Updated: Jan 3
Long Branch, NJ
May 6th, 2012
Finish Time: 1:42:49 (PR)
AG 25-29- 28th/808
Other people may not have high expectations of me, but I have high expectations for myself. — Shannon Miller
Going into this race, I had the mentality that I was going to PR. It was my mission. It had been almost a year since my last PR and this was the race, the conditions, the course to do it. With that said, I PR'd by 6 seconds. could have been more had the wind not picked up in the last mile but still I did it, and I'm damn proud.
The Long Branch Half Marathon, which is run by U.S. Road Sports was a good race in an okay location. It took place not as close to the ocean as I had thought, but I’m kind of glad it didn’t as it was windier on the ocean than inland. Traffic getting to the expo on Saturday was a mess and some people resorted to walking from their hotels, but the traffic getting to the race Sunday was very smooth. Strange since it was in the same location.
The expo featured a few companies, not as many as the ING Miami Marathon that U.S. Road Sports puts on and that I ran in January but still they had a store selling Garmin watches and that's where I went. I had been debating purchasing a Garmin to track my splits for the past year so instead I have been using gmap pedometer online and guessing my splits. My mom didn't understand the purpose of the watch, but I think it really came in handy during the race as I was able to see my consistent splits and when I slowed down. My mom still prefers her 2 dollar piece of paper with time splits, but I like my Garmin.
The race is a point to point course that starts in Monmouth park, a Horse race track, so there was plenty of parking. The half marathon started before the full which I found strange because usually it is the other way or they start together. Anyways the half marathon started at 6:50 Sunday morning, the full at 8:00. The course wraps you through town, the neighborhoods and across waterways. It was a very interesting course, but the best part was the end since we ran next to the beach, along the boardwalk with beautiful views of the ocean.
There weren't as many spectators throughout the course, but there were certain areas with cheering fans. There also wasn't very many port-o-potties before and after the race which I found strange for such a large amount of runners, but I do believe that they did a great job handling that many people.
I was rather surprised because I didn't see any Gels being handed out along the course and I thought there was a location at mile 8 that was supposed to have them, but I guess not. The post race food was bad and very limited. They give you baggies of a banana, granola bar, and pretzels.
There were booths after the race offering free massages and hey who want to turn down a free massage. Unfortunately, it was so cold I was freezing while waiting in line. That and it took the gear check trucks forever to get to the finish line with my dry clothes since apparently one of the drivers didn’t show up. Gear check was also completely unorganized. Since the race was a point to point, they had shuttles to take us back to the start but waiting in that line was a nuisance since it took forever.
Perks: Flat and fast course, personalized bibs, massages, big medals, the finish line was lovely and along the beach.
Ehh… Not a Fan: the post race food, lack of port o potties, point to point course (not a loop), gear check not organized, shuttles. Final Grade: B
Overall I had much higher expectations for this race but at the end of the day I PR’d and that’s all that matters. But like any U.S. Road Sports race the medals are huge, and because I raced NY 13.1 I got TWO medals.