27 April, 2011

Race Recaps: Jersey Shore Marathon Relay & the Rutgers Unite Half... Kinda

Since I'm over a week behind in posting anything, I decided to make it somewhat easy and combine both of my race reports from two weekends ago into one blog post since both of them were pretty uneventful....and short.  

Saturday, the 16th, I went down the Jersey shore with a bunch of the gym crew to run in the Jersey Shore Marathon Relay.  Teams of 5 share the task of completing 26.2 miles from Seaside Heights, NJ (yes....home of Snooki and The Situation) up to Asbury Park (home of Bruce Springsteen haha).  We've ran this relay for a bunch of years now and it's always a fun time cheering everyone on and then we always celebrate with a barbeque at a gym members shore house a few miles from the finish. 

Unfortunately this year I had to be in class at 10am so my plan of enjoying the whole day down the shore was foiled.  Our race started at 9am so we met up at the gym around 6:30 and we all made our way down to the beach.

The weather forecast was supposed to be a high of about 64 but when we got there in the wee hours of the morning, it was COLD and WINDY!  Didn't help that we were right on the beach & boardwalk.  The wind was a killer so most of us tried to huddle under a few canopys to stay slightly warmer. 

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Our relay team!
The race is known to have some awesome costumes and they have a contest every year.  Last year, we joined in the fun and went as the Family Guy Family and were a HUGE hit.....

Our costumes from last year!


This year there weren't as many as usual but by far our favorite was the 'Imaginary People' team.  (No, not their real name but it's all I could think of)...


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A Unicorn, Santa Claus, a Leprechaun, Easter Bunny, & the Tooth Fairy

I've never ran the first leg of the race but it's mainly on the boardwalk in Seaside and makes it's way north for 6.2 miles.  At least I was told it was 6.2 miles. :)  When the race started, I SWEAR the wind picked up.  I was so cold that I couldn't even imagine taking off my cotton hoodie and just sucked it up and decided I could run 6 miles in it.   Some parts of the course veered off the boardwalk and ran on the street parallel, which was a nice break from the crazy wind! 

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Don't I look THRILLED?!?!?!?

The miles did go by quickly though, despite the cold and wind.  When I rounded the corner for the baton hand-off, I realized my Garmin said I was still at 5.5 miles.  Hmmmm!  Many others around me said the same thing so the rest of the course must have been longer somewhere.  I made decent time but didn't want to push it since I still had a half marathon the next day!

Quickly cooled down, drank my HoneyMilk, and then jumped in my car to head to class while the rest of the team chugged along.  Pretty sure our team finished the whole thing in 4:30, which was awesome! 

Fast forward to the next morning!  Time for the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon....or so we thought.

My friend Tony and I woke up bright and early and headed back down to South Jersey.  Two of my friends that came to India with me were meeting us down there to run their first half too.  We quickly parked, jumped on the shuttle to the start line, and then heard the announcement...

Due to horrible flooding in the park we run through, the half marathon has been cut down to a 10 mile race....

WHAT?! We looked at each other hoping we didn't hear right.  The guy next to me let out a few choice words.  You have GOT to be kidding me, right?  What about the people that had trained so hard for this, who were trying to qualify for Half Fanatics, who were running their first half, had flown from Colorado to run this race (we met a lady that did...I felt so bad)?!

To say we were pissed is an understatement.  We met up with my two friends and they were depressed too.  Oh well, can't do much about it now, right?

NOT happy about the course change!
We lined up in the starting area and wished each other well.  Might as well get this one over with as quickly as possible, right?

The race itself wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great.  The advertisements promised dozens of bands (we saw maybe 5), fluids at every mile (there were maybe 4 or 5 stops), lots of cheering students/alumni/spectators/frats/sports teams (we saw none except for the final straight away to the finish), and a scenic route (um, Rutgers campuses aren't THAT pretty).

I kept up a nice pace though throughout the whole race.  With about a half mile to go or so, I saw my friends who had driven down to cheer us on and tried to yell to them that it's now a 10 mile course so we'll be done soon.  Right after I passed them, a volunteer yells and says that I only have 60 yards until the finish.  Wait...what??!! I thought this was a 10 mile course and my Garmin was reading almost 9.5.  I turned the corner and there it was...the finish.  I sprinted the remaining few dozen yards and saw Tony and Robby waiting for me by the water.  Official race distance had been cut down even more to 9.55 miles. 

The finish area was absolute chaos.  There were normal spectators in the finish chute just standing around and the runners had no idea where to go.  Someone handed me a medal and we pushed our way out.  No one told us where to go for bag pickup so we followed the crowds.  The line for the food was OBSCENE and they were allowing non-runners to jump in and grab food, which was making it even crazier.  We avoided the food and went and got our bags instead.

On a brighter note though, we were ready to celebrate and enjoy the nice weather on campus!

Not sure if anyone watches Man vs. Food but I'm slightly addicted to it.  Well in one episode he went down to Rutgers to chow down at the grease trucks for Fat Sandwiches and then went to Stuff Yer Face for their yummy strombolis.  Anyone that knows Rutgers knows that these are staple foods that everyone must consume so we decided to go to both after the race to replace the calories lost, plus some. :)

Here's a few videos of his adventures...





First stop?  The grease trucks, specifically RU Hungry.  Fat Sandwiches are pretty much any crazy combination of deep fried foods you could think of, all stuffed in a long roll, and topped with french fries.  The line for this place is always INSANE...

RU Hungry?

I decided on the Fat Koko.... cheesesteak w/American cheese, mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, and french fries.  Other people had burgers, chicken fingers, mozz sticks, etc.  And let me tell you...this was pretty darn fabulous!!

Fat Koko

When we finished up here we decided to head to Stuff Yer Face for a celebratory drink.  Definitely didn't try the crazy huge stromboli but after a few hours of relaxing, we were a little hungry again so nibbled on some other food and then finally headed back home.

So a disappointing weekend for me in terms of races but we still had a good time.  I'll definitely be doing the Jersey Shore Marathon Relay again but not sure about Rutgers.  Even after the race, it took them days to send an explanation as to why they couldn't just reroute the course, and their excuse didn't seem legit.  They deleted a TON of negative comments from their Facebook page and only left the happy ones, not cool.  So who knows.  I'll still be a student and the race fee will be cheap so it's a possibility.  

7 comments

  1. Great Post! What a bummer for those who had trained for a half marathon!

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  2. I have always wanted to do a relay. What a blast! Too bad you had to go to class afterward.

    And wow. That is lame they cut the course and deleted the negative comments for the half. Lame lame lame.

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  3. Bummer about the half marathon. But the relay sounds like a lot of fun!! The fat sandwich looks yum!

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  4. Sorry the race got cut shorter, no fair!
    I used to go to Rutgers and can't believe I would eat a fat sandwich every weekend!
    The fat mojo was my favorite...
    :)

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  5. The relay sounds fun - but what a sucky deal with that "half marathon". I mean you basically just got to do a 15K instead. Sure you didn't have to run as much, but at the same time, you didn't get to run as much!

    And the fact that they deleted the bad FB comments kinda shows they know they screwed up, right? But don't want to admit it?

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  6. Wow - that's really too bad about the half marathon being cut so short. I do feel for the folks that traveled or trained specifically for that race.

    At least you kept a positive attitude and pushed your way through the races!

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  7. Thanks guys :) Looking back at it a few months later, the annoyance has slightly faded so I think we will be attempting this one again! Vanessa, I'll have to try the Fat Mojo! Since I go to grad school at one of the other campuses, I'm not down there nearly enough to try them all!

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