I was asked a couple of months ago to run the half marathon during the Melbourne Music Marathon weekend by a friend. It was her 2nd half and her other friend’s first half marathon. I of course said yes since I prefer to run with others. I started running 3-4 miles on Wednesday nights with them using a 1 minute run to 30 second walk ratio. I mean if you only have a couple of months and you’re not a runner, the intervals are great.
I went to packet pickup on Friday to get all of our bibs and swag. Since it’s only a 45 minute drive for me, I took my daughter to the zoo for the afternoon. I headed to the hotel where the expo was around 4pm. There were separate lines for the bibs of each of the 4 races. I hopped in line and got our bibs, went to the next like to pick up our hats and grabbed some free sample Clif bars. Then I headed to the next line to pick up our shirts, bags, and snack containers. Publix is the main sponsor for this race, so they provided nice drawstring bags with reflective strips on them to the runners.
Sunday morning arrived and my alarm went off at 3:30am. I took a quick shower and got changed. Grabbed a bagel and went over to meet Melissa & Janine to head to Melbourne. We stopped at Walgreens (thank goodness it was open 24 hours) for some allergy meds and got parked around 6am. We had no clue when we needed to be there, but knew the full marathon started at 6:30 and we started at 7:05. It was a busy little area with the row of port-o-potties. We all took a POP stop and then chatted while watching everyone warm up.
I was running for fun, but Melissa had decided she wanted to complete the half in under 2:45. It was her 2nd half, but she had not trained for her first and wanted to meet a time goal. It was Janine’s first so she just wanted to finish. I told them we would make sure we finished and met the goal time.
One of the fun things about the Melbourne Music weekend is, well, the music! All throughout the course there are musicians playing for the runners. From jazz to rock to bagpipes to highschool band members. I really enjoyed this considering how boring I find running. I’m not one of those people who can shut off my brain, so I like to watch things as I’m running.
We ran the first 5 1/2 miles using our 1/:30 ratio of running and walking. We then decided to change to 1/1 for the rest of the run. It actually worked out well for us. And there was a piano player on top of the bridge around 6 miles!
There were a ton of water and Gatorade stops. There was a Haribo gummy bear stop around 8 miles, and around mile 9 there were Clif shots, bananas, oranges, & pickle juice. None of us were daring enough to try the pickle juice, but the gummy bears were a nice treat.
Around 9am it was still this foggy.
Visibility was about .10 mile, which I kind of liked not being able to see where we were going.
We were at 11 miles when Melissa & Janine started to slow down. I was watching the time and knew we could come in at our 2:45 goal easily, so motivator Sam came out. We had passed the 12 mile sign and were still on track to meet our goal. They told me to go, but I was there for fun and was determined that we’d get to our goal. There was no mile 13 sign, or at least I never saw one. We were still doing 1/1 intervals and were coming close to our time goal. We turned the corner and could see the finish line, so Janine took off and I stayed with Melissa. We crossed the finish line with the clock reading 2:46, but my gps said 2:45:10. I knew we had made the 2:45, but we weren’t sure officially what our time was. While waiting in line for a drink, Melissa went to check our times. She came back with a huge smile on her face and said we made it! 2:44:42 was our official time!!!
Here’s a close up of the bling! It’s also a bottle opener.
I would highly recommend this half or full marathon to anyone looking for one in Central Florida. It was well-organized with lots of amenities, which included free pizza or pancakes and 2 beers at the end! So if you’re looking for a half in February, definitely check this one out.
Enjoy Your Adventure,