Candyland Half Marathon
December 8, 2018
Half Marathon # 58
Alternate Post Titles:
- I Thought It Would Be Flat
- The One Where I Dropped My Gloves in The Toilet
- I Didn't Get To Use My Polar Slide Ticket
- Bubble Snow...It's A Thing
- A Pain in The Ass
- Christmas Cookies, My Favorite
After tweaking my ankle last week and paying the neighbor dog's vet bill [bad dog, Rocky!], we decided not to follow through with our pricey Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon racecation. Thankfully, I had not registered and had found an option closer to home. I ran 5.5 miles Tuesday morning to test my ankle.
|Mailbox Greetings! (Whew--Ankle Feels Good!)|
My ankle felt fine during the run but I decided not to run again as it was still hurting randomly during the week. The forecast for the Candyland Half Marathon was 100% chance of heavy rain. Sigh. But by Friday, they reported it shouldn't start until mid morning so I paid $45 for last minute registration. Sweet. [See what I did there? Candy...Sweet...]
|A nice vintage 3/4 sleeve T-shirt|
Christmas in Candyland is a popular event in Andalusia with attractions, rides, activities, lights, etc. Their festive City Hall was open where Santa and Mrs.Claus greeted runners upon arrival. And warm, clean bathrooms... In our race bag, we received a cute I Ran With Santa! shirt and a ticket for the Polar Slide among other things. Sadly, the attractions were closed due to weather -- I was SO going down that slide!
|Ready or not!|
At the start Santa and Mrs. Claus lined up with the runners and after their kiss, we were off. It began to snow. Shooting from the tops of the old fashioned lamp posts were bubbles. What a cute touch! It was a damp, raw, windy mid 40's; the feels-like in the 30's. With the first step, my right piriformis muscle hurt. I searched my brain trying to figure out why and couldn't come up with anything. It was perfectly fine on my last run. I hoped after warming up, it would feel OK. I also developed a side stitch in the first mile. Ugh -- I know better than to drink coffee before a race! Things were not looking good.
Being this far south, I thought Andalusia would be flat. Ha Ha Ha. I mean, Ho Ho Ho. That's what I get for thinking. I made it up legendary Hospital Hill and managed to shake my side stitch, but the wheels soon fell off my Candyland bus. The combo of hills and the pain in my ass were too much. When we looped through the town square at mile 4; very close to the start line, I thought about quitting. I continued on. After all, I had driven all this way. Surely I could finish?
I slowed considerably. By mile 9, I incorporated walk breaks to get relief. The route was quite lovely through the quaint holiday bedazzled town and outlying neighborhoods. It had gotten colder and the wind stronger. At points we were so spread out that I couldn't see anyone up ahead and worried about getting lost. But, there were volunteers or police officers posted at the many, many turns. I can't say enough about the direction and enthusiastic volunteers.
Let it be noted I was not being a complete Scrooge.
I was wearing candy cane arm warmers.
I finished with a humbling 2:17 and medicated my sore ego with hot cocoa and Christmas cookies. Surprisingly, I saw familiar faces and enjoyed chatting with friends. This race is fairly new but I think it will grow as it has a great theme and affordable price. Christmas in Candyland would be a great day trip for a family with children, even if you didn't plan to run.
Now I'm possibly left with a piriformis issue. Only a few days time will tell. Should I have stopped? Probably so. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.
And that's a wrap!
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Small town or big city? Which type of race do you prefer?
Do you have a holiday themed festival nearby?