After we got settled in Teresa, Liz, Raquel and I went to a cute little Italian restaurant that Jim and Jen recommened for our pre-race meal. It was a little pricey, but delicious! On the way home it started to rain super hard. We all got a little nervous, but were keeping good thoughts for a dry race. Since we had an early morning we were back in our rooms by 7:30pm.
We all split up pretty quick. Teresa, Kathleen and I were together for the first mile when they decided to follow the 4:30 pace group. We wished each other luck and I hung back. There were a lot of Marathon Maniacs on the course and I would run and talk with them as I passed a yellow shirt. Some Maniacs not in Maniac shirts would talk and introduce themselves to me also. It was fun (so far). I decided to to keep my eye on the 4:45 pace group.
The beach path was really pretty, but long. It was an out and back at this point. It was hot (for me) and seeing people running toward me gave me a false sense of how far I was from the turnaround which came right before mile 21. I went in and out of feeling good and feeling like I wanted to stop. I pressed on and at about mile 23 caught up with Teresa who was not feeling well. We ran together for a few minutes and she told me to go ahead.
At mile 24 I looked at my watch and realized I was on track for a PR! My confidence came at the same time as th charlie horses in both legs! I couldn't run. I walked until they stopped then tried to run again. I would get a minute maybe two and they would start up again. At this point, while disappointed that my PR was out the window, I just wanted to finish. At 26 I saw the finish and went for it. That's when I saw my dear friend Heather cheering for me! I made it across the finish in 5:03:25. Only 3 minutes from a PR! I got my medal (the coolest medal EVER) and met my friend on a patch of grass where I could see the runners as they came in while we caught up. After a while, I saw Liz and Raquel and we headed back to the hotel (thanks for the Diet Coke Liz!).
After we all showered and changed we met in our room for photo and snacks and pre-Super Bowl fun. We moved our party to the Sushi restaurant next door, where we ate, watched the game and discussed the race. By 8:00pm we were full and sleepy. Back to the room we went for some well deserved rest.
The next day we recovered by renting bikes and going on a 10 mile ride along the beach. AHHHHH!
Surf City was a hard race, but I would do it again. The race was really well organized and we had a blast! All of us finished! Special shout outs to Kathleen who ran a strong race, Liz and Bev for getting a PR and Teresa for being a great roomie, Maniac and friend!