I’m teaming up with some super Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadors to share our year of running by “awarding” our favorite moments, races and swag of 2014.
Most Scenic Course
The most scenic course of all the races I ran would have to be Flying Pirate. That still is my favorite course! There’s something just awesome about running at the beach and this race highlights all of the great things about the Outer Banks. It’s like a running tour of the sights and sounds! We start in Kitty Hawk and run along the waterway, then through the Bay Drive area, around the Wright Brothers Memorial, and finishing with a short trail run through the Nags Heads Woods Nature Preserve.
Click here for a short video showcasing the race course.
Most Challenging Course
Hands down, the most challenging course I ran this past year was City of Oaks Marathon…yes, I picked a super tough marathon and I loved it. With 971 ft gain of elevation, this rollercoaster of a course challenged me, but didn’t take me out. I stuck to my race plan and felt awesome when I finished! It made me realize I can tackle anything I put my mind and heart to!
Myrtle Beach Marathon has a really great expo! I’m kind of always like you’ve been to one expo, you’ve been to them all, but what you get with the Myrtle Beach one isn’t just vendors and free samples. You get exotic animals too! The Rare Species Fund is there providing runners with a wild animal experience. They have chimps, baby tigers, and even an elephant at the starting line.
Best Post-Race Food/Beverages
Cannonball Half wins this one! With the addition of beer and food trucks this year, it was the perfect way to celebrate a great race! There was even a band too! Very festive!
For $28, the Reindeer Fun Run 12K wins! We received more goodies than we have in races that have cost twice that amount. Our drawstring bag was filled with a long sleeve race tee, antlers, and a mason jar with the race logo on it. Add in all the other freebies (pens, coupons, etc.), it was awesome!
Most Unique Medal
Favorite Race Shirt
My favorite race shirt this year was my Lynchburg half marathon tee. I love when races give us race tees that we can actually wear with jeans too. I also am a huge fan when races provide women’s cut tees that actually fit and aren’t junior sized.
Favorite Overall Race
Myrtle Mini grabs this one! From the course to the post race beach party, it was just an awesome event. The expo was well done, the shirts and medals were great, the band, the finish on the boardwalk right at the beach…and 5 miles of beachside running can’t be beat!
Best Course Support
Crooked Road 24 hour Event has some pretty amazing support! From our encouraging lap counters to the early morning cheer squad, you would think you were at a larger race. The runners are also super encouraging too. Also, how can you compete with an actual snack table??
Race I am Most Proud Of
I could say it was one my PR races: New Year’s Day Prediction 5K, the Hamilton Lakes 10K, the Salem Lake 30K or the Old Town Beerun 5 miler, but PR’ing doesn’t make me proud necessarily. It’s an accomplishment, but for me, it has to be a race that kind of sticks with you…
City of Oaks Marathon wins. Hands down. It was that race for me. To come within 7 minutes of Richmond (my PR) on a harder course makes me proud. For sticking to my race plan and run by heart rate and not second guessing that decision makes me proud. For not hitting the wall and feeling amazing but tired at mile 26.2 makes me proud. For being brave enough to run another marathon after several tough ones that makes me proud. It is the race that challenges you the most that changes you the most. I gave up trying to “do” something for what it would “look” like to others and found what made me most happy: just running, however long it takes, but just running.
How was your 2014? What race are you most proud of?
Check out all of the other wonderful blogs that are part of this linkup. If you have a blog about your year in running, please link up with us too!