Half at the Hamptons: Race Recap

20 Feb

Yesterday I finished my 6th half marathon in 13 months, the Half at the Hamptons in Hampton Beach, NH.

I felt kind of off all morning, but I had myself convinced it was just nerves.

When we got there, we parked (at a lot called Chat, Chew, and Play – I’m still laughing about that) and walked over to the Ashworth by the Sea Hotel – where bib pick up was located.


I picked up my bib and t-shirt. I’m happy that the shirt is not a long sleeve tech tee – I have WAY too many of those already and I hardly wear them.


The good part about this is that we were able to wait inside – it was about 27 degrees out and windy. We were also able to use the indoor bathrooms.

While waiting I met up with Halen and Amy – I had never met either of them, just a lot of chatting on Twitter, so it was great to put faces to names!

The starting area was a bit crowded – since there was nothing separating the runners from the spectators – but it was easy to find the 9mm pacer, right where I wanted to be.

As soon as I took off I had a bad feeling about this race. I could not get my head in the game. I felt nauseous from the start, and my breathing was ragged and almost painful. Cold weather is the only time I cannot beat my exercise induced asthma. I fought side stitches from Mile 6 through the end. I had thought race day weather was going to be a bit warmer, not taking into consideration the wind, since we were by the ocean.


Still smiling – this was around Mile 2ish. Thanks to my bro for taking pics!

I ran the best race I could have run given the conditions – coming in with a 2:11:26 official finish time. That’s VERY close to my PR – and I’m not in the least bit upset with my performance. I had a very sound frame of mind going into the race – thanks to the ever so awesome Coachy. He said, “Remember, no matter what happens during this race, if it doesn’t go as well as you had expected, it’s out of your control. You have done everything right in training, and you are ready for this.” The stars just didn’t align for me yesterday, but I’m okay with that. New Orleans is in two weeks, and this was an ass kicking pre-marathon training run.

At Mile 11 I did see Jolene waiting and cheering for me, that was so AWESOME. It was just what I needed at the time. I did feel bad when the only thing I could say to her was, I think I’m going to throw up! You can see it in my face, these pics are from Mile 13.


Now, as for the race itself, it sucked (In my opinion).

First off – there were a total of 3 water stops. THREE. I was DYING. I never carry water during a race, I’ve never had to. I also normally look at the course map for location of the water stops, but this race didn’t outline the location of the water on the course map.

Second – I am known for being a hill lover. But for this race I wasn’t prepared for hills because it was touted as being “…the flattest course in New England for a half marathon…” I have friends that have run other half’s that I’m pretty sure are flatter than this was. The website also says no climbs bigger than 60 feet – well not according to my Garmin data (not including that crazy little blip at 4ish miles).

Hampton Half Hills

Does this look flat to you?

Third – The town. I don’t know what I was expecting but this town looked to me like 1960’s Jersey Shore. Or that scene in Dogma, along the boardwalk…


No one’s playing at Playland today

Anyway, I was less than impressed with what the town looked like. Other than runners I’m pretty sure it was deserted. All the business were boarded up, and it looked ghetto and creepy. Some of the neighborhood areas we ran through were nice…only one stands out in my mind though, it was a straight stretch surrounded on either side by tall pine trees.

Finally – The finish. Every race I’ve ever run has had people either handing you water at the end, or it’s RIGHT there. I found food before I found water. And at that, all I found for food was bananas and yogurt samples. I was about to give up and go drink my own water that I had in the car, when I finally found the water. And the medal is cheesy. It’s a cute idea, but it’s cheap.


I will never run this race again. There’s nothing about it that stands out in my mind and says “Maybe give it another chance next year.”

Post-race we went to a pub called the Coat of Arms in Portsmouth and met up with even more blogger/Twitter peeps. Unfortunately I had to bail after just 2 hours because my stomach was bothering me. Turns out, I’m pretty sure I ran this race with a stomach bug. I was sick all night last night, and still feel pretty weak, tired, and crappy today. It was so awesome to meet everyone. I can’t wait to do it again! And, I’m not sore today though, so that’s a plus!

Group at Coat of Arms

Halen, Greg, me, Janine, Amy 

Sorry for this post being such a downer. Look forward to my normal perky-ness tomorrow! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

P.S. Less than 2 weeks until Rock N Roll New Orleans. I’M STOKED!



37 Responses to “Half at the Hamptons: Race Recap”

  1. TriGirl February 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Congrats on finishing such a tough race! I can’t believe there were only 3 water stops! That kind of feedback would probably be good for the organizers to hear. Hope you’re feeling better today.

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      I do feel like I should email the race directors – but apparently this race has been happening for a long time, and no one else complained, so I just won’t run it again.

  2. eatingforexcellence February 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Hey congrats! You should be totally psyched about your performance. I am convinced that there is NOTHING worse than running with a side stitch. Absolutely nothing. The fact that you came that close to your PR is crazy! Awesome job 🙂

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

      There is DEFINITELY nothing worse than running with a side stitch! Except two side stitches. OUCH!

  3. Ari @ Ari's Menu February 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    2:11 is still awesome! Sorry the race was kind of lame for you 😦

  4. Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe February 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    If you get me sick, I’m not gonna be happy! Feel better soon!

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      I hope no one else gets sick! That would make me feel SOOOOO AWFUL!

  5. lindsay February 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    well at least you saw jolene and got a cute shirt, right? Next race is where’s it’s at!!

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Right! Love that girl, so glad I got see her again. And the shirt is really comfy, I’m wearing it right now.

  6. Laura February 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Way to push through and finish! I hate the unpredictability of races, sometimes you feel great, sometimes not so much. But 6 in the last 13 months is awesome!

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      I hate the unpredictability of races too – but I love to race! I guess you learn to deal, right?

  7. Lisa (Mom to Marathon) February 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m sorry it was such a disappointing race. You did a great job though! Congrats on another half finish!

  8. Happy Fit Mama February 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    I just had to leave a reply. I live on the Seacoast and laughed at your impression of Hampton. It really is a very, very sad little town especially during the winter. Way to overcome your ill feelings and finish! Good luck in New Orleans!

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      It’s a really unfortunately looking little town – it’s kind of sad really.

  9. jobo February 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Aww! Don’t worry about saying you feel like you were going to throw up 😉 I felt bad that you weren’t feeling it, but you were doing great and I am glad to have given you a little pick-me-up when you needed it. You did an awesome job, your time was really very good, so I am glad you aren’t beating yourself up for it!! XOXO

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      You’re a great friend, I’m so glad I got to see you, even if for only a few minutes!

      Pushing through this showed me what I’ll do in New Orleans under better conditions!

  10. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean February 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    glad you hung in there and were able to make the best of a bad situation! you’re a rockstar!

  11. Charlotte February 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Ufff! I’m sorry to hear it was sucks miserable course. 3 water stops? In 13.1 miles? Are they trying to kill people?

    Awesome job though! 2:11 with a craptastic course and not feeling well — just imagine how much butt you’re going to kill in new Orleans!!!!!

    Also that may be the ugliest medal I have ever seen. Like you said – cute idea but – just no.

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      Exactly. It was cold out, yes, but we still need to hydrate!

      It is an ugly medal – sheesh. And I love all things ocean too.

  12. Suzanne February 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Congrats on finishing such a tough race with a great time of 2:11! All of these things are deal breakers for me when it comes to deciding whether or not to run the race again. Sorry this was such a bad one for you!

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

      Thank you. I will definitely not run this one again!

  13. Heather (Where's the Beach) February 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Girl congrats on finishing that race especially in those conditions. Seriously, only 3 water stops??? That’s just insane!

    • runcupcake February 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      Isn’t it? I was baffled when I passed Mile 2 and there was still no water to be found!

  14. the MF Dre February 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Bummer it was a doozie! At least you know you can finish through the good and the bad! Time to change your head and move on to the next one because we all know that there is no room for two bad races in a row! Huge congrats for getting it done despite what sounds like a poorly planned race. You’re still a star.

  15. Jen February 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    I’m sorry it wasn’t the flat race you had been looking for. Now, if you want perfectly flat – I have the race for you – Race the Runways in Brunswick, Maine. April 7th.

    • Sandri March 8, 2012 at 6:21 am #

      awww what a fun race! I loved my experience in the rock and roll half in pilhly last year it was also my first ever expo and my first ever MEDAL so I completely understand the excitement, I was incredibly geeked out over mine!!Great job on the race though, what an awesome time! The race that I referred to, they had over 20,000 runners and it was INSANE at the beginning, but the excitement in the audience was palpable and I really enjoyed the experience!have a great day!

  16. Veronica February 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    If you think that’s hilly then you might want to rethink Reach the Beach 😛

    • runcupcake February 21, 2012 at 5:47 am #

      I don’t mind hills at all, when I’m expecting them!

  17. Run With Rabbits February 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Way to finish! I shudder to think of how much you paid for such an awful experience/medal/water supply!

  18. Lisa @ RunWiki February 21, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    It sounds like it was a tough one.. good job braving it out. Love to read these re-caps because sometimes the race that sounds the best is indeed the most poorly planned. Congratulations on a job well done despite less than stellar circumstances.

  19. Kierston February 21, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Congrats on finishing the race given the conditions!!! Sorry to hear about your side stitch (ouch!)! Again, great job 🙂

  20. Kristin February 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Ugggh! I’m sorry to hear that this race was the experience it was. I hope you didn’t pay a lot of money for it. As for your stomach bug, let it run it’s course (no pun intended) now because we have 12 MORE DAYS!

  21. JessSutera February 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Friend, you know how I feel about this but I’ll say it again – I’m damn proud of you for pushing through this race *and* for not letting the end result get to you. HUGE growth as a runner not to let the end result, whatever it may be, cause your mind to go crazy on you. Like you said — bring on New Orleans!! BRING IT!! 🙂 xoxo


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