Words can’t entirely describe how thankful and grateful I am to be a part of such an amazing running event as the Rehoboth Seashore Marathon. I truly do mean event. This isn’t just a race—but an actual epic event. The lead-up to the race literally lasts an entire year, starting on December 31 when you can sign up for next year’s race and get the deepest discount possible. (Mark your calendars! Set a phone alarm! Tell a friend!)
The Facebook event page always has a flurry of activity—mostly snarky—and the participants are generous, helpful, encouraging, and hilarious. The Race Director, Mary Beth, is Wonder Woman incarnate, and she is a jack-of-all trades. She covers so much ground (on foot, via email, via phone, you name it) in so little time and does it all.
This was my third year at this event (2014, 2017, 2018), and this race did not disappoint as usual. Hubs and I stayed in Rehoboth this year, which was new for us. We stayed about 0.2 miles from the race start, which was convenient for so many reasons. We were able to walk to the race start, Hubs was able to go back to the hotel room and try to sleep a little more during the race, and we didn’t have to walk far post-race.
We left our house around 6:15 p.m. on Friday night to head to packet pick-up. I felt bad leaving my family that drove down from NH/MA, but they joked that they didn’t come to see me or Hubs—they came to see our daughter for her sixth birthday! The Mature Kindergartner’s (MK) birthday is December 7, so it’s always a juggling act to host family at our house, have the MK’s birthday party, and run the marathon all in one weekend. That’s where my amazing Hubs comes in, because he cleaned, prepped, wrapped, and did anything else that I need done the week prior so that we would be prepared for the BIG weekend. A thousand thank yous!
We got to packet pick-up around 7:15 p.m., and it’s always such a quick experience. I thought I knew what my bib number was, so I strolled up to the full marathon line and told the volunteer my number. His response: “Are you John?” Hmmm . . . nope! I blushed and ran away to a nearby laptop to look up my number. When I returned, the same volunteer helped me, and he jokingly asked if I was John again. He made me laugh, and it diffused my awkwardness for sure.
I received my Rehoboth Beach Running Company swag bag, along with one of the women’s shirts, which was a bright orange with a neat design this year. It’s very different from years past, but I really love it!
What I thought was wicked cool was that they had selfie signs at the expo, and we were able to find the sign that we made back in 2016! So of course I had to take a picture of it, despite it being a little worse for the wear. The volunteer manning the signs even asked if we were the Claytons!
Hubs and I were winging it in terms of dinner, so after packet pick-up we walked around the main area to find a spot to eat. We ended up at Cooter Brown’s Twisted Southern Kitchen and Bourbon Bar. It was a ghost town, but the food was delicious! We got the Pig Drippins’ Poutine for an appetizer, and I got The Not Just for Breakfast Burger for my meal. Our server gave us little goodie bags after dinner with a coupon and some chocolates. We plan to go back to Rehoboth this Sunday to visit Santa at the Santa House, so you better believe we’re going back to Cooter Brown’s!
After dinner, we went back to our hotel room to get some rest and lay out my race gear. We stayed at the Brighton Suites Hotel. Don’t let the outside fool you—our room was very spacious and cute! It’s definitely a no-frills hotel, but it suited our needs very well.
The next morning, we got up at 5:30 a.m., I whipped on my gear, and then . . . we waited! It seemed silly to leave the hotel room at 6 a.m. when we didn’t have to be in front of the famous Santa House until 6:30 a.m. to meet up with friends. There was no reason why we had to wait out in the cold needlessly, so Hubs and I jumped back in bed for a few minutes.
We walked to the race start around 6:10 a.m. where it was a chilly 30-ish degrees.
We always check out the beach and the gorgeous sunrise before the race.
We saw our friends Jennifer, Julie, Chrissy, and Nora at the Santa House. Here I am below with Julie who came all the way from Florida to brave the cold for the half marathon! To listen to her review of the race, check out this week’s The Running Lifestyle Show podcast episode. She mentions our meet-up around 27 minutes in. She made me guffaw—guffaw—out loud.
It was a bit windy, so Hubs let me borrow his tear-away wind pants as you can see from the pictures below. I tried to rip them off in one fell swoop before the start of the race.
I positioned myself near the five-hour pacer at the start of the race, and before I knew it, we were off! I now have zero time goals in terms of full marathons, so I just plodded along at my own pace and found my groove. I’ll say it again. It’s OK to have zero time goals for a race! And I swear, that’s not being lazy. It’s smart.
Aside: Toward the beginning of the race I noticed a hot spot on my left foot, exactly where I felt it during my full marathon in October. I slathered up basically my entire body with Body Glide pre-race, but I knew this one spot could be problematic. I ignored it during the race, as there was nothing I could really do about it on course.
I ended up running ahead of the five-hour pacer until around Mile 16 or 17. I felt strong as I enjoyed the scenery of Gordons Pond Trail and Cape Henlopen State Park. I always love the stint at Lewes Beach too. I think the multiple changes in scenery help break up the distance nicely.
At one point a runner came up behind me and complimented me on my form. It was completely unexpected and really nice. It’s good to hear that type of feedback in the middle of a race, too!
Hubs met me at Mile 18 to give me a quick kiss and to see if I needed anything. Unlike last year, I didn’t have to hand off my outer layer or anything, because it was still cold on the course. I kept my hat and neck wrap on for the entire marathon. Somewhere along the Junction and Breakwater Trail, I stopped to literally soak up the sun. The wind was blowing toward us, and I couldn’t shake the chill.
If you need to do a full or half as part of a fifty states requirement, please don’t pass up this gem of a race! It has a variety of scenery, excellent course support and aid stations, ample porta-potties, the best spectators, and a rockin’ after party!
Oh, and have you seen the bling?! It’s my favorite medal to date! This race was totally worth the nasty looking blister, which nearly a week out is completely fine and healing nicely.