First, I’d like to apologize for taking so long to post about this amazing running festival. I think there’s a huge part of me that wants to keep it a secret because it’s such a fantastic weekend event that I really don’t want anyone else to know about it. It’s our secret awesome place, but it’s not realistic or nice to keep wonderful things a secret. Everyone should be able to enjoy this incredible race event. From start to finish, this is hands down the best and most affordable race weekends that’s out there.
Let’s start with the races that they offer. They have EVERYTHING! From 5K to 9K to half and marathon, there’s something for everyone. They now have challenges in which you do the 5K on Saturday and then either the 9K, half or full on Sunday. You get 3 gorgeous medals out of this so it’s totally worth it. We had a few gals that did one of the challenges this year. 3 of them did the 5K/9K and 1 did the 5K/Half. They loved it! This is the challenge group after the 5K on Saturday.
It’s safe to say that no matter what level runner (or walker) you are, you will enjoy one of the races at this festival.
Registration & Cost: These guys are ALWAYS throwing out coupons on Facebook and via email for 10% off. If you register early, the price of the races are so cheap. Right now, the full marathon is less than $100 (I think it might be $80) and you TOTALLY get your money’s worth. I’m pretty sure that the 9K I just did was only $50. I received more than enough for that price – the race swag was fabulous. More on this in a bit. It’s super easy to register and even create a team. Just head on over to www.codelrun.com
Packet Pick Up: It’s a breeze heading into Dewey Beach, parking, and going to the small race expo and packet pickup. We didn’t buy anything there, but there were a few vendors there selling discounted running shoes, socks, GU, and t-shirts. Typical expo stuff, but not overwhelming at all (at least when we went on Saturday afternoon). The only bummer was that the challenge runners could pick up their bibs and packets for the 5K only on Saturday morning but had to go back to the expo to pick up their next day’s bibs and packets later in the day. But when you’re hanging with friends, there’s no worries!
Race Courses: ARE WONDERFUL! The start line is at the Delaware Seashore State Park on Tower Road. It’s oceanside so it makes for a breezy, if not downright windy morning. This year, it was really cold at the start, but the great news is that the start line is at the parking lot so you can stay in your car for as long as possible then hop out, hit the port-o-potties, and then get right into your race corral.
The the short 9K on Sunday is a lovely run through residential areas and on the main road (I believe it’s route 1). The half marathon goes onto the boardwalk and heads out onto a trail, which is awesome. The scenery keeps changing so you are never bored slogging through the race, unless you’re doing the marathon of course. Marathoners can find themselves a bit lonely on the trail since they spend a lot of time there, but honestly, it’s flat and the races are chunked into different sections so you never feel like you’re in the same place for too long.
Port-O-Potty Situation: Gets a 9 out of 10! I never thought I’d say that, but they were clean-ish and the best part was they didn’t smell horrible even with all the nastiness happening inside. I was really pleased.
Race Swag: SO GOOD! Not only do you get a t-shirt, you also get a car magnet, a beer glass, AND an awesome trucker hat when you cross the finish line.
Post-Race Party: 11 out of 10! Not only do you get 3 beer tickets with your entrance (you read that. right, 3 tickets PER RUNNER), you get a huge all you can eat buffet of chicken, marinated portobello mushrooms, potato salad, pasta salad, rolls to make a sandwich, and cookies. It is so delicious! The best part is, you can sit outside on the little bay beach to enjoy your meal and drinks. It’s absolute perfection, even on a cool cloudy day.
After you’re done racing, you can stay and hang out until 3pm. They have a bus that takes you back to the parking lot with the cars. It really is the best run race festival we’ve ever been a part of. And the best thing, the money from your race entry benefits the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation and Delaware State Parks.
With those logistics out of the way, I just want to say how proud I am of all these lady beast runners that I got to cheer for. It was the most incredible experience to bring them into the finish line. It was Courtney’s first half marathon and she crushed it in 2 hours and 4 minutes. The 4 Marathon Mamas all hit their walls, but never gave up. They just kept taking one step until they crossed that finish line. I can’t even begin to express how it feels to stand at the last tenth of a mile of a marathon; the joy and excitement is overwhelming. More often than not I was moved to tears as we stood there cheering for our teammates but also strangers. I’ll never forget the “faces of a marathon” that I witnessed that morning. The perseverance is astounding and I believe so many runners make it across the finish line because of sheer willpower alone. Dead legs, injury, and fatigue isn’t masked on their faces, but the determination and focus always wins. It’s a life changing experience simply to observe that last tenth mile and I’m thankful for that time on the sidewalk.
The marathon wasn’t kind to our Mamas by any means. While it was a fast and flat course and the weather was a perfect 50 degree and cloudy day, each struggled and battled their own demons. Mama K2 had an asthma attack at mile 11 – MILE 11!!!- and kept going until she finished. By the time she got to the finish line she could barely take even a short breath. She had to spend time with the medics getting her back to a place where she could take a good deep breath. I’m pretty sure Mama T ran the full with some sort of virus or infection – her ears were so painful for the entire weekend and she got some nasty blisters in the last 10K of her race. Her feet looked so sore when she took her shoes off on the beach. Mama W’s knee started hurting badly at mile 17 and she had to walk a couple of miles until she could continue on, pushing through the pain. Mama D fought through every step to PR her marathon race time by almost an hour. Say what? That’s right. She finished the marathon with a 4 hour 18 minute time. The heart and sole for this event is evident in the photos below and our Marathon Mamas race video. We hope you enjoy them!
I would be remiss if I didn’t say a BIG THANK YOU for the continued encouragement as we Achieve goals and enjoy these race adventures. To all of our Sole Supporters, thank you so much for making these opportunities happen for us. You know who you are – the husbands and grandparents that watch the kids so we can train and go away for these races, the special friends that wait all morning to cheer for you and meet you at the finish line with a giant hug, the super special friend that puts on a Princess Leia costume and holds a sign that says “May the course be with you,” the extra super special friend that holds all of your things (AKA Race Sherpa) and drives around to find you on the course to take pictures and give you a couple of words of encouragement when you need it most – YOU are the champions here. Our victories are your victories. You are the reasons we can cross both the start and finish lines in the same day and keep achieving our goals. Once again, we are filled with gratitude.