Sunday, December 28, 2014

Jax Bank Marathon Race Recap

My husband and I met my parents at the hotel in Jacksonville "Jax" as the locals call it. My dad was planning to run his first 1/2 marathon, mom her first full, and my husband was along as the most amazing, supportive spectator around (and great photographer too). We drove to 1st Place Sports, a local running shop that is a big sponsor for this race. The shop was cool, the people were well informed and friendly. I bought myself a cool coffee mug that says "26.2" and they gave me a free shoe charm for making a purchase. Let me really start by saying, I got to Jax completely unprepared. I forgot my phone carrier, my ear buds, my shirt I was planning on wearing, and my handheld water bottle. I purchased a new phone carrier and ear buds at the store, wore a different shirt I brought (not dri-wick which was a bummer with the heat/humidity... I'll get into that later).
Pre race, getting ready! #Jaxbankmarathon
We had a good dinner (salmon with veggies and some bread for me, as always pre-marathon), and got to bed early. We left the hotel around 5:45am to go early and find parking. Not much traffic congestion and we found a great parking spot on the main road right at the start/finish line. We beat the crowds by seconds because it got crazy right after we pulled in. The race started at 7am, it was a very HUMID 67 degrees at the start of the race, and the temps rose quickly. It was 76 degrees by the time we finished, 80 degrees by the time we reached out hotel around 1pm. 

It was a fairly small race (since I have only ran Rock N Roll Marathons which are huge), this race had 699 marathon finishers. The course was nice, very very flat, total of 1400 feet elevation change with no real "hills" or bridges to cross. We ran through neighborhoods in a single lane. There were water stations/Gatorade every 2 miles or so (which would have been fine any other race, but with the heat I was certainly dragging in-between), they also had 4 stations with GU along the course. I personally don't use GU but I thought it was awesome they had so much available. 

The first 18 miles I was lucky enough to run with my mom. I started slowing down around then, and she was able to maintain a faster pace than me, I was so happy to see her take off. "GO MOM! GO!" I met some great people along the course with awesome stories at what brought them there. I ran into a girl from my hometown who belongs to the same running club as me (Flagler County Runners, FCR) around mile 19? Ish? We ran together off and on for the rest of the race. This was her first marathon and I was so excited to watch her cross the line about 15 seconds ahead of me. 
My mom crossing her first FULL marathon finish line! 

Me crossing my 3rd marathon finish line!
I went into this race saying I was running to finish, to remember to enjoy myself. For the most part I did. The heat really got to me, I puked twice because of it. Overall it was a great race. My official time was 4:38:08 (mom finished almost exactly 10 minutes before me). This was my SLOWEST marathon to date, by a LONG shot. But, it was also the first I had to endure heat AND humidity. 
We ALL finished!

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