Quick disclaimer--I'm a J&A race ambassador and was offered a free entry to this race because of my affiliation. All opinions are my own and I am not required to give positive reviews.
1. The Expo: It was really small and we got there around 2 (the race started at 4:30). We were able to park at the Virginia Beach Convention Center with ease and got our packets and shirts really fast. I liked how they had headbands and hats you could buy at the expo to wear at the race. We passed on purchasing anything, but I was really tempted to buy the "ugly sweater" tech shirt. After we were done, we headed to Beach Bully BBQ (maybe not the best idea before a race, but it was amazing!) and relaxed before heading to the starting line.
|It's unfortunate you can't see our amazing tights. |
It's also unfortunate how much those amazing tights chafed. Ouch.
2. The Course: Oh my gosh guys, I loved this so much. I was really excited because I met up with one of my good friends and her boyfriend at the starting line and we got to run the whole race together. I definitely pushed harder than I would have by myself (I didn't have any real goals, I just wanted to have fun) and I was really pleased with my time. Before we started, we checked out all the fun costumes walking around. I'm so impressed with people's creativity! They go all out and I love that they have a costume contest. Just adds to the festivities! It was so much fun running on the boardwalk under the lights and I really hope that they use the same or similar course next year. I wish that I ran with my phone (and that my phone would have taken more than just selfies--it's finally fixed). There were two water stops, which was nice. I had a fantastic time and it was made even better with running buddies. The only thing I would have changed was a later start time because it wasn't quite dark enough on the boardwalk by the time I got back on the main road, but I think I heard something about runners having to clear off the boardwalk so cars could start viewing the lights.
3. The Finish Line: This part was really cool. The end winded around the convention center and you ended up running inside the building! They had bleachers set up so spectators could watch, but I wasn't really sure how to get over to them. It was pretty crazy in there, but I had no trouble grabbing my power bar, banana, and bottled water.
4. The Post Race Party: When we finished the race the beer lines were pretty short and you could choose from the regular Samuel Adams or the winter one. They also had hard cider. When my best friend finished we got our chicken chowder bread bowl (yum!) and listened to the music for a little while before calling it a day. It was just a little too crowded for my taste and the room didn't flow quite as well as J&A parties typically do. From what I could see though, people were having a great time. I had to laugh as they raffled off the life size Sam Adams cut outs. You wouldn't believe how much people love those things.
5. The Goods: I really loved our race shirt. It certainly captured the spirit of Christmas at the beach. We also got a Santa hat (I wore it before and after, but stuck to my fleece headband during the race!) It all came in a reusable bag (the same ones we got at Crawlin' Crab! Perfect for groceries!). The medal doubles as an ornament, which I think is amazing.
J&A hit another race out of the park! Next on tap is Shamrock weekend! If you want to join in the fun make sure to register soon. Rates increase on January 15 and it's quickly on its way to selling out!
Did you run any holiday races? I realize it's a little late, but who doesn't love talking about the most wonderful time of the year?