great job though, Laird, keep it up!  And thanks for sharing some of your course photos with me!

The Sands; as it was 30 years ago
It was a small race, only about 2000 runners, including the half-marathon.  The course started a super short distance from our very retro hotel The Atlantic Sands, right on the boardwalk.  Much of the course was a lot of loop-dee-loop and I was passing either the people in front of me or the people behind me for much of the course (it's way more fun when you pass those behind you. : ) )  There were some really scenic parts running through Cape Henlopen State Park, like this picture below, where I almost slipped down into a hole while looking out over this great view.  Fortunately, we got to run past this twice.  Another cool part was the part of the park where we were running on paths winding through a bunch of sand dunes.  Plus, there was a special treat in the park...We got to run up to an overlook point where we could finally see the ocean! An even better treat was running back down!  Whee!

Worth a slip down an embankment, isn't it?
The race finished a little bit farther away from the start, but still a very walkable distance from the hotel, even after running a marathon.   I didn't finish as fast as I would have liked, but it was still the fastest race I've run this year.  So at least I finished 2012 strong!  Plus, it was the only race in 2012 that I ran where the temperature was below 85 degrees.  Hooray for that!

Reheboth Beach was a bit sparse since it was the off season, and many restaurants, hotels and stores were "Closed for the Season."  However, I have to give a shout out to the Cake Break, who opened up at 5:00 a.m. race morning to provide us runners with bagels, bananas, coffee and oatmeal.  We, of course, had to repay them for this great kindness and go back later for a post-race cupcake.  It would have just been rude not too! I highly recommend the Black and Tan, which is a Guiness Stout cake with Bailey's frosting.  Delish! 

Oysters - 0; Miri & Kristine - 16
We tried to have a post race lunch at Dogfish Head Brewery, which is local to the area, but apparently everyone else had the same idea and the wait was over an hour. Sorry folks, but when you've just run a 26.2 miles, you cannot wait an hour for food.  We ended up a an English/Irish pub next door.  Lunch was followed by an afternoon nap back at the hotel.  Before we resigned ourselves to bed for the night, we regrouped to head out to dinner.  It seems that I have developed a recent race tradition of rewarding myself with a plate of oysters.  Maybe you remember the delicious array following our race in Bordeaux.  Miri and I shared an equally delicious sampler of very fresh oysters at Henlopen City Oyster House.  Laird was adventurous and tried a rack of elk, which looked delicious.  If you're ever in Rehoboth, I highly recommend this place.  Sadly they don't take reservations, but we didn't have to wait long. 

Since much of the action was gone for the winter season, there wasn't much left to do after running around the area for 4 plus hours.  So the day after the race, Miri and I headed back to Baltimore and took in some of the sights of downtown.  We got to go up to Baltimore's panoramic viewing point (every city has one) for only $1, since it was $1 weekend for all sites in the city.  Unfortunately, this also made our potential visit to the Aquarium impossible due to insanely long lines.  So instead we wandered a bit along the Heritage Walk into Little Italy (oddly did not see any Italian spots) and historic Jonestown. 

All in all, a nice race and a nice weekend with old and new friends.  I finished off the year checking a 14th state off of my list.  So far, 2013 looks like it will bring me to Fargo, North Dakota in May.  As 2012 comes to a close, I'm not sure what else is in store for 2013, but I know that I can't wait to find out.  There are a lot of states left and race-cations to be had!  Thank you for reading our blog and for your support and encouragement over another year of running.  I encourage you to donate to worthy causes like Don't Bully My Breed and Girls on the Run during this season of giving!  Happy holidays everyone!