Race Recap: Never Quit Beach Fest 5k

I ran in the Never Quit Beach Fest 5k on May 21, 2011.  We started the race early in the evening at 5:00pm on what felt like one of the hottest days of the year.  It was 93 degrees on the beach.  I had to work early in the morning, but I left early so I can make it to beach for the race.  I rushed home to change and made myself a pre-run snack - a cinnamon bagel with peanut butter and some Gatorade.  I left my place with I thought was enough time to spare, but it took me longer to get to the location than I expected.  The traffic to the beach was ridiculous and the parking was almost nonexistent.  I drove around for about 20 minutes looking for parking until I stalked someone walking to back to their car.  At this point it was about 4:30pm and I was about 7 blocks away from the start line and I hadn’t even picked up my race packet yet.  Luckily, by the time I met up with my friend, Maria, I had about 10 minutes to spare to get lined up.  We weren’t able to get towards the front of the start line, because of the large crowd.  There were about 5,000 people running on the beach so getting past the start line was a very slow.

The first 2/3 of the race was okay, but it was super hot.  I started out running in the 9:00 mile paces and I crossed the first mile at 9:15.  Mile 2 was a little harder and I had to tell myself to “keep going!”  I starting breathing very hard after mile 1 up until the halfway mark and then I had to walk in order to catch my breath.  I started to feel a little nauseous and light-headed, but I figured it was because of the extreme humidity and the sun blaring down on us.  I ended up passing the 2 mile clock at about 19:50.  During the last mile, my pace slowed to about 11 or 12-minute mile and I was huffing and puffing and I stopped to walk every few minutes.  I think that the heat and running on the beach really effected my time. Even though the sand was hard-packed, it was a little difficult to run the whole way. 

I crossed the finish line at 31:44 L - this was certainly not my personal best and I wasn’t pleased with my performance. As I’ve mentioned before, all races are not equal.  The final stats on the website posted that the race had 4191 total finishers – 1294 male finishers and 2897 female finishers.  This was a great race that I would be happy to participate in again next year – maybe it won’t be so hot.  What I loved most about the Never Quit Beach Fest 5k Race was how many people came out to support such a wonderful cause.  The Never Quit mission is to educate the community on how to avoid brain bleeds, stroke and heart disease through healthy life choices and to encourage everyone to take on a Never Quit attitude and live life to its fullest.   
OXOX Natasha

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