Saturday a week ago I checked into Crazy Town. Unfortunately for my wife, I took her with me. We had a 3 hour drive from Lititz, Pa to Cape May, NJ. We booked a room at Congress Hall in Cape May in preparation for the Ocean Drive Marathon on Sunday. Me, I’m ready to leave at 5 in the morning but we weren’t in a rush. We got on the road about 10:30. I was antsy but did my best to keep it under control. I was moderately successful, almost. When you’re in crazy town it’s difficult to calm down.
Drive was good (for me). I think I talked the whole way. We went directly to the expo and packet pickup which was at the Convention Center on the boardwalk in Wildwood. My crazy town mood was such that I couldn’t get everything done soon enough. I was bouncing around like a crazy person. Poor Cheryl, she slid into “you just go and I’ll follow you” mode. I’d ask her what she wanted to do but I was so nuts it didn’t really matter. She just humored me. There’s a special place in heaven for runner’s significant others and spouses.
We went out to a really nice dinner. I loaded up on a seafood pasta dish that was amazing. During dinner I asked Cheryl, “I’m pretty nuts aren’t I?” She assured me I was.
Runners describe it in a lot of different ways with a lot of different words but many of us visit crazy town just before a race. Doesn’t matter if it’s a half, a full or a 5K; crazy town just seems to attract us. I think it’s normal. A combination of anticipation, nerves and adrenaline.
Don’t be surprised is you check into crazy town later this week in anticipation of the race. Just make sure to get those low mileage runs in to keep your legs loose. Don’t go over doing it because a couple of miles feels more like a warm-up than a real run.
A New Experience
The Ocean Drive marathon started at 9:00 a.m., however, for 5 hour plus finishers they had an early start at 8:00 a.m. We don’t do an early start at Garden Spot. Everyone starts at 8:00 but we keep the finish line open until the last person finishes.
ODM was an out and back from Sea Isle City to North Wildwood. I checked out of Crazy Town the minute I crossed the starting line. The 13 out was a breeze with the wind at our backs. As soon as we made the turn – the return 13 were directly into a head wind. Oh my goodness. It was brutal, but then we were running along the ocean at the end of March. Just like our race, you never know what kind of weather you’re going to get. The 6 inches of snow really surprised us last year but the reviews were some of our best ever. I can’t tell you the number of people who said they just loved that race!
It’s been mentioned in these blogs how this year was my most disciplined training season. I’ve done a bunch of halfs and this was my 5th marathon. I’ve never been a disciplined trainer. I always finished, which just goes to show that you can do it, even if your training fell apart. Sticking to plan, however, made a big difference. I shaved 26:41 off my best previous time and finished in 5:14:41. I was very happy with that finish. I fully expected to finish around 5:35.
This is the final blog for this season before the race next Saturday. We’ve posted the Runner’s Guide on the website and pictures of the medals and shirts. We start the race promptly at 8:00 a.m. My suggestion is that you plan to arrive around 7:00 a.m. to play it safe. There’s a traffic jam once a year in New Holland and it’s the day of our race.
Parking attendants are on the job around 5:30 a.m. and we’ll be out setting up. There are a few port-a-pots by the parking lot for those who over hydrate on the drive :). There will be a bunch more by the recovery tent just beyond the Starting Line. There are 60 port-a-pots in total on the campus.
There are changing tents and clothing drop off. If you shed clothing along the route we pick it up and take it back to clothing pick up. Any clothing that is not picked up is laundered and donated to a local clothing bank. Complimentary massages after the race for all runners. There are showers plus a heated pool and spa that you can use.
There are bells to ring for PRs, 1st Marathon/Half or just in celebration. There is a photo wall and this year we added elevated champion stands and celebratory signs you can hold to get your picture taken. Bouquets and single roses will be for sale for presentation to your special finisher.
If it’s cold we’ll let you in the recovery tent before the race. There will be coffee and donuts at the concession stand starting at 6:00 a.m. There’s a Starbucks just inside the main entrance to our building that your friends and family are welcome to visit after you start to run.
We do our best to make it an outstanding experience for you and your guests. We hope you have the run of your life. Enjoy every step! See you Friday night and/or Saturday.