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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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?

Kids Will Be Kids: Inspiring and Motivating

Pooks is at the stage in his running career when as soon as a race ends, he immediately asks “When is my next race?” Which is awesome because that enthusiasm is beautiful at age 8… and at age 36.


After this past Sunday’s 5k with Jay, he’s ready for the next race and wants to know what we have on the agenda. He’s actually signed up the runDisney Kids Run next month during Wine and Dine. (We’re surprising the kids with this trip so shhhh, don’t tell!)

Now, I’ll also say this. While he’s runs with gusto, he’s not extremely fast.  He’s not winning any age group awards.


He’s racing because he enjoys spending time with his parents.

He’s racing because he has that enthusiasm for running that doesn’t come with the love of winning, but with the pure love of moving.

Pooks is one of those kids in constant motion and has been since he was a baby. He might not be the best, he might not be winning any tangible prizes or medals, but he’s doing his best. The Cub Scouts motto is “Do your best” and it’s one that we try to foster within our household. Note that doesn’t say “Be the best”… it says do your best. Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes better.

I’ve said to before but for the people who are new to this blog (or don’t keep track of my every move), I didn’t start running until two years ago. I run for myself but the fact that my kids are watching me certainly motivates me to keep going. These little people that we created are watching our every move. They look to us for guidance in every aspect of their lives at this point and that is priceless.

I want to do right by them.

And while I’m sidelined by my own injury, I still want to encourage their love for motion. I want them to have fun while exercising and it needs to have some glimmer of fun for me, too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it. And they probably wouldn’t either.

What is absolutely fantastic is that when Pooks gets home from a race, Little immediately wants to have a race of his own. Complete with a bib.

This "race" was four laps around the yard. The finish line was my husband and myself holding a ribbon for him to run through.

This “race” was four laps around the yard. The finish line was my husband and myself holding a ribbon for him to run through.

A few months ago, bamagirlruns posted videos on Instagram of her husband doing workouts with her children and what looked like all the kids of their neighborhood as well. Inspired by this, my kids and I took our yard for our own workouts.

Getting planky with it. Notice that Little makes the downward dog modification to his.

Getting planky with it. Notice that Little makes the downward dog modification.

We have stations in the corners of the yard, some at my suggestion and some at theirs and we run from corner to corner. My Little has Autism and is very selective on what foods he will eat (white and orange foods). While I have very little control over that, he’s always down for a good frolic in the yard!

Right now the boys have gym class once a week in school. New Jersey requires physical education throughout all years of schooling but the short amount of time they have at school for active play isn’t enough. So we supplement at home and thankfully my boys are willing participants.

I’m not concerned so much with their form at this point, that will come with time. Right now, they’re out there, they’re having fun, and they’re moving!

Bear crawls and crab walks are among their favorites.

Bear crawls and crab walks are among their favorites.

Fall is always our “busy” season. Actually, so are winter, spring and summer. But fall is when things really seem to get crazy. We’ve got school, homework, after school activities, Cub Scouts, piano lessons, etc etc etc. Setting aside 10-20 minutes a day to getting moving with my boys is something I look forward to because it’s ours and because I love seeing them turn to me with expectant looks on their faces, asking, What’s next?

What are some family activities you do together? How did you find the love of running (or swimming, or cycling)? Any ideas for fun “stations” for the kids? (I saw a friend used a game spinner the other day during her workout and I’m definitely thinking that’s something I’ll have to incorporate.)