It's advertised as 10 English miles. in the sand. nearly all of it. it starts at the harbor, then half a kilometer to the beach, then 7.5 km in the sand. then down the water line to the aid table for some water, turn around and hustle back.
it rained part of the race today but the weather was quite warm relatively speaking. ( two years ago it snowed.) the wind was 20 knots (upper end force 5). part of the challenge of running on the beach is the tide, which is coming in. so we run along the low tide line in the hard sand on the way out, and struggle to find a good line to run on the way back. I jumped a bunch of tide pools, which was fun.
major victory for me - I didn't wear a coat. just hat, gloves, neck gaiter, mizuno thermal top and regular full length tights. I told myself, you'll warm up right away - no need to carry the coat the whole distance. (it was only 42 F degrees) . I figured if I got cold, I'd be motivated to run faster.
I broke two hours, despite an incredible head wind that forced most people over their race results from last year. the beach is always the unknown. this was a real race for me - I ran the whole time with a group of people, drafting behind some runners to save energy for the run back. running with others motivated me to pick up the pace on the way back. since I "rested" in the lee for 8 km on the way out, I felt really strong on the way back. even though the section of mashed-potato-sand where the course left the beach and headed to the finish line. I ran the last kilometer fastest.
reward - fish fry and pea soup. plus smoked mackerel to take home. really a nice day.
most interesting reflection is that I have run very little the last four months, trying to reduce the inflammation in my right foot. but I've been lifting a lot and doing intense short work. and I think that paid off for me.