Monday, April 7, 2014

Atlantic City Marathon's April Fool's Half Marathon Recap

Whew! That was a long title!
This was my second year running this race, a fun flat course that runs along the boardwalk, and past Lucy the Margate Elephant and back. Last year was a lot of fun, so as soon as registration opened, I signed right up for this year's race!
My weekend started when Eileen came to my house to make the hour long journey to Atlantic City together. We got there super early since it was such a nice day, and we wanted to walk the boards! We went to packet pickup, got our bib and tee, and stowed them in the car before we began our walk! I must say, packet pickup was very organized and efficient!

After a little bit of walking (about a mile) we decided on the Rainforest Cafe for lunch. We didn't want anything too greasy, and they had great sandwiches. There was no wait if you sat near the bar, so we sat in a nice, quiet, secluded corner and enjoyed our lunch!

More walking, then we met up with our friend Colleen, got Gigi's bib, and then did some more walking! Gigi arrived shortly after that, and we headed back to Revel for some photos worth the Island Girls, before bringing our bags up to our room! We had tried checking in at 3, but our room wasn't ready as promised, so we had to stall a bit!
I really need to work on my posture, my stomach doesn't need any extra help sticking out!

view from our room

After we realized for a bit, we headed back to the boardwalk to walk the 1.5-2 miles to Carmine's at the Trop for dinner. Blogger FAIL, there are no dinner pics. we were having so much fun, that I forgot to take pics! This is, by far, my favorite place to eat before a race!
We went back to the hotel for cupcakes and bedtime, with a slight detour....

I know, silly silly girls, but we couldn't resist. The cupcakes were tasty, but not from our usual place. You can't go wrong when you mix peanut butter and chocolate though!
Bedtime, but not without a little drama. Apparently, the men staying next door were celebrating a birthday (and loudly hoping "to get laid") and they were very loud until almost 11, I think. Then they left, and came back in the wee hours and m,are some more noise. UGH!
I woke up about 6 the next morning to a beautiful sunrise!
6:00 view from our room

6:15 view from our room

6:30 view from the boardwalk

Eileen took this pic, we walked towards the beach for this one!
On our way out to take the last 2 pics, I may or may not have dong dong ditched the party boys' room. You know, because I am mature like that. I don't think one of them even budged. Darn!

We woke Colleen after we got back, Gigi was already up and about. We all got dressed and made our way down to the start. It was nice to start right in front of the hotel, we hung inside until just before the start, since it was a little chiller than we anticipated!
Time for more photo ops!
Photo by Jeff Littwin, Island Girls Running Club group photo

photo by Jeff Littwin

blurry Swirlsister photo
Soon the race started, and we were off. Gigi planned on using a 3:1 run/walk and I was more than happy to stay with her. Colleen started off with us, but moved on after the first mile. We never saw speedy Eileen, she dashed off, and we saw her after we finished.
The course is fabulous. Four miles of boardwalk to start, then you head down on to the roadway for the next 3 miles. We passed Lucy at about mile 6. Gigi has the photos, hopefully I will have them to share with you soon. The course support was amazing, plenty of water and gatorade, lots of people cheering. Someone's hubby even took a pic for us in front of Lucy!
Mile 7 was the turnaround. We were maintaining a 13:00 mile average, which left us on track to finish fairly well. The wind was a factor, but not too terrible.
Once we got back on the boardwalk, just after mile 9, the visitors to AC became a factor. They had no problem walking in front of you, which was frustrating! Still plenty of spectators, though, lots of cheering, lots of water and gatorade.
When we hit mile 11, it started to get hot! The wind pretty much stopped, and the sun was beating down. Luckily, they had a double water stop at mile 12, so I drank twice.
We pushed it the last 2 miles as well, running 12 minute miles, to get a finish time of 2:53:01 which is SO not my best, but it is my best this year!
We had a great time, which was my goal, and I am not disappointed at all!
finish line photo, courtesy of Jeff Littwin

Gigi, me, Colleen, photo by Jeff Littwin
 I was so glad to actually see Jennifer, from the Final Forty at the finish. I saw her on the course but didn't get her attention. She and Todd finished way ahead of me! We never seem to find each other at NJ races, so this was a rare treat!
Me and Jen, from The Final Forty

stole this from Gigi, don't know who took it!
So now we get to the finish line. We were given our medal and bottled water right away. I was STARVING and started to look for food. Fooood. Where was the foooood? Yeah. No food. They had pizza, popcorn, power bars. Nothing. It.was.all.gone.
For real.
Anyone who finished after about 2 hours got close to nothing. They had some bananas, which I cannot eat. A few oranges. Nope. I am RUNGRY. An orange won't cut it. Everything was gone. I went to the hotel shop and got chocolate milk, though.

the bling was awesome!

Gigi and I after the race
 After we all showered, changed, and dropped our bags at the car, we walked a couple miles more to get Rita's. SO worth the walk, I got Cherry Starburst with custard and it was divine! Not quite the post race food I had in mind, but I got over it pretty soon!
While I am still pretty upset about the lack of food (and the fact that when I commented on their Facebook page, their solution, in so many words, was for me to volunteer next year and police it myself), I am feeling less frustrated and already considering running the Jester next year. Sad but true. It is the 11K on Saturday and the half on Sunday.
I need help.
Did you race this weekend? How was your weather?


  1. Is there bonus bling for the jester? I would probably return for that.....the IGRs are already discussing the return but I didnt want to do year #3.

    1. No bonus bling, just a bonus jester hat, lol. I am considering it, and Eileen is willing to go back as well. I love the course, even if the food situation is such a nightmare.

  2. Wait...the Jester? Is that new? I might be tempted for that! ~Jersea Runner Girl

    1. it looks like they had it this year, although I had no idea. I am wondering if it was added after the initial early registration. I don't really need a jester hat, lol, but who can resist double medals?

  3. I'm so bummed that we missed each other! I was looking all around for you in your Swirlgear but couldn't spot you! Boo! Glad to hear that you had fun. I was sad that there was NO FOOD at the end either. My friend who finished under 2 said that there was popcorn and people were grabbing FIVE BAGS of it. WHATTTTT. Not cool.

    1. you missed me in my enormous tutu? lol I didn't see every body I wanted to see either, too many people at the finish! I am so bummed that so many people disrespected the slower runners, they definitely need a better finish line system!

  4. I wouldn't be too upset about Rita's for a post-race treat, but that's crazy that they didn't have any food left! No bueno!

    Looks like a beautiful race, though. I love AC. I'm so glad to see things are starting to come around after the devastation of Sandy.

    1. Jennifer, you would never even know the boardwalk was ever destroyed, everything looks so amazing! It really was nice to see!

  5. First of all, it was SOOO great seeing you again! Glad we finally spotted each other in New Jersey! Haha. :)

    I'm totally pissed about the lack of food for you guys (also, feeling like a jackass since we went ahead and grabbed a bunch of popcorn with all of the other hungry runners afterwards). Who knew that they would just completely run out? And THAT'S the kind of response they give you when you mention it? NOT COOL! (I'm glad you at least got your chocolate milk, though...and I LOVE Rita's, haha).

    I loved your tutu, BTW. You guys all look so cute -- you take the most fun race photos! Glad you had such a good time. It was definitely a gorgeous day -- we lucked out with a perfect weekend for a race! :)

    1. Hooray, finally a Jersey meeting! I am over the food thing now, for the most part. I was just so HUNGRY that it was harder to get over than it should have been lol. I am glad you liked my tutu, I think I am addicted lol.

  6. food after a race really stinks. I did enjoy seeing that lovely photo of the cupcake and was that a Reese's Cup in the middle. Double yum!

    1. Yes, it was! Chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing. Divine!