Dave took care of the pre and post race fun of the Charleston weekend so now on to the race report.
The runners: Michael, Stan, Alex, Julie, Jessica and myself decided we would drive to the start location while our race chasers: Dave, Pam, Mike and Jan would drive right to their first cheer spot. This worked out well as the start area was a bit chaotic and I think it would have taken them a while to get out of there. Weather appeared to be pretty good, sunny but not very cool so that had us a bit concerned. The girls waited in the longest line for the bathroom ever while the guys “patiently” waited. We finally made our way to the start and only had a few minutes to wait before the National Anthem played and we were off and running.
We planned to take it easy and just have some fun today. The course in the beginning was great. We ran along the water, Battery Park and then ran ALL the way along King St. The race did a great job of having cheer stations throughout the course. Unfortunately after we left the downtown area of King St. (Around mile 5 or 6) the course stopped being scenic. In fact it got pretty boring. I think we rank by every industrial park and by every house in North Charleston via a series of left and right turns and out and backs. They never ended!
We still had a good time and made the best of it. We were all doing pretty well, but it was getting quite warm! We were all feeling it and we slowed down the pace to compensate. We did see an alligator on the course, well off the course thankfully but that was neat to see. Our race chasers did a superb job of tracking us down and kept us fueled with snacks, drinks and even a special “energy” drink toward the end.
We did have one more scenic section before Mile 25 but overall the course was really boring and all the turns were awful. I also did not feel well towards the end. Too much water and my electrolytes were all out of whack. Thanks to my friends for sticking with me and getting me to the finish line. I felt fine as soon as I had some salty chips at the end. I wasn’t used to running in the heat since it’s still so cold here at home.
The finish area was a nice party atmosphere with beer and shrimp and grits. It would be a fun place to hang out after the race and celebrate. We were all ready to go back to the hotel and get showers and go have some big burgers! While I enjoyed Charleston and I had fun running with friends, I wouldn’t rush back to run this one again. Good organization and the medal was cute, but the course leaves a lot to be desired.
The course was stupid. It wrapped around itself about 900 times and there were many traffic choke-points. We hit all of our spectating goals up through mile 9. Miles 10-14 were down a peninsula that seemed to only have two entry points: one was a total traffic choke and another about a mile north by the shipyard. Google maps satitle view confirmed streets and parking lots to cut through. We headed north and found those roads and lots were now a big field of grass. #thanksgoogle. The four of us had a 6 mile (one hour) break. There wasn't much in the area but we did have porta-potties to use near the free clinic. Chasing from that point on was fine except for the fact that our runners split into two groups which messed with the timing of making certain planned stops. We almost didn't see our runners finish because a freight train was stopped on the tracks blocking the finish area. We made it with about 5 minutes to spare.