Sweet southern Savannah Women’s Half Marathon

I saw this race advertising scoot across my facebook page a few times and caught my eye. I needed a Georgia race to fulfill my Georgia race for my 50 state challenge and this one seemed like fun!

I even talked my hubby into running a ‘women’s’ race. He really seems to enjoy these trips, so he enjoys tagging along.

TRAVEL
We started the trip Friday morning as the rain was pouring down. The trip was supposed to be around 6 hours for us (had to detour in Charlotte). Due to the rain, there were multiple accidents along the way, slowing us often. Plus we stopped at Olive Garden along the way for lunch. We didn’t leave until around 9am and arrived around 4:45pm to the expo.

Upon arrival the sun was shining and it was 76degrees. Apparently it never actually rained here this day!

EXPO
The expo was at one end of downtown Savannah at what appeared to be an event venu. We walked in and got our bib. That was quick. Walked into another room for a photo op. A sweet volunteer stood there offering to take photos. We took advantage.

Following down the stairs, we picked up our runner’s item. Not a t-shirt, but a nice duffle type bag. That’s pretty exciting because I could use a new bag for the Y :). Another photo op awaited (See the duffel bag just to the right of the backdrop?)

The next stop was the wine, Truly, and 26.2 marathon beer. Samples were available to try after we showed our IDs. We tried a little of a couple and moved on.

There was Half Marathon merchandise for sale, Publix giveaways of a nice diffuser bottle (yep this will get used), wipes and other small giveaways. Then local vendors/running stores, etc. It was not a huge expo, as I thought it might be, but very quaint and cute. Did not take us long to move through.

EVENING BEFORE PLANS
Back in the car to our Air BnB. We have not stayed in one in many years- but gave this a go. It was situated literally 2 blocks from the start line. Walk out and start the race.
Our house hosts were very sweet and organized. Gave us a great run down of their fav restaurants and helped us make some decisions and understand our options.

We took a walk down to The Public restaurant, and placed our names on the list. 45 min wait. But this looked to have great options and it was our hosts favorite place. We walked down to one of the parks and waited. Afterwards, we walked around downtown until we made it to the other side of downtown again. We watched for The Dot bus to come by and hopped on this and rode back to our room. The is the Free Fare bus that just rides around town. It comes right by our door!

Hot tea and reading to wind down to be in bed by 10:30pm. We only have to be outside by around 7am to get ready for the 7:30am start!

RACE DAY
Woke up in time drink our coffee and to eat our oatmeal for breakfast.  I could see the flashing lights of the police securing the road closures outside while it was still dark.  The race time was to start at 7:30am, so our goal was to walk out by 7.  I mean, the benefits of your Air BnB being 2 blocks from the start line…

The temperatures were in the low 60s when I walked outside. Perfect temperature.  It was slightly cool.  Not humid.

I went out and found my friend Deanne by the pre-race tents who was sporting her bright orange BibRave attire- tank and buff, plus her cute running skirt.  I wore a tank top, my marine corps marathon arm sleeves, and my lululemon running skirt.  Although I loved this outfit, it turned out later in the story to not be a great choice. 

After a quick last minute port-a-potty stop, I headed to the start line.  There were so many women, with a few men sprinkled in (Total numbers for the half were 61 men and around 1300ish  females, and for the 5k 78 men and 1200ish females)  Informal corrals were set up with pacers and suggested signage for self-regulating.

I started behind the 2:15 pacer, hoping to stay there as long as I could.

The race started promptly at 7:30am as we started our race through the downtown.  I ran into an issue early in the race this year- my race attire did not stay in place and within the first few miles of this run, I started to chafe between my thighs.  This left me pulling the shorts under my skirt down quite a bit during this run.

The views were beautiful as we ran under the mossy trees.  We ran through the basic downtown, started into some out and back with neighborhood circles.  We saw Forrest Gump along the way.  A few bands came out to play  along the way as well.  We passed many of the parks in the downtown area.

At around mile 3, I managed to run with the 2:15 pacer.  Turned out, she paced the last race I ran- the Asheville Marathon!  So we chatted about that since its my local race.  I slowly lost my ability to keep up with her after mile 4.

However around mile 5, Deanne caught up to me!  She started behind me in fear of aggravating her asthma, which was a new thing.  But she seriously rocked it.  We ran together for a few miles before I couldn’t keep the pace any longer.

We ran through the minor league baseball field of the Calvary Baseball Bananas.  We actually ran along the inside of the outfield fence.

Photographers were set up at 3 distinct locations along the way.  Smile!

There were water stations placed about every 2 miles it seemed.  I carry a towel with me on my runs as well so that i can wipe the sweat on warmer days.  I definitely used it this day.  At some point in the race we did get a few drops of rain.  This was welcomed and I looked up to accept the rain on my face when those drops came.

Around mile 11 I started to cramp.  I took Hylands cramp pills and that worked to stop them temporarily.  However they did restart in the last mile. And I was down to a walk-run, which was really frustrating since I didn’t have this issue in my last race.  As the race came into the last 1.5 mile, we started the run down Bull street.  We rounded around all of the parks.  Finally reaching Forsyth Park and running through the corral into the final .1 mile finish.  I ran through the finish line with a cramp in my calf muscle!  But it was actually a beautiful finish!

Conrad was waiting for me with my IsaGenix Shake he had grabbed from the room.  Since he finished 30 minutes before me, he had time to go change, and come back and watch me finish.

At the finish you got your medal, a photo, and a green Publix bag with a banana, orange, nutri-grain bar, and a water.

Post party took up the massive field at Forsyth Park.  It had a tent with complimentary Mimosas and 26.2 beer.  You had to have your ID or a yellow band from the expo on to take advantage.  We went to take a pic with the beautiful PR bell (Conrad had a brilliant finish and PR; however I did not 😦 )

We stood in line and I had a Physical therapist from Cora PT help me work out the cramping calf.

The weekly farmer’s market happens in Forsyth park between the finish line and our Air BnB.  We walked through and picked up some breakfast items on the way through for our trip home Sunday morning.

It was overall a gorgeous race.   The elevation gain was 41 ft per my Garmin.  Mileage was right at 13.2.

Georgia Race #Missioncomplete

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