Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Voyeur’s recap of a “50-Stater” double-header weekend – Part 1

I’ve been running for over 20 years and not once did it ever occur to me to run races on consecutive days until I started reading running blogs. This is when I became familiar with the term “50-Stater” and began to enjoy reading of others’ accounts of their crazy weekend travels to distant states just to run a race…or two.

For someone who previously ran no more than 2 or 3 races per year, this was CRAZY. It was also unheard of to me to coordinate running clothes with someone else outside of being in a running club or school sports team.

In the last two years, I’ve certainly become accustomed to these new running ways and really enjoy reading these wild accounts of cross country jaunts just to run a race and return home. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of actually participating in a 50-Stater double-header weekend. It was a blast. 

Friday morning I met up with Kim, (Just) Trying is for Little Girls, who had flown up from Portland, OR and we flew direct to Philadelphia. Lovely Lisa (Because I Can) was waiting for us, having flown in earlier from Nashville. [Sidebar: It’s really gross sitting next to someone who flosses their teeth and chews then files nails in their seat.]

First order of business = FOOD & BEER. Quick stop for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches @ McGillin’s, which I sampled a tasty “1860 IPA.” This pub was founded in 1860, back when Honest Abe was around! The IPA was a bit sweet and not as hoppy as I like but it was just fine for a pint.

Second order of business = HOTEL. From Philly we drove to Wilmington, DE to rest up for half marathon #1, Run for the Buds.

Third order of business = FRIEND. Average Woman Runner meets up with long lost friend, CH, who was last seen in Las Vegas (partner in crimeduring RNR Half walk following bachelorette weekend). CH is a sight for sore eyes. So lovely to get to see her on this crazy weekend running escapade. While visiting, I tried another local brew, Dogfish Head. It was "meh."

Last order of business = SLEEP. I sneaked back to hotel room ~ 10:30 to catch some rest before the big half marathon. 

On race morning, we navigated ourselves without a hitch to Rockford Park. It was LOVELY. And not just because they had a barrel of beer up for raffle!

I REALLY wanted to win this.
$5 for an arm's length of raffle tickets.
Spoiler: For a moment, I thought I had won the barrel of beer but it turned out I had transposed two of the raffle numbers I'd heard. 

My upset when I found out I had NOT won the barrel of beer.
You know what is super cool? KIM's cousin, S (see long arm above), drove all the way up from DC to see her run! He was very nice and took many fantastic photos for us.

No one could tell us the story behind this tower.
It was cool (upper 40's/low 50's) and clear. Perfect running conditions. Lisa planned a faster pace than Kim & I but due to several double-back sections, we saw her several times along the course. Meanwhile, Kim and I had a little party along our 13.1 miles. We chatted up other runners, aid station workers, and I talked Kim's ear off.

WARNING: If you ever run a race with me, I will keep talking until you tell me to shut up.

I also took many photos of this woodsy, moderately hilly, fall-colored course for your viewing pleasure. Lisa provides a great overview of the course in her recap (HERE). 

This course is in my TOP 3 for it's beauty, organization, and friendliness. I would not hesitate to recommend this race to anyone looking for a DE race, especially since it supports a great organization (Down Syndrome Association of Delaware). 

And now, pictoral summary of our 2:08 party on the 13.2 mile course (yes, it was long):

After cooling down, we got showered & packed then met up with my buddy CH and cousin S for lunch, where we decided that in the few hours remaining before meeting up with friends in NJ, we MUST run the steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum a la Rocky. That post-half marathon effort coming in Part II...


  1. That looks like so much fun!! What a pretty course!

    I remember, about 2 years ago, thinking Becka was super crazy. Ha.

  2. Well done! You certainly had a lot of fun and that is awesome. I have run many races on consecutive days and even 3 ultras and 3 marathons in 2 days. Here in SA we are crazy that way. We have a huge competition each year for the most kilometres run in races. The winners always run more than 5000km in races in a year and the record is over 8000km. To answer your question: I have plans to run in the USA but the SA Rand is very bad against the Dollar so money is the main concern. I will probably do some trail ultra there one day.

    1. A competition for most km's run? I can see how that would definitely spur some intense racing. My company just opened an office in J-burg. If I ever get the chance to visit there, I will be ready to take on one of your crazy races.

  3. I STILL think running 2 races in 2 days is crazy! Those pictures are lovley - looks like a scenic course. Looking forward to part 2...

  4. Great recap! I absolutely loved running this one with you. Your joy in being out there, stopping for pictures and being in the moment made this race a blast.

    Note: I was not the one sitting next to you on the plane, doing my nails, hehe.

  5. Wow is that a really pretty course!! :)

    I've never coordinated outfits running with friends but I think it's super fun and you guys look adorable! I'd pick bright pink, too!!

    I don't think I've ever run consecutive races but I've done many back to back halves and it's a struggle for me...but man does it make you stronger!

  6. What a beautiful course! You and Kim look awesome. Glad you had so much fun.

  7. Looks like a lot of fun. I never in my life thought I would be a matchy matchy outfit person. And yet almost every race I have run I have been matchy matchy with someone. I LOVE IT!

    You ladies looked so adorable, I'm a tad jealous/bummed I didn't get to join in on your adventure.

    PS - thanks for the phone call, it made my day :D

  8. Yay! So much fun and great job! I love matching outfits, but I need to find someone besides my husband to run races with me. He is not into matching;)

  9. Those skirts are adorable! The course looks like it was beautiful, you've got some nice pictures!

  10. Lots of fun all around. Looks like a great course.

  11. Glad you can finally enjoy the craziness of back to back races and being matchy matchy! Rest up bc we have more races to run!!

  12. Love this post, what a fun weekend!!! And yes 50 stater are crazy but FUN :)

  13. yalls trip looked like so much fun! and the beer would’ve been right up your alley! total bummer. :( can’t wait to hear about the rest

  14. I think that it is an interesting concept and It is exiting to know new runners and nice places.

  15. Thank you for the mention, (Kim just shared the link with me). It was a fun day!