Pensacola Beach was the scene of Ali's latest running adventure. Read all about it here...
Melanie's friend Larisa approached me recently about running the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Pensacola as a way to help her raise money for The Little Things For Cancer. Her fund raising idea was unique, and I agreed to help her out.
My goal was to begin at the back of the pack and pass as many people as I could over the duration of the course. Sponsors could pledge to donate an amount per person that I passed, or they could give one flat donation. The money pledged would go to the charity.
Starting dead last at the Gulf Coast Half was a fun experience for me. I have to say this was perhaps one of the most scenic courses I have ever run. The course followed the beach road which provided runners with fantastic views of the beaches and the Gulf of Mexico. Looking out at the water certainly helped make the miles go by faster. And then there were the water-stations. Whoever came up with the idea of a competition for the best water-station was a genius! Music, decorations, costumes, & fun…these were far from the typical water stops and certainly helped to make the run an enjoyable experience. As I crossed the finish line I was handed a cool medal that also serves as a bottle opener. Neat idea! The after party at Flounders was as good as post race parties get. Beach setting, live music, and plenty of food and drinks for the runners. Great job Gulf Coast Half!
Here I am at the start of the race.
A closer view of the awesome (and useful) bottle opener medals.
Darby and Tyler worked as volunteers. They helped get all the medals ready to be distributed.
Here I come towards the finish. I finished in 1:31, and 23rd out of over 1,700 runners!
The Gulf Coast Half Marathon is actually a part of a three race series. Next year I hope to run all three races in the series.