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At the Races

The Wilds Half Marathon, May 17, 2014–Rob Allen

Along with the Brooklyn Half and Superhero Half, there was the The Wilds Half in Wildwood this weekend… organized by CGI (they also do Rutgers Unite). I quietly ran this during a family weekend getaway.

Twenty-one days out from NJ Marathon, and my first “race” as a “Masters AG” participant, I am not exactly on fresh legs since I haven’t been doing much training yet. According to Paul Giulliano, “one day for each mile raced for your body to be fully recovered”, and I typically stick with that advice… except this time.

I’ve been going down here each year for almost 20 years since my wife and I were dating, and while a lot has changed, Wildwood has the uncanny ability to maintain their sense of hospitality and nostalgia.

CGI worked extremely well with the community to make this a fun event and well organized from bib pickup to bib lookup. (the only thing I would criticize is the lack of bag check).  The weather was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky (a cloud or two would have been nice a little later in the miles). Temps got up to about 60 by the halfway point and the course was relatively flat.

We headed South on Ocean Ave to the Port Royal where we went around the park to head north on the bike path and up the boardwalk to the end… LOTS of cheering here for the first 3-4 and last 2-3 miles. The course continued to stay along the ocean but zig zag a bit through the neighborhood out to 147 and over a bridge. On the other side of the bridge was where we headed toward Stone Harbor but just over a little toll bridge for a mile and a half. Now, on a flat course, these bridges were unexpected hills and we had to cover the same inclines on the way back (approximately miles 6-9). Needless to say, this was where I used the energy I planned on for the last 4 miles AND around the time the 60 degree weather was causing a little overheating. Between miles 10-12, I walked for about 30 seconds at a time and the water stops were more than sufficient. The last 2 miles were on the boardwalk… remember the cheering? Yeah, that helped again 
Dug in for the last mile and finished strong… met by my wife and son shortly after the finish, I wasn’t pleased with the finish time initially but that all went away when I recalled that:
I did this for the enjoyment without the hangups and pressure I usually go into a race with and more importantly with my family involved 
I was able to see the Wildwoods from a different perspective.
I run the Halfs MUCH better in the fall when it’s about 45 degrees.
Since this is my first race in the a new AG, it’s a PR for the start of a whole new decade of running!
1:47:59
23/91 AG
194/1632 Overall
Run Happy, Happy Running! and I’ll see u out on the roads… or at the College Ave Mile, whichever comes first ;D

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