Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Atlantic City Marathon Series King Neptune Challenge to as part of being a BibRave Ambassador.
If you follow my racing adventures, you already know what a big fan I am of the Atlantic City Marathon Series races. Whether it be the April Fools weekend, the Bungalow Beach 5 Miler, or their fall races, you can usually find me at one, two, or three of these weekends each year. I was extremely excited when they teamed up with BibRave this year to promote their races!
I am not a marathoner (yet?) but I wanted to challenge myself during the weekend. The King Neptune Challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity. What is it, exactly? It’s when you run both race days – Saturday and Sunday. You’re able to choose your race distance – 5k or 10k on Saturday and half or full marathon on Sunday. I chose the 5k and half option.
My house is an easy hour drive away so I landed on driving down and back each day. Additionally, a friend and I drove down for the race expo on Friday afternoon. Quick tip: Get a player’s card for the host hotel; it will make your parking cheaper!
The expo was held at Bally’s this year. It was a smaller experience and easy to get our bibs and shirts. The volunteers throughout the entire weekend were wonderful and great to chat with. After getting my two bibs and three shirts, I visited their merch booth and bought a comfy sweatshirt too. I’ve been living in it ever since!
Saturday’s weather was fantastic and the 5k was lovely. I wasn’t sure my exact game plan for the pacing of my 5k but I wound up keeping a solid pace for me and I was happy with what I did. After crossing the finish line I quickly got a water, banana, and my medal. The medals were awesome this year! I love that they’ve been changing up the look recently. The afterparty is always enjoyable – complete with the BEST bagels (truly), snacks, and a drink ticket for a beer or Truly.
Mother Nature was not as kind to us on Sunday. It was a mix of rain and wind but at least it was not super cold! I wore a singlet and I was comfortable the entire time. On this day, my BibRave sisters, Riley and Vanessa joined in the fun for the full marathon. It was great seeing them before the race and I saw Vanessa a few times on the course. A beacon of orange!
I’ve never actually ran this 13.1 course in Atlantic City before and I loved it. The first half was through the streets of Atlantic City, there were a few “hills” with ramps and a tunnel, which kept things interesting. I really enjoyed it, despite fighting the headwind.
The second half was on the boardwalk, which is where I’m used to running in Atlantic City. It was comfortable and there was a tailwind at points so it felt like the wind was carrying me forward (always a nice push!). The tough part is going past the finish line and then having to go another mile and change before turning around to then return to the finish.
My training cycle was pretty solid so I felt great throughout the entire race. Crossing the finish line was joyful and again, the afterparty was solid. Plus, check out these medals!
Already looking forward to the next time in AC!
I have more races in the works and I’m trying to get back to writing about each since I’ve missed the blog.