LOCATION: Misquamicut State Beach, Atlantic Avenue, Westerly, Rhode Island
DATE: Sunday, September 14, 2014
LENGTH: 13.1 miles or 3.1 miles
RUNIT RATING: Thumbs up!
My alarm went off a little before 4 AM this past Sunday morning. Call me crazy but looking back now, I can say that it was totally worth giving up a few extra Sunday morning Zs to make the trip to Rhode Island for the Surftown Half Marathon. We couldn’t have asked for better weather with the race time temps lingering in the mid-fifties and clear, sunny skies. There were about 1,500 others who ran the Half with Sarah and I and about 3,000 runners overall. It was not overly crowded but there was definitely a decent turnout.
The half marathon started bright and early at 7:30 AM and the course is a beach bum’s dream. We started at the gates of the state beach and headed east on Atlantic Avenue to a quaint beach community. We were treated with stunning ocean views and saltwater breezes before heading back toward the state beach on Atlantic. After passing the start line at Mile 5, the course took us on a flat trek to the historical beach town of Watch Hill, Rhode Island. It’s an extremely flat course except for the short climb up a double hill to the Ocean House. Our efforts did not go unrewarded because after that, we were able to enjoy more ocean views and gorgeous beach houses abutting the Misquamicut Golf Course before making our way to the finish.
As always, the Hartford Marathon Foundation did a wonderful job with runner support having plenty of fluid stations and GU available approximately halfway through the race. There were a fair amount of spectators along the course and enough of a crowd near the finish line to help motivate me to pick it up during the final stretch. In addition to your typical post-race activities, there was a fun fall festival at the state beach following the race with rides, games and carnival food.
After crossing the finish, I made my way straight to the ocean where I took a moment to myself to stretch and reflect.
My first marathon is less than a month away and I had just shattered my half marathon personal record by roughly 10 minutes so it was a bit emotional. I stretched my legs and then made my way back to the crowd to meet up with Sarah so we could enjoy our post-race brew from Grey Sail Brewing.
If you are looking for a fast, fun course with stunning ocean views, check out Surftown next year and end your summer with an amazing day at the beach!
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