This weekend a hurricane hit the East Coast.
Her name was Hermine, and she made for one interesting weekend.
Morgan and I left Lynchburg. Our traveling party was already down 2 people due to the hurricane but we decided that as long as Rock n Roll was keeping the races on, we would make the trek to Virginia Beach.
Unfortunately, as I was driving to pick her up from her house, I got a text saying the Mile on the Sand race for Saturday was cancelled . I was getting a little nervous. Will we be able to run Sunday? I thought as we started the 4 hour drive to the coast.
Elaboration on the cancellation: We soon found out that we would be receiving a refund for our entry fee, which is crazy. Rock n Roll is known for their strict rules so the fact they were refunding put the weekend into perspective.
The drive there was pretty uneventful. We were no longer pressured to make it to the expo by the 7 p.m. closing time to get our Mile bibs so we took our time (aka we stopped at Dunkin Donuts in Richmond for coffee).
We checked into the hotel, and went to entertain ourselves close to the hotel. We found ourselves at Joe’s Crab Shack, where we ate some delicious seafood and found the most perfect shirts to describe race weekend in a hurricane:
Hermine really hit the area in the middle of the night. Around 2 in the morning I was woken up by the wind screaming through either the door or the window. I fell back to sleep but had crazy dreams of trying to drive to the expo and being blown off the drawbridge by the high winds.
Around 6 I was slightly awakened to a *tick* *tick* *tick* noise. It kind of sounded like someone was clicking a mouse. After a few minutes of trying to figure out what it was, I was met with a large drip on my head and realized it was the ceiling dripping and hitting the plastic-like comforter. Good news is a quick call got us moved to a new room and a slight discount.
We drove to the expo in some pretty rough weather. It was raining and still pretty windy, but I was able to take a route that didn’t have the drawbridge and it made me really happy.
At the expo we were able to pick up our swag and bib for the Mile on the Sand. We had seen it mentioned on Facebook the night before, and I knew I couldn’t accept a medal for a race I had never done so we had made plans to go out on the beach and get our mile in. But first, we enjoyed the expo.
After being disappointed at the expo for Rock n Roll Raleigh, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this one had stepped it up a notch and
had everything from the Brooks store and Run Happy Island to a booth selling LuLaRoe leggings. The power went out on us for a second (which was a little scary being in a convention hall with that many people in pitch darkness) but it came back after a few seconds so all crises were averted.
After the expo it was time to conquer the mile. We parked and started toward the beach thinking, This isn’t so bad, it’s not even raining!
That changed as soon as we hit the boardwalk and started walking into the headwind, which resulted in us getting sandblasted. We couldn’t even talk because sand would fly right into our mouths.
About half way to the turn around we saw a guy standing in the ocean wearing a blue jacket and realized he was from the Weather Channel. Naturally, we did what any millennial with a phone would do and asked him for a selfie:
Fun fact: We were standing in the water for this picture, and the water was surprisingly warm.
We finished our mile and had another photoshoot with the medals.
After getting one final text saying the race was ON (thanks Rock n Roll!) we made our way to the start. The weather was absolutely perfect, and despite a little humidity and lots of debris on yards and the road, you couldn’t tell a hurricane had been through.
The 5K and half started at the same time in the same place so the area was jam packed full of people. I know the storm had hindered a lot of people from coming (and Rock n Roll offered to let them transfer if they were unable to travel due to the storm), but looking at the crowd it was easily one of the biggest halfs I have run.
Since I had thought it was going to be a lot hotter at the start than the 70* we were given, I had no goals for the race than just to have fun and enjoy it. Morgan and I ran together and must have set a record for the least complaining out of any race we had done together. Something about this one just felt right, as if everything lined up for the storm to be over just in time for us to start.
One of the things I loved about RnR Raleigh was the course entertainment, and this one didn’t disappoint either. We had gotten an email warning that some of the acts may not be able to perform if the weather stayed bad, but there were lots of bands and cheerleading groups out there. While the music was motivating, I think the cheerleaders were my favorite part. They were extremely motivating and so happy about it!
We finished together, on the most torturous stretch I have ever run. The race finished on the Boardwalk, but due to the wind there was no finish arch so we couldn’t see how far it was. I seriously thought it was going to go on forever until a white pole finally made itself visible.
And just like that, I finished my 17th half marathon on the quest to 50 by 30.
Overall, I loved this race. It was almost so perfect that I’m content not to come back to it again. I want it preserved the way I experienced it forever.
And we can’t forget the Rock n Roll badges: