A women’s half marathon at the Ritz-Carlton on the beach – do I really need to say anymore?
OK, I will say more since the answer is YES, the Zooma Florida Half Marathon & 5K was as fun – and fabulous – as I thought it would be.
Renee and I drove down to Florida on Friday in style. The lovely folks at General Motors arranged for us to test drive a 2013 Buick Enclave. Spacious, smooth, and luxurious. Oh, yeah. I’m going to do a full review on TravelingMom.com, but I can tell you now that the car gets a big thumbs up from me. I’m 5’11 so leg room is something that I pay a lot of attention to and this car has it – in the front and in the back. It was the best post-race ride home because I could stretch ALL the way out.
Us on the ride back. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to Florida …
We arrived in late afternoon just in time for the expo and the Honest Tea Mocktail Party.
After, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and relaxed in our room. The hotel is simply fabulous; and the view from our room made us light up at first sight.
The race itself was fun. We took a shuttle from the Ritz-Carlton at 7 a.m. to the start in downtown Fernandina Beach. The half started at 8 a.m and the 5K started at 8:30 a.m. at the beach at the Ritz-Carlton. It was cold and windy, but the sun was shining and the scenery was beautiful.
The race ended running along the beach back at the Ritz-Carlton. I LOVED running along the water on the packed sand, but the short trek through the loose sand to the finish line was a little more challenging. I’m glad I wasn’t trying to PR, because it wasn’t ideal for a fast finish.
Speaking of finishing, my official time was 2:32:57. I’m pleased with that considering I haven’t been eating as well as I should be; and I hadn’t run all week. GASP! No worries, I’m back in full marathon training and eating right mode.
Instead of medals Zooma’s bling is a necklace made especially for Zooma runners by Satya Jewelry.
The Zooma After-Party Expo was on the Oceanfront Lawn at the Ritz-Carlton with a spectacular backdrop of the ocean. We chatted, took pictures, and sipped a little champagne. Ahem.
Before Renee and I checked out we enjoyed a lovely lunch in the Club Lounge at the hotel.
My Tips & Picks about the race:
- It was a fun run to get away with friends and enjoy the fabulousness of the resort. The perfect girlfriends race.
- It”s not necessarily a race to “race” as the loose sand finish might add some time to your run.
- The race logistics were on point – the start, the course, the water stations and the finish.
- It’s a smaller race with a smaller expo – that’s either a positive or a negative pending on your personal preference. I enjoyed it.
- The water stations were well staffed but there’s not much crowd support along the route. Again, some people like this and some people don’t.
This is my second Zooma race and I would definitely do it again.
Winks & Smiles,
Disclosure: As a Zooma Florida Race Ambassador I received a complimentary race registration. My hotel accommodations were provided by the Ritz-Carlton for media review purposes. As always, my thoughts and opinions – and race weekend fun – are all my own.
Photo Credit: The group shot of the Zooma Florida Ambassadors compliments of the Zooma Race Series.