Well I am finally getting around to writing this review. The past couple of days have been reserved for much needed R & R after a whirlwind adventure in Galveston! Thank you for your kind words and support and encouragement…all of the tweets, blog comments and Facebook notes. I appreciated them all.
Eric and I decided to road trip it out to Galveston on Saturday afternoon. We rented a car and left Dallas close to 1 pm. Traffic wasn’t too bad since it was the weekend…it’s a straight shot down 45 to Houston so time seemed to just fly by. We made it to Galveston in record time, close to 5:30 pm. As I expected, it was dark and cloudy when we got there. I took photos anyways because that’s what I do.
We went by the Fit to Run store to grab my race packet before they closed, then put our bags down at our hotel, the Beachcomber Inn. Basically it’s like the Super 8 of Galveston. All good, wasn’t complaining…can’t really beat $70 for a one night stay. The rooms were super nice and cozy.
Once we settled in I had to take pics of the race packet swag. I got a super cute Brooks technical shirt, backpack and even a hat…love when races give you lots of loot.
My dad and his girlfriend stayed at the Hotel Galvez & Spa down the street…aka the Ritz Carlton of the island. It’s pretty much amazing..the hotel has been there forever and it is beautiful. We were going to eat at the hotel but decided to go next door and have dinner at Miller’s Seawall Grill. I had grilled shrimp, mashed potatoes, green beans and 2 ginormous buttered rolls the size of my head. Carbo loading at its finest.
After dinner I set out my clothes and was out like a light by 10pm.
I woke up around 5 am to get ready and have breakfast. Of course, it was raining. I was prepared since I had been watching the forecast the past few days, but still a little disappointed. We set out and met up with my buddy Gerardo who came down from Houston to run the half marathon. We took some pre race photos and headed to the start.
I lined up and put my headphones on. I was feeling mentally there and ready to go. I had a windbreaker jacket since I had forgotten to get a poncho. By then the rain had slowed a bit but was still coming down and it was super windy. The race started right at 7:30. I started off maintaining about an 8:30 pace. I felt really good and it was nice to run on the Seawall right by the water. The course is super flat, almost no elevation at all which definitely helped with the wind. The wind was pushing against me almost a majority of the time. My favorite part of the course was the East Beach, which kind of sits away from the town. The beachfront property there was just beautiful.
The race circles back and starts over at the half marathon point. I finished the half around 1:54, pretty good considering the conditions. At the half point I caught up with the 3:50 pacer and stuck with her for a few miles. It was nice having someone to run with and talk to. She started the race at the half marathon point so she was running super strong. Around mile 18 or so, I had to let her go. The winds were picking up and it started raining a little harder. I just kept telling myself to KEEP GOING, no matter if I slowed down. I never felt like I really “hit a wall” which was rare, but the wind was so unbearable I physically didn’t feel like I could run faster. I kept going and circled back around into town. Around mile 25 I saw the 4 hour pacer pass me. My heart sunk in disappointment. I had stopped looking at my watch and figured oh well, at least I’m finishing this thing.
Then I looked ahead, and saw the finish line. The clock still had a 3 in it. I really didn’t think I was going to finish in under 4 hours but I made it. 3:56 and some change. Not a PR, but my goal was to knock out another sub 4 and I DID IT. I was ecstatic. I fought the entire way. Wind, rain. Overcame all of the obstacles.
Placed 3rd in my age group. Not bad.
After the race I took a couple of photos and went back to the hotel to shower and get in some warm clothes. The nice part is that the island is so small so basically anywhere you stay is close to the race site. After I got dressed we had brunch at the Hotel Galvez. Their brunch was amazing, fresh shrimp, crab, omelet and waffle bar…post marathon paradise.
We didn’t stay around long after brunch. We took some silly photos and got back on the road to catch the tail end of the Super Bowl.
So that was it in a nutshell. Overall it is a great course, super flat, great amenities and such a fun themed mardi gras race. This was their 2nd year putting on this race and it was very organized. I would definitely do it again. With great weather this would be an ideal course to set a PR. Plus, fresh seafood, beautiful places to stay in the area and running on the beach. Doesn’t get any better that that.