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...