I don't remember how we all ended up registered for Atlantic City Half Ironman, but I imagine it went something like this....
person 1: hey guys... i don't know... I think I'm going to sign up for Atlantic City 70.3
person 2: uggggg
person 1: I know... but I think I'm going to do it anyway
person 3: ohhhhhhh, when is it
person 1: 9/23
Andrea (me): Ugggg, that's my birthday so I guess it's a sign that I should do it.
person 1: That's the spirit!
person 4: can someone send me the link
person 5 and 6: ok, signed up
person 2: uggggg, fine.
I'm sure it wasn't exactly like that, but probably very close.
However it happened, we were all signed up for the race. Corrine found us a great house right in Atlantic City and it fit our needs perfectly. Fine it wasn't in the nicest area ever, and perhaps going out after dark should be avoided at all cost (including but not limited to the liquor store... twice), but we were all happy and content. There was enough places for everyone's tush, and once we figured out how to use the TV (I'm not sure we ever figured it out, truly), we were able to watch Miss Congeniality together. A perfect pre-race evening.
Nicki and Jess went above and beyond to prepare the most delicious meals for us both nights we were there. Nicki with shrimp, steak and tofu prepared with an Asian sesame sauce that was an absolute treat the first night.
The evening before the race, Jess prepared an Italian feast of pasta and homemade meatballs and sauce.... Jess would argue that it wasn't her 'official Sunday Sauce' but you wouldn't have known it by how quickly it went.
We were all terribly spoiled and we knew it.
As an extra special treat, Nicki made my favorite birthday cake; Strawberry Shortcake. It was so thoughtful and delicious! It was great to share my birthday eating cake and watching Miss Congeniality with such great friends.
On Saturday, we hit the expo. I wish I could say that I didn't scurry Alicia up there so I could snap this picture, but I did. This pic was also taken before we all decided (not so coincidentally) to all get the same hat as Nicki is wearing in the picture.
We checked out the swim, checked our bikes in, and navigated the transition area without much fanfare. We bumped into our friend Diane and she made it a point to tell us about one particularly gnarly turn on the bike course which was good to know beforehand. Thanks, Diane.
Much to all of our surprise, Ginger, Jojo, Nick and Tori took the drive down to cheer us all on, and after they met us at the expo, we all hit The Vagabond for some lunch. Was the food fast? No. Was it great? No. Was the company top notch? Yes. And we can't forget Rich drinking a bucket of margaritas.
Oh yes, this picture! This picture was taken by the same person that took another picture of us that morning at bike check in. What are the odds of that?!
The race itself...
We decided before hand to leave the house at 5:00am. We were plenty close to the race start so we thought this was more than enough time. Spoiler alert: it really wasn't. What we didn't anticipate was the 45 minutes it would take to travel the couple of miles to the start.
The traffic troubles from previous years were supposed to have been ironed out, but that was not our testimony. That said, we could have left earlier and we still got there with enough time to get transition set up transition and head to the swim start.
Dean, Nicki and I tried to get as far up as we could and away we all went into the swim. It was as you would expect. Lots of water and other swimmers.
Onto the bike and it was mostly rainy. It never ceases to surprise me the amount of people that pass without calling out to the rider they are passing. Extremely dangerous habit. Other than the rain, and some inconsiderate riders, the bike was uneventful.
The run... still raining. We saw Ginger and the gang on the boardwalk cheering us on... and in the rain no less! It was so great seeing them out there. Out of all three disciplines, I enjoyed the run course the most.
It was great running on the boardwalk... even in the rain. As you can see from the picture, Corrine and Jess agree. All smiles at the finish. The rain never let up, but we all made the best of it. Enjoying some post race laughs and exchanging war stories from the course... and isn't that what it's all about.
All in all a really great race weekend filled with amazing memories with even more amazing people.