I’ve decided to showcase some of our Jacksonville runs. We have some really good ones. Here’s my first race recap.
This past Saturday August 22nd was the 51st Summer Beaches Run. It’s one of the signature events of the JTC(aka Jacksonville Track Club), which is run at Jacksonville Beach. It is a 5 mile run from the Jacksonville Beach Pier to the border between Duval and St Johns counties-2.5 mile out and 2.5 mile back. Usually it’s a family affair because of the after party with Tijuana Flats.
We arrived at 5p.m. for a decent parking spot at the Beaches Museum since finding one later might be a trick. The boys were in their bathing suits to enjoy the surf while Mom ran in 95 degree weather. The pre and post race activities were at the Seawalk Pavilion, where there were various vendors such as Orange Theory Fitness, Rita’s Italian Ice, and 26.2 with Donna. We made our way to the Donna tent to meet up with some friends. Plenty of porta potties for last minute breaks, water, and Gatorade was also available for hydration needs. A racous band kept us entertained while we waited for the 6p.m start.
We stayed in the shade of our tent as long as possible even though several announcements were made to get lined up on the beach. Making our way around 5:45ish, we lined up in front of the three big ROTC units running too. It was clear and sunny and full of beachgoers with plenty of hard packed sand. After a local elite runner sang the National Anthem, we were ready to run/walk at 1:30/:30. Just a little side note-we were Not racing having running that morning 12 miles/20 miles respectively , we were aiming to finish this run upright with a smile.
We started running and already we could feel the hot wind blow off the ocean-hair dryer hot-but at least the sun was at our backs. First mile and a water stop, awful water though. I was feeling not so wonderful but Julie was hanging on admirably so I kept my discomfort to myself. Mile two and the best water stop with wonderful Marathon High volunteers, a non profit group who train high school students to run a half marathon(26.2 with Donna half). Huffing and puffing even with walk breaks, tough it out? Hmm… We decided to get to the turnaround and then walk briskly to the finish. Stayed ahead of the ROTC units for about a quarter mile but got passed. We saw countless running friends toughing it out and going on to PR’s. As for us, we enjoyed a wonderful time talking and cheering people on. We ran the last quarter mile to finish at 1:02:28. Water in hand I headed back to the Seawalk Pavilion ,where I received my beautiful medal,and then got in the very long food line to get my free soft taco and chips with salsa. Others went to get the free beer, I opted for just water. After eating and hydrating, we made our way back to the car and home. Now I know why I always look forward to this race; beach, food, and a chance to be with friends. Looking forward to next year😎
Remember it’s about the journey not just the destination,