I have now officially completed two half marathons! **happy dance**
I was really nervous for this race since I hadn't been training properly for it. I was referring to it as My Science Experiment.
I did have a few things going for me that were better than my last half:
On to my story about Smuttynose..
I arrived 90 minutes before the start time even though I picked up my bib the day before. I avoided traffic on the way in so was there wicked early and I had time to get a parking ticket, eat some peanut butter crackers and raisins and warm back up in the car for a little while. I pinned my number to my leg after I decided to wear a long sleeve over my t-shirt and started walking down the beach to find the start and some bathrooms. That proved to be more difficult than anticipated. I was texting my friend who steered me in the right direction toward the starting line and I joined her there. I am thankful for her because I had no idea where the start was!
The first few miles was a small loop at the beach (I already lost my friend during these first few miles), then we ran all the way up Hampton Beach (where I tossed the long sleeve on top of my car), did another larger loop, then headed back down the beach to the finish. The course was advertised as the flattest and easiest course in New England and they weren't lying! There were barely ANY inclines and luckily the longest incline was the only road I have ever run in Hampton before. So I was used to that section from going to the Monday Run Day group at Flatbread.
Formal Race Review
Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon
Hampton Beach NH
Parking: Plenty of parking. There are tons of lots and street parking with meters for typical beach traffic, which made parking easy. It was a short walk to the start (if you could find it). My husband even found a lot that was free! (Rare at the beach.)
Registration/Timing: Success! I was on the official results! If you have read any of my past race reviews, you might remember that the last THREE races I have run, I haven't shown up on the results!! So this was exciting.
Bib pick-up was the day before the race at Smuttynose Brewing Company, also in Hampton NH. The lines moved very quickly when I was there and I was in and out in minutes. They had our bibs and shirts ready to go and we even got to choose which color shirt we wanted. There was also a tent set up if anyone wanted to purchase additional merchandise. They had some shirts and this windbreaker jacket that were VERY tempting...but I controlled myself.
Facilities: There were plenty of bathrooms between the permanent bathroom buildings at the beach and a line of Porta Potties, but there were still massive lines that I didn't feel like waiting in due to the huge amount of people there that morning.
Course: I described the course a little already...it was kind of weird. At least the first double loop part was. It was nice having so many spectators all through the beach section and at a few other spots. Having people cheer when you run by gives you such a boost, even if you don't know them. Running along the water was really pretty too and there was some spray from the ocean to cool us down.
Post-Race: Post race was both awesome and horrible.
Overall Review: This was a HUGE race. The directors said it was the largest half marathon ever in NH. And it was too big for my liking. Maybe not necessarily too many people, but not enough space for that many people.
Final Verdict: I don't think I will be back to this race. Maybe to see if I can get a new PR if I train, but that's it! I need space to breathe at the finish when I feel like I am about to collapse!
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Average Pace: 9:46
Splits Per Nike+: 9:57, 9:16, 9:20, 9:43, 9:28, 9:42, 9:35, 9:39, 9:42, 9:48, 9:53, 10:11, 10:40
Hi, I'm Jessie!
I live in NH with my husband and our pups. My favorite things are coaching Girls on the Run, eating good food that I didn't have to cook, helping other people work on their health, volunteering for and running races, watching tv, doing yoga, and spending too much time on social media. #Balance