For the second marathon of the season and having had ran a 50k the weekend before I could not have asked for a better event. Running for the Bay, held in Apalachicola FL, is one of the most picturesque races I’ve run. With the majority of the course run along causeways and low bridges the bay and ocean views are fantastic and the calming effect of being around water just made the miles fly by. That coupled with the race’s early start makes for a spectacular sunrise over the Apalachicola Bay. The first 5 miles are run due east and runners are treated to one of the life’s rare joys: getting to watch a sunrise in it’s entirety. This was one moment I really wish I ran with a phone or camera…the colors and beauty of the sky were breathtaking. With temperatures in the 50s, a nice ocean breeze, and about half cloud over you couldn’t have asked for better weather and by looking thru historic records this seems to be about the average for Apalachicola this time of year.
Beside the simple beauty of the course it is also a flat, fast, and USATF certified course. Although you do cross several bridges don’t let this intimidate you…they all have a very gentle slope. This deviation from a perfectly flat course, in my opinion, is a great benefit; it engages different muscles allowing for recovery for stressed muscle groups. So those of you looking for a Boston Qualifier in the future this is definitely a race to consider. I ran a 2:48:35 and know I could have pushed out a 2:45 or faster but with a very busy November schedule I was smart (for once) and ran at a comfortable pace.
Aside from the race itself I was very impressed with the town of Apalachicola. What I assume was the downtown area of Apalachicola had a plethora of restaurants, shops, hotels and local seafood vendors. All this within easy walking distance from the Start/Finish makes getting whatever post-race food (and drinks!) you are craving super convenient. I know the idea of walking another 0.25 miles after a marathon doesn’t sound like fun but trust me getting that walk in will make tomorrow much easier…I have found whiskey to help as well…
For it’s 6th year Running for the Bay draws about 650 people between the 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, and 50k. Although it is a smaller race it is very well run and organized with the packet pickup, start, finish, and awards ceremony all taking place in the same location. I have found that events that centralize everything make for easier planning, parking, and overall less stress and confusion for myself and all runners.
The people I met at this race were absolutely amazing…”Running has by far the coolest and most connected community of any sport. Yesterday’s race made me realize this in a big way. I met a guy who ran the same tiny marathon in PA 3 years ago that I ran. Chatted with a woman I helped fit for shoes while she was on vacation at Hilton Head Saw a woman wearing a Palmetto Running Co singlet. And just like at every race all the runners are supportive of each other and great people. The highlight of my race however is the guy in the picture with me, Joe. I met him the night before the race…just like me he was sleeping in the back of his truck. Next morning we got coffee and just talked running. After the race he jumped my truck (like an idiot I let the battery) so I could make it back to SC. To me Joe epitomizes the running community…super friendly, always willing to lend a hand, happy for everyone’s accomplishments, never once said something negative, and just a great person. So the point of this saga is THANK YOU! for being you and part of the running culture and atmosphere and I hope our paths cross sooner rather than later! The End.”…from my Facebook Page.
Overall this was one of the best courses and overall must enjoyable experiences I have at any race. I hope to return to Running for the Bay next year and to spend some more time in Apalachicola…Hope to see you there!
Below are some of the awesome people from the 2015 edition of Running for the Bay
Fitted the middle Male and Female Winners
woman for running Natalia ran her first
shoes while she was at marathon in a 3:19!!
Hilton Head Island
Top 3 Men The coolest dude ever…Joe