2014 AC Marathon Race Series 10k Recap

One of my tried and true, go-to race series that I return to repeatedly is the Atlantic City Marathon Series. Why? Well, it really boils down to these key points:

1. It’s in my state! New Jersey races for the win!

2. The value is phenomenal. If you sign up early with a finisher’s code, a 10k or half marathon can cost less than other single pricey 5k events.

3. Overall, it’s a really great smaller race series and I love supporting it.

Last year’s 10k was a bit on the soggy side, so I was very happy to see the weather forecast for this year’s race was sunny and clear skies. Especially considering that I’d been sick with a pretty horrible cold throughout the week.

Since I was still recovering, I decided that rather than doing Neptune’s Challenge (which was the 10k and half that I originally signed up for) I was only going to do the 10k. Spoiler alert: I made the right call!

Yes, please!

Yes, please!

In October, you never know what you’re going to get in terms of the weather, but we lucked out! And it’s a good thing because I had my cheer crew with me.

Little and Mom are in the house!

Little and Mom!

Usually I’m flying solo or with friends for races, but this time there was the added bonus of my mom and my youngest son who not only joined me for the expo but also the morning of the race.

Since I live within driving distance, we drove the hour back and forth on both Friday night (for the expo) and Saturday morning. Sadly, there was no day of race pick up – that would have shaved some travel time for us, as well as parking costs (although we got $5 vouchers at the expo). We made the best of our visits by getting treats at the candy shop on the boardwalk and wandering around.

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Little was very excited that he was somewhere that his big brother had never been before. TWICE. It’s all about the competition when you’re five.

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Really excited about this sign. The other side said, “I love you mom, because I love you.”

However, when you’re 37, it’s all about finishing the race and not hacking your lungs out on the boardwalk. Or, well, at least it was for me during this race. Because, let me tell you, this was not a fun race for me.

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The race environment was awesome, as always. Running the boards always feels good because it has that extra give; I enjoyed the running aspect.

This particular race is an out and back – the first mile is on the populated “store area” of the boardwalk, then you run along a residential area. There is a 5k turn around and further down the 10k turn around.

The problem was that my lungs felt like they could never get quite enough air and when they finally did, I was coughing. I ran 2:1 intervals throughout and while I wasn’t feeling wonderful, I did appreciate the view.

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I mean, how can you not?

By the last mile I was so ready to be done, which is a shame, because that’s usually my favorite part of this race. This time? Not so much. The last mile definitely felt like it had doubled in length but finally, I saw the finish line!

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My mom snapped this.

I crossed the finish with a smile on my face, because, YAY! I WAS DONE! They said everyone’s name as we crossed the line, which I thought was a really nice touch and with a field of 950 participants, very doable.

I was immediately handed a medal and a bottle of water. I made my way over to the barrier where my mom and Little were cheering and Little immediately homed in on the water. “Oh, Momma, I’m SO thirsty.” Yes, he took my bottle of water.

Thankfully, in the finisher’s village I was able to snag a plethora of treats including Gatorade, Rita’s Water Ice, a banana, pretzels, bagel, and PowerBar. This was a welcome change from the end of the April Fool’s Half where the back of the pack missed out on most of the snacks. It’s always great when you know that race directors hear you!

After handing off my beer ticket, I met up with my family once more.

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Little promptly took my bagel.

Was it my best race ever? No, it was not. But not for lack of effort on the AC Marathon Series’ part. Some races will just be better than others, due to circumstances beyond control. And hey, that’s okay. My greatest takeaway from this one is that I have the best cheering squad ever! Even if one of them takes all of my things. At least he let me wear the medal.

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What fall race do you have coming up next? I’ll be at the Biggest Loser Run Walk at Six Flags Great Adventure for their 10k and kids race. Ever run a race while under the weather?

12 thoughts on “2014 AC Marathon Race Series 10k Recap

  1. Congrats on finishing one of the races even though you were sick! I was supposed to do the King Neptune Challenge with the 10k and Half as well, but didn’t do either of them. At least the weather was much nicer this weekend, the 10k was pretty miserable last year!

    • The 10k last year was ROUGH, wasn’t it? I was so happy this year for the weather. Next year I’m hoping for the perfect mix of weather and feeling GREAT. Sorry you missed this races this year. Will you be at the April Fools race?

  2. So sorry you were under the weather. At least you were able to finish in an upright position : ( always looking on the bright side)! I love running on the boardwalk and have been wanting to do this race for a while but there is always a conflict at this time. Too many fall races going on! Does this follow mostly the same route as the April Fools 11K?

    • Yes! I was so glad that I just FINISHED and was able to smile once it was over. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The course is basically the same as the 11k (though slightly shorter). They are back to starting at Bally’s too, since Revel is now out of commission.

  3. I think you rock for doing the race even though you were coming off a cold, Mer. And hey, at least the guy that stole your water and bagel was a cutie!

    Someday, I’m going to run one of the AC races, and embrace the boards. When you talk about them, they sound fabulous. When I’m on them, I just feel like I’m going to trip!

    • That’s very true. It helped a lot that he was cute. And really, if he wanted my medal I would have gladly handed it over. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      You are TOTALLY going to rock the boards in AC at some point, Bec. And I can’t wait to be there when you do. xo

    • I’ve gotta say, if there was a playground on the boardwalk, we totally would have been there too! ๐Ÿ˜‰ What race did you run?

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