If you would have told me 4 weeks ago that my first race of the year would have been with my oldest daughter (who absolutely hate running), I would have never believed you! But it’s true! Let me back up, and tell you how it happened. A few weeks back, I was trying to plan a quick getaway to visit my daughter in college (Chants Up!) with absolutely no thoughts about racing during my visit. I picked a weekend and when I called her to confirm, she said “Oh, that’s the weekend my friend is doing a Half Marathon, but you can come and cheer him on with me!” Of course that was a lightbulb moment. I immediately looked up the race and saw they also offered a 5k (and a marathon) and I somehow convinced Makayla to run the 5k with me. For the record, she is into weight lifting and hits the gym on a regular basis, but she DESPISES running so I was very pleasantly surprised when she agreed to it!
I got to Conway on Friday afternoon and we headed to The Hangout at Broadway at the Beach for packet pick-up. Packet pickup was organized and easy-peasy and I LOVE the race shirts. I was a little surprised there weren’t more vendors considering it seemed like a pretty big race, but I wasn’t looking to buy anything anyway so it really didn’t hurt my feelings. We had dinner at Margaritaville and then headed back to her house to get some rest.
We got up early the next morning and headed to the start. The half marathon and marathon were scheduled to start an hour before the 5k so we got there bright and early to cheer her friends on at the start! My goodness…it was so exciting to watch the start. It definitely made me miss it! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since my last half marathon.
After they started, we hit the port-a-pots, took some more selfies, and then waited for our turn!
Finally, it was our turn! The start was a little rough. I thought we started close enough to the front to not have to weave in and out of walkers, but unfortunately that was the case and there were a lot of walkers towards the front. But within .25 mile, we finally were able to settle into a nice groove. We continued running while chatting and listening to some music (we shared a pair of earbuds so we could listen to the same playlist and also keep one open for chatting). I was so impressed with Makayla. She only needed a few quick walk breaks and was always ready to get right back into a run. We got to run near the beach for a block or two at our turn-around point and then were headed back to the finish line. As we were approaching the finish line, Makayla broke out into a sprint and finished SO STRONG!!!
Our official race time was 36:24 (11:44 pace)! We collected our medals and some water and then cooled down while waiting for her friend to finish the half marathon! Afterwards, we headed over to the finish festival at the Pelicans stadium, where they were giving out free Mellow Mushroom Pizza, beer, and another race shirt (tank top). We hung out on the ball field for a little bit and then headed to the beach to hang out for a bit!
It was a super fun race and I really enjoyed the rest of my weekend with her as well. I miss her so much already!
I’d love to come back for race weekend next year!