Friday, January 10, it was time for me to pack it up and hit the road again! This time, I was riding with our good friend, Jennifer Sloan Ziegler. Ahead? A weekend of fun in Pensacola and Mobile!
My Jennifer was out of town but would be heading to Pensacola from the East. Jennifer Z picked me up from work in Jackson and we headed to Lucedale MS to join up with Pam Slay Pitts. Yep, it was the Mississippi Mob planning our invasion of Florida and Alabama, two states that would never be the same after our visit! Jennifer C would complete our quartet.
We arrived in Pensacola just in time for dinner at the Flounder Restaurant in Pensacola Beach. After some relaxing beverages, Seafood Nachos piled high with shrimp, cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos and God only knows what else, we finished off dinner with the “Biggest on the Beach Steak Burgers”. Next stop? The hotel and a good night’s sleep is the plan before the Half in the morning. My Jennifer arrived shortly after I checked into our room. Turn off the lights and call it a night!
This was a weekend for severe storms. We didn’t know until 12 noon Friday if the race would be cancelled or not. They decided to move the race up to 7:00 am and hopefully be finished before the rain came!
At 6:00 a.m., the first people I saw were two runners from Arkansas that we met in Allen TX at the New Year Double: Carol Earles and Teal Clark! Temperatures were in the mid 50s, windy and a bit hazy as the photos will show!
The Half was an out and back with a short diversion into a beachfront neighborhood. It followed J. Earle Bowden Way most of the course with a slight diversion into a beachfront neighborhood. Aid stations were plentiful and well staffed. They also had “cheering groups” of students who’s sole purpose was to help point you in the right direction and cheer you on!
If you like the beach, it was a nice peaceful run sprinkled with “good job” and “doing great” as runners passed each other on this scenic route. Because the winds from the approaching storm were a steady 15 mph with gusts, you could hear and see the breaking of the waves! The surprise on this cool windy day was the humidity, making things very muggy as the race continued.
Bullie was in rare form! At first he wanted to hit the beach for a little surfing but after reading the warnings and seeing it for himself… he decided to just hide in the bushes and try to scare runners! At the aid station located at Mile 5/8 (coming and going), Bullie met a nice girl and I decided a little Fireball and Gatorade were appropriate to knock off the chill! She had a great time with Bullie. He is such a flirt!
Along the way and after the race, we got to see Donna McKendree and also Mike Flynn (50 Stater and Half Fanatic). The After Party was a time to let your hair down and have some fun. We enjoyed some pizza and beverages. Jennifer showed off her medal, and Bullie got the give some advice to the band… “what you need is some more cowbell!” Soon it was time to hit the road and head to Mobile! Part 2… to be continued!