Saturday rolled around and we elected to pick up our packets just before the race start. We made our way to the VA Beach Convention Center around 3:30 and easily found parking. The race expo was a bit crowded and I started to get a little nervous when I saw the lines for the ladies bathroom - they were very, very long. We hurried to get our bibs and then pick up our shirts. Adam headed to bag check while I braved the bathroom lines. Luckily they went rather quickly.
We mulled around inside, not wanting to spend much extra time in the cold. Around 4:15, we headed out to our corral, Corral 1. Knowing that we weren't planning to run a fast race like we thought when we signed up, we started at the back of the corral.
Miles 0-2: Typical VA Beach Oceanfront running down 19th and Atlantic Avenue. Lots of beachy shops and a few spectators. Since it was a chilly evening, I wasn't expecting many cheering fans. There was a fantastic group of carolers dressed up in neat outfits.
Mile 3: The fun began around mile 2.5 when we turned onto the Boardwalk and ran under the lights. Unfortunately it wasn't all that dark but it was still really fun to see the lights - sea creatures, a gorgeous poinsettia wreath, 12 Days of Christmas, and others. My favorite was Santa and his reindeer on the 17th street pier.
Miles 3-5: We ran back up Atlantic and up 16th or 17th back toward the Convention Center. We saw the group of carolers again, but otherwise no major entertainment. With about 0.75 to go, we took one last walk break. As we neared the Convention Center, I could sense Adam speeding up a bit. I returned and we continued to speed up. It was fun passing lots of people and as we made the turn back into the Convention Center (indoor finish line for the win) under red and green flags. As we neared the finish line, Adam grabbed my hand and we crossed together which was fun.
As we moved through the chute, we received our medals and then water, bananas, and power bars. Because the finishers shoot was a windy area, we were able to snag some shots with our medals and the finish line and we weren't the only ones working on our selfie skills doing this!
Like all J&A events, the after party was jamming - Sam Adams beer, chicken corn chowder in a bread bowl, and a great live band. They also had a costume contest and were raffling off the Samuel Adams cut-outs.
|Cheers to the last race of the year|
|With surfer santa|
|The "nice" costume contest...tacky Christmas lights, Elf and Jody, Christmas tree|