Let’s just call this the race that almost didn’t happen.
One always takes a risk signing up for a race in New England … in the winter … that a race could be called due to weather. But, you never think it will happen to a race YOU sign up for. Okay, well maybe that is just me.
My friend Sarah and I had signed up for the Half At the Hamptons on November 24. Yup, three months before the race so clearly we didn’t know what the forecast would be that day.
At the beginning of February, Boston was hit by Blizzard NEMO where roughly 30 inches of snow landed by my house. So I thought that would be it … but I was wrong.
As the weather reports started hitting the week before the run, people started talking snow, snow and more snow! But, you always have to take the weather forecasts with a grain of salt – again especially in New England.
As the week went on, the forecast got worse. By Thursday (February 21) they were calling for 6-12 inches in New Hampshire, which is where the race was being held.
Rumblings started that they would be deciding by Noon on Friday whether the race would go on as scheduled on Sunday.
I DID NOT want to see the race called. I sent positive thoughts to the weather gods…
… but they must’ve been blocking them because we received news I didn’t want.
After much agonizing and discussion, we are very distressed and sad to announce that the 2013Half at the Hamptons is cancelled. The weather prediction for Saturday night into Sunday morning is predicted to dump 6-12 inches of heavy snow and up to 40 mph wind gusts. There will not be a makeup date. We are just as disappointed as you are and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We want to say thank you to everyone involved in the race for working with us and the Ashworth and Town of Hampton for being our gracious hosts.
Race cancellation decision process: The final authority on whether the race can be held is determined by our Assembly permit which is issued by the Town of Hampton and the HamptonPolice. With the promise of inclement weather it has been determined that the roads are unsafe for our event and our permit has been cancelled. Therefore we are unable to conduct the race.
I was bummed when I saw this come across my email.
Then I immediately went to social media and my friends came up with an idea: Come run the Hyannis Half on Sunday instead!!
The wheels started turning, but that race too was possibly going to get canceled as well due to high winds (50mph or so) and their decision was coming down by 4pm on Saturday. At that point, my friend Sarah said she wouldn’t be able to do that run.
We decided to run our own 13.1 mile race on Sunday near our house.
So late Saturday morning, the wife and I headed up to NH to collect our race t-shirts and medals. They didn’t allow bib pick-up, but we were able to get the rest.
That night I asked the wife to design a couple of custom racebibs for Sarah and I and she didn’t disappoint.
Aren’t they amazing? I wish you could see the seagull design she put as the background, but it is a little to faint.
She wanted to put our numbers on there, but I said NO! Sarah and I are the elite runners today so everyone will know us by our names.
Okay, I’ve just always wanted to be considered one of those elite runners. If this was the only way possible, I’ll do it.
I met Sarah at her house at 8:30 yesterday morning since she had a nice 13.1 mile loop close to her house.
We stretched and hit the pavement.
Running at normal race pace was not our goal for today’s virtual run … especially once we hit the River path and BAM there was the snow, ice and puddles. This was just a TINY TINY preview for what we would experience over the next 13.1 miles.
But, we are professionals – okay not really – but once we started we weren’t going to stop until we hit 13.1 miles.
Once we hit Mile 5 I looked down only to notice that my bib had blown off thanks to the winds. Boo! It was nice while it lasted.
My knee was a little sore from the lack of traction on the course, but once we moved to the street the pain seemed to go away.
My Garmin beeps every time you complete a mile and the splits were all over the place during this run. I could tell when we hit a patch where the road was completely clean because we would post a 8:15-8:35 min/mile then when we were wading through the snow/shuffling over ice we had a 10:00+ min/mile pace.
Again, we weren’t going for any PR today … especially with the wind/rain.
Thankfully I gave the Sparkly Soul headband and Got Chocolate Milk visor combo a try and it was PERFECT! The curls stayed in place and the rain was kept out of my eyes. I think I will be breaking this out again for many runs to come…
As we made our way back to Sarah’s house, we realized we would be hitting her place at about 12.9 miles and CLEARLY I wouldn’t let us finish short of 13.1 so we started sprinting.
And it was our luck that we were still heading right into the wind for that final .75 miles. But, we did it.
While we ran, I kept telling myself in my head that no matter what I wanted to try and finish in under 2 hours – even with the conditions.
And. We. Did!
Did I mention it was also raining while we were running?
As soon as we walked back into the house, we grabbed our medals and took our post-race pic.
Yeah not my best attempt at a selfie, but Wyatt (the pup) wasn’t offering to help at all.
I’m proud of Sarah and I for sticking with our plan of running today. No rain. No cancellations. No wind. No ice. Nothing would stand between us. Sarah put a lot of time into training for the run and I had already worked it into my marathon training.
So no matter the time. We won … and we really did since the race was just 2 of us and we finished together!
WOO! I came in first.
C’mon let me have this one.
I think my Superman socks got quiet a workout today with jumping over ice/puddles and flying in the wind.
I picked up my usual post-race Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee, but was planning on grabbing a fat free Chocolate Milk at the same time to refuel – but they only had whole milk.
It just meant another stop on the way home to make sure I gave my body what it needed:
Lowfat chocolate milk contains the right mix of carbs and protein scientifically shown to help refuel muscles. Chocolate milk helps restore muscles quickly to their peak potential.
Once I refueled, the wife and I headed to lunch and I was able to enjoy my post-race celebratory beer!
Even virtual races deserve beer, right?
While this may not have been the race I expected or desired, it was still a great morning with a great friend. We pushed past some boundaries and kept our eye on the prize.
So never let a little race cancellation get in YOUR way!!