The Orange Beach Kaiser Realty Half Marathon and 5k has now come and gone, and a more spectacular day could not have been ordered in advance. Weather at the start was sunny and a little on the cold side (for me) at about 47 or 48 degrees, but it warmed up nicely. Kaitlyn (my youngest daughter) ran the 5k, had a blast, and surprised herself, I think. I ran the half, looking to maintain a 12 minute pace, which I accomplished, but I didn’t have a great race overall. In spite of the perfect weather and beautiful run, apparently the gastronomically challenged should not plan a half marathon two days after Thanksgiving. If you read my last post, I did live to regret the Italian Creme cake I ate, as it added at least 8 minutes to my overall time. Enough about that, though. I choose to place this one in the win column, because 1) I still managed to stay on pace, and 2) it was a perfect day for racing. The after race meal was provided by Cosmos Restaurant, here in Orange Beach, AL, and, having eaten there this summer, Gary, Kaitlyn, & I all stayed to eat. It was absolutely worth it, too. Probably the most unusual post race meal I’ve ever had, but, without a doubt, the best.
The race was well done, the route clearly marked, lots of volunteer help to guide and hand out water and Gatorade. The packet pick-up yesterday had a few kinks, but they all seemed to be worked out this morning. This is a beautiful race, mostly along the Backcountry Trail system in Orange Beach with a few miles run on the roads. There was plenty of police presence on the highway, so the runners were well protected from traffic. Gary & I have ridden our bikes & run on the Backcountry Trails and knew that they’re well maintained and breathtakingly beautiful. And, in the summer, they have the added bonus of much needed shade. The only complaint I can think of right now is one that I have for most races, not enough bathrooms.
Meb made a guest appearance, and I was quite starstruck. My wonderful man patiently stood in line and got Meb’s autograph for me, then waited as I stood in line to do the same. Even Kaitlyn, who had never heard of Meb before this weekend, got in on the fun.