Last Race of 2015: Holiday Half-Marathon and 8k, Point Clear, Alabama

23 01 2016

OK, it’s a familiar theme by now: it should have been the half-marathon but my injury made it the 8k.  Regardless, what a great race this was!  Not only did I walk the whole 8k and emerge smiling with no foot pain (thus pronouncing myself cured of the self-induced-by-sheer-stupidity plantar fasciitis) but it was a beautiful day in sunny Alabama on the shores of Mobile Bay and a perfect day for a race.

December 12, 2015, was a beautiful warm morning at Mullet Point Park when the runners gathered for the race.  Temps started out in the high 50s and went up to mid 70s with abundant sunshine.   The area is just along the bay and the race was held on local roads in a beachside residential area.

Race runners

Like I said in my race day tweet, it was a good morningrace about to start in a Runner’s Paradise.  The race started at 8:30 am and took off from Mullet Point Park (where parking was available along the local road once the tiny parking lot filled up).  There were about 185 runners in the 8k and about 270 in the half marathon.  Porta-potties were few in number at the start/finish area but the lines moved quickly.  The races began on time and we took off down the unshouldered road along the bay.  The course was pleasantly flat.  The sun climbed in the sky and eventually, I shed my race shirt and carried it as I ran/walked (mostly walked) with my tank top keeping me decent.   For a December day, this Chicago girl was very happy to be racing in such warmth and sunshine amid the beautiful scenery.

Honestly, I don’t remember much about the race except happily traversing the long straight road with lush greenery on one side and bayside houses on stilts along the bay on the other.  There were water stops adequately supplied and the course was well marked.  I was so engrossed in the actual experience of the race (and especially the lack of pain in my foot) that I didn’t pay attention to much else.   Although I was certainly slow enough, I didn’t think to take photos.  It was over 4 months since I’d done a race without pain and I was just so happy to be there.

I reached the turnaround and then eventually the finish line where the post race goodies were impressive for such a small event: pizza, muffins, bananas, beer, soda and water.  My overall impression was that it was a well-organized race and one I certainly would run again if I was in the area.race finish line

Having a December birthday, I give myself a “birthday race” every year somewhere in a warm climate so I have an excuse to travel away from the gray skies and snow of Northern Illinois in December.  The Holiday Half-Marathon and 8k in Point Clear, Alabama, did not disappoint.  It was the last race of an injury-wracked year but it concluded 2015 on a pleasant note.  Later that day, I headed to the city I call “the second home of my heart”, New Orleans LA — where I first became a runner and where I ran my first half-marathon.

This is not much of a race report and I apologise but it will have to do.  Running bloggers write for the benefit of other runners so please just take my word for it.  You will like this race.  Parking is good, toilets are not bad, amenities are plentiful enough, the scenery is great, post-race goodies will not disappoint and it is a small enough race that you’re not crowded in with thousands of runners.  Look up Fairhope AL on the map and you’ll find it easy to get to.  I flew into New Orleans and drove there (then back to NOLa to celebrate my birthday the rest of the weekend).  The Hampton in Fairhope was a nice place to stay, and it wasn’t hard to find the race via the GPS on my iPhone.

So that concludes 2015, my most-injured year, a condition I am determined never to repeat.

2015 races.jpg

Next up:  2016, and yet another promise to be a better blogger.




2 responses

23 01 2016

Heading to warmer climes is a great idea for a birthday holiday run. I wish I could do more “winter” racing in much warmer climates than Canada.

24 01 2016

I highly recommend it. Since starting running in 2008, I’ve done New Orleans in 2009, Florida 2010 (but it was unseasonably cold that year), South Carolina 2012, Mississippi 2013, Texas 2014 and now Alabama. I’m running out of warm states, but I’ll find one I haven’t run in yet for this year.

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