Run any race that finishes at the beach

I went down to New London on Saturday morning to meet up with the ever popular and fairly famous Running Chick with the Orange Hat - Dianna H. who coaxed me into running the John J. Kelley/Ocean Beach 11.6 Mile Run. My own commitment cemented hers so we both had to show; and we both were pleased for having made our decisions.

The race was exceptional in many ways:

(1) it was free entry;
(2) an unconventonal distance - 11.6 miles;
(3) it was extremely well organized, in its 46th year;
(4) there were eight water stops with cool/cold water and Gatorade staffed by friendly volunteers;
(5) the race started and ended at Ocean Beach, the popular public beach and boardwalk at the southern tip of New London, CT;
(6) the post race goodies included the typical banana and water but also included iced clams on the half shell and New England clam chowder.

You'd never believe how tasty a bowl of warm chowder can taste after running 11.6 miles in mid-70s temps!

Dianna and I met early, warmed up and mingled with the hordes of fans who all know the RCWTOH. We started together and I kindly kept a sub-9 minute pace for the first mile so we could enjoy some more running together; then we hit a hill and I watched Dianna chase after Beth and some other folks.

The course was mostly scenic with lots of shade most of the way, lots of hills including one that peaked at 125 feet above sea level. I enjoyed the race, walking through water stops to rehydrate and keeping a good pace throughout. My splits were all over the board but I didn't care. This was a fun run with the beach waiting for me after the finish line.

Dianna came out to watch me finish strong (1:53), then we met up with Beth again, had snacks and chowder, headed for the ocean and dunked in the cool water, avoiding the jellyfish. It was very refreshing. I highly recommend any race with ocean access after a hot run.

Dianna was as nice as ever; in fact even nicer than I remember. We shared potato chips after the run which was reminsicent of our run at Bluff Point three years ago.


Darrell said...

The post title about says it all. I am in complete and total agreement.

Looks like you may have to downgrade the name to RCWTOV (visor).

Michelle said...

Jealous I missed the meet up! Glad you two had fun...

CewTwo said...

Fun race report! I enjoyed it.

Being a land-locked Denverite, I doubt I would like the ocean, or jump into it after the race. BUT, that is me!

I put a shout out on my blog for you!

Joe said...

Man, you are enjoying the vacation...even the run is a mellow, enjoyable time. Can't fathom clam chowder after a race but, if flavorful, it could work!!

Glad you had a nice time with Di. She's a gem.

Rae said...

Too fun!!! And those temps sound heavenly!

Runner Susan said...

I need ocean. Isn't everyone's goal to keep up with the RCWTOH?

Michelle said...

Been reading on and off for a while, and finally delurking to comment, now that you're vacationing where I live : ) This sounds like a great race - I may have to run it one of these years. There aren't many 11.6-mile races around - and it's free, too?!

aprilanne said...

Great post. :)

jeanne said...

i miss new england!!!

you two are so cute together! :)

Just12Finish said...

Amen to any race that ends at the beach. I still hope to run one someday!