It’s become an annual tradition that the first Sunday of my family’s beach vacation in Rehoboth I run the Seashore Strider’s 5 miler.
This tradition started five years ago when we happened to rent a beach house right on the course. I figured how could I not run a race that went right past the place I was staying.
I’ve done the race every summer since (except for the one where I had a stress fracture in my foot).
I’ve had varying degrees of success in the race. It’s usually pretty hot and miserable, so I’m certainly not putting down my fastest times, but despite the weather it’s a race I’ve come to really enjoy and look forward to every year.
Three years ago, when the weather wasn’t the best (rainy and overcast) I actually placed first in my age group — my very first time winning an age group award. And this summer, the five miler marked my last race in the 25-29 year old age group.
I knew going into the race, I certainly wasn’t in my best running shape, plus it was hot and humid at the start. But I took off with the rest of the pack, enjoying the shaded neighborhood the first half of the course weaves you through.
When I turned back onto the main drag, I saw my parents had come out to watch. Gave them a wave and kept running.
At that point, the sun was starting to get to me and I knew there wasn’t going to be a ton more shade the rest of the way. I took a quick walk break to re-group, dumped a cup of ice cold water over my head at the water stop and gently picked up the pace again.
With about 3/4 of a mile left, I didn’t have too much left in the tank and I was really looking forward to a nice cold bottle of water at the finish line. I kept plodding along and finished in 46:59.
I didn’t really think that was good enough for an age group award of any type, but as I was looking around at the finishers, I noticed there didn’t seem to be too many around my age, so I figured I’d hang around and see if maybe I’d gotten lucky.
Turns out I had. When they posted the results, I finished third in my age group and got a nice little medal.
Not a bad way to close out my time in the 25-29 age group!