Thursday, March 19, 2015

Race Report: Ocean's Run

My digs for the evening
in Matunuck, Rhode Island
I planned to do a little road trip... nay, a RHODE trip, to get the state of Rhode Island off my list, and actually as a last minute race; my New Hampshire race on February 22 (Half at the Hamptons) got postponed due to weather to March 15 (which I couldn't do because it was the same day as the NYC Half) and then the race itself got completely cancelled.  For my goals to reach the "Sun" in Half Fanatics, I needed another race in a new state, so I decided to do Rhode Island because of its convenience, only a three hour drive from NYC.

My roommate for the night, Oscar!
I left Saturday afternoon around 4pm with a rental car from the LaGuardia Airport Hertz, and battled through traffic on the Whitestone Bridge (it was a GORGEOUS day with temps finally approaching the mid to high 40s) before I was on my way to the Ocean State.  I arrived about 7:45pm to the little village of Matunuck in the town of South Kingstown, still partly buried in the amazing accumulation of snow that New England had received over the course of the winter. I arranged for an AirBnB at an incredibly cheap rate - due to the fact that I'd have to take care of the host's dog while I was there, since she was busy working a shift as an EMT in town... and it was in the pilot house of a boat right on the water!  After familiarizing myself with the surroundings (and with Oscar, the pup), I headed out for some carbloading at the renowned "pond-to-table" restaurant, Matunuck Oyster Bar, which happened to be serving a special menu for Narragansett Restaurant Week.  I partook in a local beer, Matunuck oysters, some clam chowder, a heaping plate of clams and linguini, and an incredible dessert of chocolate bread pudding.  The food was perfect, and upon finishing and heading home, I was ready for bed.
The perfect way to carb load.  Clams and linguini!

Ready to get started on this
chilly Rhode Island morning!
The morning came very quickly, and I got myself dressed for the race and out the door to drive to Matunuck Elementary School, where we were asked to park.  From there, we boarded a bus to take us to the start line.  It was a small race, just under 400 participants.  The course had been slightly altered due to the snow still on the ground, but we were ready to go - in fact the heated tent where we could pick up our bibs was on a thick sheet of ice on the beach parking lot.

Much of the route was on roads
very similar to this. 
At 8:15, we were off.  I decided the night before that I was going to run/walk this race using the Galloway method - precise timing of certain amounts of running, followed by short periods of walking, repeated for the entirety of the race.  I had programmed my Garmin to alert me to run for 4 minutes, 30 seconds, and then walk for 30 seconds.  I decided to run through the first ten minutes of the race and the last ten minutes of the race.  The course took us south down on Matunuck Beach Road toward residential areas right along Potter Pond, looping down and back on Prospect Road, and then out and back on Ocean Road, before taking Matunuck Beach Road back toward the startline again.  We made a turn onto Atlantic, Cove, and Washington Streets, and before we knew it, we already had completed three miles, over some seemingly rolling hills.

With the Salve Regina Seahawk!
One of the great things of this race was that there were aid stations at every mile marker along the course.  After continuing back on Matunuck Beach Road, we headed in the direction of the school, and then turned on to Matunuck School House Road for a good three mile segment, surrounded by open Rhode Island coastal farmland, of course, covered by snow.  It smelled like nature too - or really, perhaps an errant skunk.  We turned south down Green Hill Beach Road, and for the next couple miles, went down more residential roads before getting back onto Matunuck School House for a shorter two mile run back, and then a turn onto Moonstone Beach Road after hitting mile 11, for the homestretch back toward the finish.  Along this route, we had a fun cheering squad from Salve Regina University in nearby Newport, Rhode Island, and I stopped for a quick picture with the sea hawk mascot that was out cheering runners on.  Soon, I turned onto Cards Point Road, and the finish was within visible distance.

The Ocean's Run finish line!
It was cold, but we made it!  I finished in a respectable 2:15:06, and after getting my finisher's pint glass (and a gift of the previous year's medal from the race director, as I had emailed her about my ritual headstand photo, which I took with Matunuck in the background), I headed back on the long walk back to the car, and back to the pilot house to take a much needed shower before I got back on the road again.

I stopped in Charlestown at the Charlestown Rathskeller for the race "afterparty" where I grabbed a delicious broiled Point Judith flounder for lunch, and was approached by a few members of the race director's team, who were aware of my goal and my ritual picture.  Soon I was back on the road to head back to NYC and call it an evening.

The harbor just outside of the place where I stayed

Shhh... I got a medal, but it's from last year!  Everyone
this year got a finisher's pint glass...

Post-race meal.  FLOUNDER! Yum :)

Victory Headstand!

1 comment:

  1. Thinking about signing up for this in March... so glad this is here for me to see all your yummy food stops...