Monday, February 11, 2013

Best Damn Race Half-Marathon Recap...

First let me say that the Best Damn Race lived up to it's claim, they did everything right. As of yesterday I have run...
  • 1-Marathon
  • 14-Half-Marathons
  • 2-10k's 
  • 5-5k's
  • 1-Half-Ironman
  • 1-Olympic tri
  • 5-Sprint tri
And so far they win on every count; price, course, fuel at the water stops, food(they actually had enough for everyone!!!), post race music (not to loud and overbearing), beer (you could have more than one, even if we would only drink Michelob Ultra if it is free after a race), pictures & video, and finally I got a 1 minute 46 second PR. But I'm getting ahead of myself so lets start from the beginning. 

Sometime last year I head about the Best Damn Race, they were doing a registration promotion where the fee to register started at $1 and went up from there. I actually got in for $1 but the system crashed and when my registration finally went through it was higher but I still got in for $10 dollars which is insanely cheap for a half-marathon.  

Honestly I didn't think the race would be any different than any other race I have run and I was just excited to be able to do a cheap race. What I didn't expect was than a week after the race I would still be thinking of new reasons this half truly was the BEST DAMN RACE. 

On Thursday after I escaped Biochem I headed down to Sports Authority to pick up our race packets (James was running the 10k). Packet pickup opened at 3pm but I was about 15 minutes early and was able to get in and out in about 5 minutes. 

Race day James and I got up extra early and headed to beautiful Safety Harbor so he could start his 10k at 6:30am. We got there in plenty of time and ended up hanging out in the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa.

From BDR Facebook page
It was pretty cool out so it was nice to have somewhere warm to hang out and they have nice clean bathrooms which is always awesome on race morning.

Photo from Denise
 Pretty soon it was time for the 10k to start so I headed out and watched James take off. Once everyone was off the half-marathoners had a 45 minute wait so I just hung out and waited to get started.

Soon enough we were off, I didn't have a specific goal for the race because I'm running thirteen 13.1's this year so even though I would love a PR at every race I know that isn't going to happen.

Avg pace
2:16:30 PR

I didn't carry my camera with me so I don't have a mile by mile recap but I did end up with a 1 minute 46 second PR. I need to learn how to be mentally tougher I tend to get bored and tired around mile 9 and just give up and stop caring about my pace or a potential PR.

Now for the reasons I think this truly was the BEST DAMN RACE!

Photo from Denise

Price and Course
You already know about the price, but honestly even if they don't offer the same deal for 2014 I will still be in. Second is the location and course, I had never been to Safety Harbor even though I have lived in Florida my entire life, it was a beautiful place to hold a race. The second was the course not only was if incredibly scenic each mile was measured exactly (my Garmin mile splits sounded exactly as I passed each mile marker and as I crossed the finish line I was at 13.11 miles).

Water Stops
There were plenty of water stops and they even had Gu Roctane around mile 4 and regular Gu later in the course. The only complaint is that at a few of the stops they were struggling to pour the water fast enough, but the thing is they powered through and got it done.

Photo from Denise

Post Race Music and Beer
The post race party was great they had a DJ playing music and plenty of beer for everyone. The music was loud enough but you were able to carry on a conversation without yelling. The beer was just normal race beer but there was enough for everyone to have a few and although I would never buy Michelob Ultra I will take a cold cup of it after a long race.

Photo from Denise

Here is the big one for me they had good food and so much of it. I have done so many races that when I'm done there is nothing but fruit left, at the Best Damn Race 2 hours after we finished there was still Jimmy John's sandwiches, fruit, granola bars, and other snacks. I think this is the part that I am most impressed with, after I finished my half-ironman there was no food which after 6+ hours of racing is unacceptable. 
Full Video
Pictures and Video
Finally, not only did they have the normal race pictures, they also included shots of Safety Harbor in case you want to order those pictures but what I think is most unique is that they included a video of each finisher crossing the finish line. How cool is that???

It was sunny I couldn't see anything!

Overall is was a really fun day, I got a nice PR, and a new race to add to my schedule next year.

Thirteen 13.1's in 2013

  1. Walt Disney World Half-Marathon- 2:22:08
  2. Clearwater Half-Marathon- 2:22:30
  3. Best Damn Race Half-Marathon- 2:16:30 PR 

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