Saturday’s race started at 7:05 at the Salisbury city park. Just like last year the start line was a short distance away from the finish, which was at the downtown area of Salisbury. I decided to park near the start line and walk over to to the start like last year. They did however have plenty of parking near the finish and a shuttle bringing runners over to the start area. The race director also seriously upped the number of bathrooms at the start area which was great!
The morning started out cool and foggy. I was thankful for the cool, cloudy weather as earlier in the week the forecast was looking hot and sunny. Last year it was hot and humid and made for tough race. I had planned to run with my best friend Laura, who is a speedy, consistent and determined runner. Even though she had zero training leading into the race I knew she would be a big help in my quest for a PR.
After giving a few celebratory hugs and getting my medal I turned to see Laura finish just a few seconds behind me. I teased most of the race that we were like Shalene and Desi at Boston last year (based on our hair colors of course haha!) There is NO way I would have been able to put this off without her by my side.
Here is a breakdown on my opinion of each part of the running event:
- Packet Pickup: THREE different options available to get your packet. While there is not a real “expo” it is quick and the local running store Try Cycle and Run is set up for any last minute running needs
- Pre-Race: the start area is unique in the fact that everyone congregates by the band stand but the actual start is up on the road. There were plenty of bathrooms and I did not hear of any transportation issues. You also could get your packet the morning of the race by the band stand area!
- Course: I really enjoy the Half Marathon course. It features farm land, local neighborhoods, Salisbury University Campus (and tunnel which runs under route 13), beautiful Riverside houses, and then the iconic downtown plaza finish. With all the different backgrounds it keeps the course interesting. The course is flat with a few minor inclines and an overpass or two to run over- there is an uphill finish but the crowd support along this portion keeps you moving!
- Aid Stations: It seemed like every mile had an aid station that seems stocked with supplies. Looking back at details the stations were actually every 1.5 miles so there was always an opportunity to refuel. There were so many happy volunteers along the way. There also was a bathroom at every station as well.
- Swag: with registration you received a tech shirt and a koozie. This is an inexpensive race if you sign up early so I was not disappointed with the swag but to be honest I do love a finishers gift (hat, towel, or something a little extra). The medal was very nice and every distance did get a different sized medal. While we may not get a finisher item we do get FREE RACE PHOTOS! This is an awesome perk and very much appreciated!
- Post-Race: the entertainment (band) and kid activities were great. The layout made the post race party great with different options of locations to hang out. With registration you do get two beer tickets which you could choose Michelob ultra or a craft beer from our local brewery Evolution. I did some some quick food items to grab after finishing but I do think they could offer more food- like pizza, soft pretzels or something a little more than fruit or a granola bar.
Did you run the Salisbury Full, half or 5k this year? What did you think?
Be sure to jump over to Race Advisors to see what others are saying about the 2019 event!
Next up the St. Michaels Running Festival half marathon. Thinking about signing up? visit www.runstm.com and register- use code AMBSTEW and save $10 on the half!