As always, I started checking the weather about a week before the race. The forecast changes every day, of course, but I was getting very worried. It looked like it was going to storm. Great! I had signed up for a marathon on the beach in a storm. But, what was I going to do...cancel? Never!
Surfside Beach is about two hours from home. We took the motor home the day before and stayed in an RV park about two miles from the starting line. That morning was cloudy, but so far, there was no rain. I was praying that it would hold out until the end of the day. Surfside is one of the only marathons that is run entirely on the beach. You start at the starting line, run about 2.5 miles down, turn around and run back past the starting line until mile 15.5, then turn around and run back to the finish line/starting line. The first five miles were awesome. I thought I might even PR. That's about when the headwind started. I heard later that it was upwards of 30 mph, but I don't know how accurate that was. It sure felt that way, though. I struggled just to keep my pace below a 12 minute mile. Just when I thought it could not get worse, the rain started. No, the storm started. I have run in rain plenty of times, but never anything like this. It was sharp, stinging rain that pelted me in the face til I could barely keep my head up. I just had to look around at the other runners to see how we all shared in the agony. The 15.5 mile turnaround seemed as if it would never arrive. When I finally got there and turned around, it was like going from night to day. That strong wind was at my back and the rain subsided. Ahhhh...I had never been so relieved. My shoes were still soaked, though, which made for some terrible blisters. But I was so glad to be out of that storm that I didn't even care.
|This pretty much sums up the scenery.|
|My cheering section|
|Exhausted at the finish line|