I was invited to be a race ambassador for the St. Michaels Running Festival. I hadn't been to St. Michael's in almost 20 years so this was exciting for me to be a part of this running festival. I had worked with the race personnel at the 10K Across the Bay and looked forward to working with them once again.
St. Michael's is a little town located on the Chesapeake Bay.
Race Map. I knew friends last year who ran this race and several had PRs. I also know that the course was redesigned this year with the help of Dave McGillivray who is the race director of the Boston Marathon and also the 10K Across the Bay.
I laid out my outfit and made sure I had everything the night before since I knew that I would have to be up early. Sorry, Charlene always wants to be in the pictures!
I got up early...3:30 am since the drive is about 90 minutes away from home. I also knew that there is one road into St. Michael's and I didn't want to get caught in a back-up of traffic. Besides, I had to do my packet pick-up since I couldn't make it there the day before due to work. I arrive at the local high school around 5:30 am and went to packet pick-up. There I saw several other race ambassadors and wished them well in the race.
I started to the finish line and managed to take a picture. It was windy but quite warm.
I saw a fellow Sparkle Skirt sister and wished her well after commenting about her skirt. I saw Corrine several times on the course; all the time we were high fiving each other and saw her again at the runner's village after the race. This is one of the things that I love best about running; I always manage to meet and make new friends!
St. Michael's is a flat course and I was hoping to PR this race. It was also my second half in less than seven days so I was feeling good but not quite sure about how this race would be for me since I've never done back to back half marathons before. The course was quite lovely-starting through town and running out into a community which was situated next to the Chesapeake Bay. Lovely homes and the community people were out cheering us on and thanking us for running the race. Just beautiful as the Chesapeake Bay was in the background and you could see the Bay.
We ran through several communities before heading back into town and then heading out to the farms and another small community. It was really hot and humid during the run and I was grateful for all the water/fuel stops along the way. At about mile 10, I started to lose my momentum due to the heat and humidity. I was feeling really unmotivated however the volunteers and other runners keep me going-thank you! I could tell that I wasn't the only one that the heat was affecting because everyone started to slow down.
I managed to complete the last three miles knowing that this race wasn't going to be a PR. I felt badly but just kept thinking that I should be proud of running back-to-back half marathons and just keep going. I crossed the finish line with my normal half marathon running time of 3 hours; feeling very disappointed. However, the volunteers at the finish line were congratulating me and telling me that everyone had a difficult time.
I love the medal as it is a spinner and was able to see my race coordinator, Sparrow along with my ambassador coordinator, Sarah! I just love both of these women and couldn't ask for a better support/race team!
I also saw Corinne at the runner's village; she looked fantastic and was so happy! We both laughed about how in most races we make friends because we are Sparkle Sisters! Again, what a wonderful and supportive group; I am so blessed to be a part of this group!
I loved this race despite the heat and humidity. I had a wonderful time-meeting new friends and seeing old ones; visiting the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland and enjoying the beauty of this area; the support of the running community and finally a huge THANK YOU to the people of St. Michael's and the volunteers for allowing us crazy runners to take over your town for a day! Lastly, a BIG THANK YOU to the wonderful race directors and our ambassador director and my wonderful team of other race ambassadors; I couldn't do this without you!!!
And remember, my journey continues....If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!