The Twin Lights Half Marathon is my first 13.1 mile run for this year. It was held in Gloucester, Massachusetts, just at the north side of the harbor and famous for the movie, The Perfect Storm. The breathtaking view of the shore plus the friendly town atmosphere makes it a good location for any running event.
Similar to all the events I joined here in Mass, I always go for the online registration and similar to other events race kit pickups are scheduled during the event itself. The race was scheduled to start at 9:00 AM on a fine sunny yet cold morning of May 5. Race kit pickups are open from 7:00 AM to 8:45 PM. Contrary to what was on the original schedule, the walkers category did not start at 8:45 , rather, they joined the runners at the start line.
I was at the location by 8:30 AM, unfortunately the queue toward the parking area at Good Harbor Beach is long and the parking is almost full. The registration tent was full of runners getting their own kits, one of the disadvantages of race day pickups. Good thing I already know my bib number, getting my stuff was a breeze. The pack contains the personalized bib with chip timing, a dri-fit shirt and get your own freebies which compose of energy bars and gels ( just in time for some power ups! ).
Ten minutes before 9, runners are all lined up waiting eager to start running. A moment of silence was dedicated to the Boston bombing victims and then the national anthem. The runners hit the road by 9 and the fast ones left us all in the dust.
The route is incredibly scenic, car traffic was well managed as flocks of 1000+ runners flood the road. It was a hilly ride, the elevation profile clearly shows three major humps, with the highest midway to the race. The town of Rockport, MA provided a breathtaking view of the shore. The cool breeze of air lifted each runners spirit and carried them through the hell of the hills.
Hydration stations are generous, 7 stations to keep each and everyone well hydrated and motivated. The route was filled with people cheering for their friends and families. Since we have our names on the bib, sometimes you hear your names being called out. The temperature was perfect for a 21K run. Indeed, the race was simple yet full of fun.
Post race activities are not to be written out as well. Gatorades, bottled cold water and Muscle Milk greeted each finisher. Aside from this, there is a post-race meal! Papa Ginos pizza and probably home-baked goodies was a treat.
Results came out fast. It was constantly updated while the race is still on-going. The result were available online in the evening. Photos came out 5 days later. I did not get a new PR. However, the result gave me the needed assurance that my fitness level is improving again :-) This race was not perfect, but once again it was a great experience in all aspect. Definitely a must run event next year , if I will still have the opportunity to be here.
- Great scenic route.
- Organized event.
- Chip Timing
- Challenging course
- Mile markers
- Energetic marshals and crowd
- A better parking management would be appreciated.
Definitely a must run event if you like breathtaking views and friendly atmosphere. It is not a perfect race but it hit most of the things a runner could wish full in an event. Simple and fun.
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