After an afternoon of taking it easy, Sharkie and I headed downtown Wilmington with our cowbells. The run course goes right through downtown Wilmington by the docks. We treated ourselves to ice cream and a caramel apple while we cheered the runners on.
All the runners looked great, most with big smiles. It is a 2 loop run course. We sat near the 3 & 16 mile marker. We sat for over an hour cheering and clanging our bells.
We were also sitting near the water taxi loading area for the finish. There was no car traffic to the finish area only the water taxi back and forth. As people unloaded from the taxi, we heard some stories of waiting in line for close to 2 hours to come back. It looked challenging trying to bring your bike and gear on the water taxi. We knew the sun would be going dow soon so we went back to the hotel and changed into warmer clothes to go to the finish on the other side of the Cape Fear Waterway.
We waited about 15 minutes in line to take the water taxi to the battleship. The finish area looked awesome lit up at night. We were just watching the finish of IMFL on the computer and were ready to make a comparison and final thoughts.
We were watching the finishers in the 12-13 hour range and they looked great. Next we walked down to the turn around for runners to head out onto loop 2. There were many special needs backs still waiting for their owners and I knew if I did this race that mine would be one of them.
We went back to the finsh line and continued to cheer. The temperature dropped to the low 50's . The music was blaring and the announcer shouted out every finishers name as they came in. Each finisher received a Beach2Battleship finisher shirt and a totally awesome medal. Although it was a much smaller race than IMFL, there was the same atmosphere and excitement.
We were so chilled that we soon headed back to the hotel. They had opened the finish to car traffic so the line for the water taxi was only a 30 minute wait. We ran into Bill from NC. He had completed IMCDA in June and now this race. We began to pick his brain about the race. He had nothing but positive things to say about the race. Big kudos to all the support on the course.His 2 negative comments which were small was that the changing tent in T1 was too little and the road to run on from the swim finish to T1 hurt your feet especially out of the cold water. Another comment from the finisher next to us was that the carpet they put on the medal grates on the bridges felt like biking through sand. Absolutely everything else was positive!
The one thing that all the athletes did mention was the swim. Everyone had record times for the distance. They said the current made them feel like they had a rocket pack on your back. Being a weaker swimmer --this is my kind of swim!
For an inaugural race with a huge logistic challenge, Beach2Battleship did a phenomenal job. The few problems that they did have, I am sure they will address before next year. Sign up for next year will be on December 1st and they hope to increase the size to 750 athletes in the full and 750 in the half. The race date has not been announced yet and I am hoping they move it up a few weeks to get away from the chilly weather.
Waddling with hopes to be running through this next year...............