A few weeks ago I traveled to Memphis for the St Jude Marathon weekend. Yes I was there to run, but I also travel to actually experience the locale, explore the culture, and of course, lots of good eating! ….. Check out my recap of Memphis where I saw the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel, site of Dr. Kings Assignation, visited Graceland, Home of Elvis. Had awesome BBQ on Beale Street, and just had an overall great time. This was definitely one of my favorite races that I’ve done to date.
The first half marathon that I ever ran out of state was during Ironman Eagleman 70.3 on June 14, 2015 in Maryland. That was my worse half marathon experience ever! Next came the Cayman Islands Half Marathon on December 6, 2015 which was out of the country, so that doesn’t really count now does it. Next was the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, Florida, on Febuary 20, 2016. This was my first real taste of traveling and running road races, and this is what sparked the idea of possibly running a half-marathon in each of the 50 states.
Back in 2016, I wasn’t really serious about accomplishing this task. I just wanted to run some states and see how I liked it. I added GA, NJ, and IL to the list that year, and in 2017 added LA, DE, & CT. In 2018 I made a bit more progress than the previous years, adding TX, NC, DC (not a state but I’m counting it!) CA, MA, and PA. 2019 has been a bit of a dud with only SC checked off the list. I did a whole lot more local racing in New York this year.
So as of this post I am sitting comfortably at 15 states + DC with 35 states to go. Seems like a whole lot, but I am in no rush and will see and explore the United States at my leasure.
Next up for me is the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon this weekend. This race is super cool because we get to cross the bridge and run 2.5 miles or so in Ontario, Canada, and then back over into Michigan. This will be my first time stepping foot on Canadian soil so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m just hoping it is not too cold at the start. Sundays low temp is 47 degrees, with a high of 66.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Jamaica for the 14th annual Reggae Marathon. Now in my 2yrs of running I have encountered all types of races, the good, the bad, and the very ugly, and I have to say the Reggae Marathon is one of if not the best race I have ever participated in. First big ups to Lisa of Reggae Runnerz. She planned and coordinated this trip for 100+ people from flights, transport, excursions, race registration…EVERYTHING! All we had to do was pay, pack and show up at the airport.
First the hotel:
We stayed at the Sea Splash Resort. Most of the Reggae Runnerz stayed at Negril Treehouse Resort which is literally right next door and this is where we spent most of our time. I booked late so I couldn’t stay in the host hotel, so Sea Splash it was. Now when I go away 9 times out of 10 it is an all inclusive resort. I like to roll out of my bed have my egg omlett with a side of vodka cran and a splash of sprite (well 7up in the caribbean)! Not the case here. This hotel was more of a bed and breakfast to me. It is a very small hotel which gives more of an intimate feel. The staff was very nice, and we saw the same staff each and everyday which was kool. The front desk attendant which sorry I can’t remember her name even ordered us food from a local restaurant and had it delivered for us which they don’t normally do. We just had to pay for the $2 cab fare…lol. Best darn Oxtails I’ve ever had! I was dying for some authentic Jamaican oxtails and I got them! So anyhoo, the room was nice, which I didn’t take any pics of. It had a full kitchen, king size bed, pull out sofa, and a loft with 2 queen beds. The only downside was there was only 1 bathroom which can get busy with 3 people in the room. Before I got there I knew it wouldn’t be what I was use to, but I figured hey I’d only be sleeping in the room anyway so what does it matter! It wasn’t the most modern of rooms, but it was nice enough.
The Pasta Party
The ladies outside the Pasta Party.
I have been to a few pasta parties, and this one was hands down the best one I’ve ever been to. Most pasta parties have just pasta with your basic red sauce, oh no, not this one. They had every type of pasta you can imagine, with many different types of sauces, and everything was delicious! There were probably 20 serving stations. They were giving out tons of bottles of water, and even had a Red Stripe counter giving out different types of Red Stripe beer. It was really first class all the way.
Here are a few different views of the set up:
One of the pasta stations
As you can see the setup was awesome! I definitely didn’t expect a pasta party of this magnitude. There was even a calypso band there playing. And when I tell you they were rocking, they were rocking it out!!!
I did take a to go plate back the hotel, but didn’t even eat it because we had no microwave, and your girl was not trying to warm up anything on top of the stove!
On to the race:
This was the earliest start time ever! Gun time was 5:15am to beat the sun. I laid my head on the pillow at like 1am the night b4, so getting up at 4:30am was not fun! but I made it! It was pitch black outside. Not a pinch of sunlight in sight as you can see from the reflection on my brooks. I tried to coordinate my outfit to match the Jamaican flag colors, with a little rasta red thrown in…how did I do?
Anywho, yes super early start meant it would be a super early finish which was great because we had the rest of the day to chilax. Now I did the 10k because I knew I would not want to run any longer distances in the heat. Although we started at 5:15am, by 7am it was burning hot, so I made a wise choice.
Some pics with my homies, and yes I take Usies with every darn body!
The whole Reggae Runnerz crew
So my time was just OK. I wasn’t going for a PR or anything so I’m happy with it.
Oh look I passed FedEx on the course 🙂
An honorable mention has to go out to Super D and Rohan from Quick Silver Striders…Jazzy’s hubby, both completed the full marathon in that crazy heat, and they both were lying on the beach like 2 hours later….talk about beast mode!
Rohan throwing up his Q’s
The after race festival was off the chain! It was literally right on the beach. They gave out plenty of snacks, water, & sports drinks, and even had someone there chopping up coconuts. This was my first time having coconut water directly from a coconut, and I am now wondering why the coconut water we buy in the states taste so funky?? because the fresh coconut water was so delicious and refreshing! I had to get two by the way, they were just so good I couldn’t resist!
Post Race Pic
Gorgeous Beach Pic
Close up of my double bling
Yes Reggae Runnerz gave us an xtra medal just because we are that kool!!
With the girls on the beach
Some pics of the post race festival
I also got a chance to have plenty of fun the 4 days that I was there:
Catamaran with the crew
Snorkeling in the Caribbean ocean.
Eating crabs on Booby Cay Island
Getting some sun
Yep 4 months post baby bod…still have some way to go, but I’m getting there!
Catching some rays
loved that tree!
Watched Luciano perform live
Overall best Runcation ever!! Can’t wait to do it again next year!!
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