I think I might have lost my mind.
As a rule, I don’t register for summer races. I just don’t. Occasionally I’ll do a July 4th run, if the urge hits but normally I am not a fan of summer racing.
AND YET… Just over a week ago I was in Atlantic City, running the Inaugural Bungalow Beach 5 Miler.
The Atlantic City Marathon Series hosts spring and fall events and I love participating in them. From my very second half marathon, the Inaugural April Fools Half in 2012 to their fall 10k I’ve done my fair share of Atlantic City races.
The Inaugural Bungalow Beach 5 Miler was the first summer event hosted by the race series and as soon as I heard about it, I knew that I’d be signing up. After all, the first 100 to sign up got this beach towel along with their early registration of $35 and you know I can’t pass up a deal like that!
As soon as the news of this race hit Facebook, I saw that many of my local friends were registered as well (the lure of a beach towel is great with NJ folks).
Along with the beach towel, other race swag included:
- Custom Finisher Medals
- Gender Specific Custom Tank for Female Participants and Custom T-Shirt for Male Participants
- One FREE Beer at Bungalow Beach’s Post Race Party
- Course Entertainment
There was a packet pickup the day before but also the morning of the race. I opted to do packet pickup race morning, saving myself toll and parking money. I parked in the Tropicana garage (cost $10).
I’m not sure if the tank option was listed when I registered because I ended up with a medium, which is what I usually get for the Atlantic City races but not if it’s a women’s cut. The tank is adorable, however it’s entirely see through and too small which is disappointing. I lost the race shirt lottery this go around.
However, they had shirts and towels for sale after the race. My friend purchased a men’s shirt and since they were priced at one for $15 or two for $20, she got one for me too (thanks Chrissy!).
Despite the recent sunny weather, the forecast for that morning was looking a bit on the dreary side with the potential for thunderstorms. I don’t mind running in the rain, but I didn’t know what they’d do if there was lightning. Thankfully Mother Nature was on our side this time and while it was overcast, that also meant that it wasn’t oppressively hot.
Lifelong friend, Chrissy and I have done our fair share of Atlantic City running together. We do a lot of the races together and meet up to train there as well because it’s about an hour from each of us. We’d both not trained as much as we had planned for this race so we decided to stick together and just have fun.
I met Katie through Instagram originally and then she told me about the Sub-30 Club, we became friend friends (are you following this?) and finally met in person at this race! She said she’d like to stick with us through this race, which was awesome! We set the interval timer at 1:1 and lined up at the start.
The course was what I’ve deemed: April Fools Half, lite. It’s actually very similar to what Chrissy and I do when we are running our training runs there, which made it comfortable for us.
I really loved the fundraising mission of this race:
In partnership with FACES 4 Autism, the Milton & Betty Katz JCC in Margate, NJ now offers Adaptive Swim Lessons, a specialized swim program designed to enhance the lives of children on the autism spectrum and to teach children with autism how to survive in the water.
The Adaptive Swim Lesson program includes individualized lessons based on each child’s level of ability with specially trained swim instructors. Additional pool support staff are often needed to help facilitate the lesson.
Your support of the Bungalow Beach Run 5 will help provide funding for the additional resources needed to enable children on the autism spectrum participation in life – saving swim lessons.
After the singing of the National Anthem, we were off for our 5 mile jaunt. We fell into our 1:1 intervals and took it easy as we headed along the boardwalk. After the hotels and casinos it becomes more residential, with homes on one side and the beach/ocean on the other.
There was one portion of the race that kicked over onto the street (rather than staying on the boardwalk). I’m assuming this was for variety, it happens during the half course too. Thankfully we weren’t on the street too long because I’d rather run on the boards!
There was a radio station at the turns off and on the boardwalk but otherwise it was pretty quiet. The volunteers at each water station were very enthusiastic, as always, and since it’s an out and back they are plentiful.
The finish line was on the beach, making it a true BEACH RUN.
It was not easy. Beach running near the water with packed down sand is not easy. Beach running on wavy sand? Brutal!
When Chrissy, Katie, and I came around the corner a few choice words were said. I couldn’t help but laugh the entire time! Thankfully it was only about 100 yards until we crossed the finish line.
After we crossed the finish and got our medals there were tables set up with water, Gatorade, bananas, water ice, and other goodies. We grabbed a few and headed down near the water to take a few pictures and celebrate our 5 miles.
I absolutely LOVE the medal’s beach-y feel. Isn’t it awesome?
To wrap the race up right, there was a party at Bungalow Beach AC, which is where runners could get their free beer. This area was really cute and we got to cheer for all of race winners as they were announced.
All told, it was a great morning. Registering early helped keep the price low. I’ve used my new towel multiple times in the past week by my pool and I love all the perks that come along with running in Atlantic City. It’s always a race series that does it up right and I’m looking forward to returning for the 10k in October!
No races in July (look at me sticking to the no racing in summer rule…). In August I’ve got Vacation Races Elk Double, City Fit Girls Retreat, and the Philly 10k (just kidding about me sticking to the no racing in summer rule…).