Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Atlantic City Marathon Race Report and Videos

Holly's Atlantic City Marathon Report

I was super excited for this race since I would be running it with several of my Team AllEars teammates. We were going to make a long weekend out of it since I hadn’t been to Atlantic City since I was a teenager and Dave had never been. We flew in Friday night and we were delayed for several hours due to a nor-easter that was dumping rain and wind on the coast. We finally made it to AC around 11pm. We met up with some friends in Tun Tavern, the brewpub in the hotel, and had fun catching up and drinking beer.

Saturday was spent cheering on our teammates doing the 5k and 10k. It was a cold, windy and pretty miserable that day and I was really hoping this wasn’t what the marathon would be like. We had a great group dinner at Angelo’s restaurant and went to bed early to be ready for the big day.

We woke up Sunday and walked down to the start area from our hotel. It was not raining but it was still very windy, 25-30 mph. This was going to be an interesting day. We were all standing inside Bally’s Casino to stay warm before the start. It was nice that we could walk out about 10 minutes before the start and get in the corrals. There were a bunch of us running either the half or the full. The full marathon group was Michael, Eddie, Rich, Helen and Charlie. The plan was to all stay together as long as possible, but we knew that that might not be possible. Joe was running the half but was going to stay with us until he had to make the turnoff.

The best part of the whole race happened in the very beginning. We were slowly shuffling towards the start line when Michael says "Hey there is a sign that says Holly". I look over and it’s my Mom standing on a bench with the sign. I yelled, that’s my Mom! Then I look down and my Dad is standing right there. Totally surprised. I knew they were coming but did not think they would make the start. Perfect way to start the race.

The course was pretty nice for the first half. We ran up the boardwalk and then out towards the marina area casinos. Only negative was running through a big tunnel. I do NOT like tunnels. I’m glad it was in the beginning and that it wasn’t a warm day. We then made our way back towards the boardwalk and ran down it. This was a nice section as there were a lot of spectators and the wind was towards our backs. Joe had to leave us at Mile 11 and we all wished him luck. We had a blast running with him and can’t wait to run his first full marathon with him in Philadelphia. We made it to the famous elephant, Lucy, even though somehow Rich couldn’t see the thing. We had Dave and my parents doing a great job of spectating all day. I was starving and asked for some orange slices and once again Dave came through.

The second half of the course was not as nice as the first half. Lots of weird turns and the wind was really brutal. Helen was feeling great and she picked up the pace while Michael joined her. Charlie was struggling with stomach issues, so he had to drop back a bit. Eddie and Rich did a great job of keeping me company and keeping me from whining too much. Dave arranged a wonderful beer stop around mile 21 and it was much appreciated!!

The last 5 miles were all into those 25 mph winds along the boardwalk. Beautiful view, but the last thing you need for the last 5 miles of the marathon. I was getting tired. We met up with another runner, Katie, and she ran with us until the end. One scary thing happened at mile 25.5. Rich tripped on a nail on the boardwalk and went down HARD. I was really afraid he broke something. And contrary to reports I didn’t push him. I helped him up and we walked a bit to be sure he was ok. He had some nice road rash, but appeared ok. We were thankful to be close and ran it in with hands held high and big smiles on our faces. State number 18 is finished!! I was really pleased with my time. It was my best of the year. Still way off my PR, but I have been really trying to get back in shape since I hurt my foot and I am finally feeling like I am making progress. I’m hoping to do even better in Philly in November and will be excited to be running with my friends once again!

Dave's Comments:
Atlantic City was an easy marathon to follow. I moved the car closer to the Boardwalk and to the east side of MLK drive so we could make it to the early miles. At the start I indicated to the group that I'd be on their left. When I got to my spot I found a right-side viewing area made for better photos. Texted three folks ten minutes before the race, but no response. Guess they were having fun. After the start Holly's parents found me and we started trekking around the course. I drove to mile 2 and was confused as to why I couldn't see the race. We grabbed the map and noticed right by our location were the words "tunnel". Oppsie! We headed to MM 3/5.5. After seeing our runners we went back to the Boardwalk for a great view around Mile 8. We moved on and followed the course the rest of the way with stops every so often. Miles 17 and 20 were close to each other with the out-and-back. This was a perfect place to catch a beer break and to set one up for the runners. We made our way back to the finish area, stopping one more time along the beach. We made decent time back to the finish area and got a prime spot to cheer the team in.

During the race we saw our runners 11 times when we pulled over and had about 4 other drive-bys. This was a great spectating course with lots of easy places to pull over and watch the race along with nice homes to look at once the race left the Boardwalk. To find our runners so many times I used the tricks I talk about in our ebook Race Chase: Expert Advice about Seeing Your Runner on Race Day. It's available for immediate download and all proceeds go to our breast cancer fundraising, along with a matching donation from my company.

Here's our video from the race and our friend Eddie's video:

2013 Atlantic City Marathon from Eddie McCoy on Vimeo.

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