Sunday, January 20, 2019

Race Recap: Mobile Half Marathon

Last fall, my WW cohost Holly and I talked about a winter half marathon. I preferred not to repeat another swampy half marathon like last February's Mercedes. Holly threw out a couple of suggestions for January. When she mentioned Mobile to me, I was interested. First of all, the course is flat. There was also the lure of southern charm, antebellum homes, and the gulf coast. Teresa and Karen had expressed interest about a winter half, so we made Mobile a girls' weekend.

When a black Friday discount became available, we sealed the deal. I booked my flight and was Mobile bound!



I arrived in Mobile on Friday and Holly picked me up from the airport. We had lunch and checked into our hotel, the historic Malaga Inn, which was located just a few blocks from the French Quarter as well as the race start line. We walked to the French Quarter to have a drink while we waited for Teresa to arrive. I was excited to finally meet her, and once she arrived, it felt like we had known each other forever. Isn't that the best thing about running bloggers?

There's no one with whom I'd rather spot a gator...
On Dauphin Island
Over the weekend, we explored the area, including a trip out to Dauphin Island. We also ate a lot of good food. A lot. Damn, that southern cooking is good! Holly tried to convince both Teresa and me to try the oysters, but I just couldn't do it. I also tried some local beers, including a yummy Southern Pecan nut brown ale made with roasted pecans from Lazy Magnolia (Mississippi).

Our Key Lime Pie cocktail, courtesy of Brian (our bartender)

Karen arrived late Saturday night and after picking her up from the airport, we went to bed to get some sleep before our early morning wake up call. 


About 7:15, we all walked over to the start line of the race. The conditions were perfect. It was about 52 degrees and overcast. The Azalea Trail Maids were at the start line. The southern charm was everywhere! 


At 7:30, there was a prayer (it was the south, y'all), followed by the national anthem. Then we were off! Immediately, I felt pain in my right heel. Probably from all the walking we did the day before, I was worried about this. I decided to keep going and try to run through the pain. By mile 1, I was worried that I might have to drop out. I started to calculate how long it would take me to walk the rest of the race. Fortunately, as I ran on, the pain disappeared and I was able to continue running. 

Aside from the heel pain, for most of the race, I felt great. I ran that first mile without stopping to walk but started my run/walk intervals after that. About mile 4, Holly caught up to me. We ran together for about a half mile until I stopped to walk. When I started running again, I caught up to her and she was walking. I had made a new playlist for the race and was really enjoying it. I tried singing to her, but she wasn't having it, so I moved on...


At mile 8, the marathon course split off from the half marathon course. I saw a woman with a clipboard watching the runners. I speculated that she was there to make sure that no marathon runners came that way and tried to cut the course. I appreciated that! I also appreciated the Mobile police force, who were out on the course at almost every intersection, ensuring the safety of the runners. 

I started to feel tired and a little short of breath around mile 10. I didn't have to take any extra run/walk intervals, but my running pace really slowed down around here. I never entertained thoughts of dropping out but I did think about walking the rest of the race. Maybe it was because the server the night before kept refilling my wine glass? I pushed on, but it was hard!

No regrets!
About a half mile from the finish, we ran down Dauphin Street and I could see the finish line. My fatigue was really making it hard for me to run and I did have to stop to catch my breath a few times. Determined not to walk across the finish line, I ran the rest of the way, crossing in 2:12:29 (gun time) 2:12:19 (Garmin). One of the L'Arche Mobile members put my medal over my head and thanked me for running for them. I made my way down the finish chute where there was a variety of post-race treats available. 

Official finish time 2:12:29 (gun time)
Best.finish line.ever.
I waited for everyone to finish and ran into Katie Shepherd! I've known Katie through her social media for many years and it was fun to finally meet her. Once everyone finished, we went to the food tent for some red beans and rice with conecuh sausage and cornbread. When in LA...

Katie and me
There was Coors Light at the finish as well and I took a pass on that. Instead, I indulged in Sweetwater 402 over lunch at the Blue Gill with the ladies. We recapped the weekend. It was hard to say goodbye! What a fun weekend! Besides all the shenanigans we had, I absolutely loved this race. The race was really well organized, including a small expo near our hotel. The course was flat and fast and had I behaved myself better, I might have had a chance at a better finish time. The fact that I came in 9th in my old lady age group tells me that some PRs were probably made this day! I wasn't disappointed in my finish time, though, because I felt so good for most of the race. All the fun we had made it so worthwhile.


I completely fell in love with Mobile. Mobile is a beautiful city with lots of antebellum homes. The race course is mostly run through these neighborhoods. The streets are draped with live oaks and you really get a taste of the deep south. Mobile is the home of the first Mardi Gras and there are signs of that everywhere you go. If you're looking for a fun destination race, I highly recommend this one.

Have you ever been to Mobile? Run the Mobile Marathon or Half Marathon? Did you know Mobile hosts a Mardi Gras? Have you ever run a race slower than you wanted but felt happy about how you ran?


~~~~~~~~Welcome to the Weekly Wrap~~~~~~~~
Holly and I host this super fun linkup where fitness bloggers get together to share fitness and/or race recaps. If you're new to the linkup, please review the rules above. If you are not a fitness blogger, please don't drop a link. Remember to link back to both of us. Have a wonderful week and thanks for supporting the Weekly Wrap.



66 comments :

  1. Loved your race recap! That also has to be the coolest finish line ever. You know we definitely don't see those types of finish lines in the North, lol.

    This sounds like such a fun race and how lovely that you were able to enjoy the weekend with friends! That key lime pie drink sounds AMAZING. Actually, all of the food sounded amazing. I may need to add this one to my bucket list!

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    1. I kept saying to Holly all weekend: "we don't have this up north"...lol. She probably got tired of hearing it. But it was one of the most fun girls' weekends I've had and this race is right up there with all my favorites. It's really cool!

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  2. You know we could just sit in a large cardboard box and have a good time. LOL. But, I'm happy you traveled south and enjoyed this race with all of its southern charm! I'm surprised the race isn't larger than it is, aren't you? But maybe that would take away some of the charm... Next time, I'll try to keep up! And...when is that, by the way?

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  3. I had a client back when I work in the industry that had a lab out at dauphin island! I LOVED going there. I also LOVE that pecan beer! I am so glad they distribute to here in KS.

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  4. What an incredibly HAPPY post this is!! So beautifully written, I feel like I was there. And lady, your outfit is gorgeous and that photo with your arms up in the air is probably one of my all time favourites of you! What a fabulous time you ladies had! A girls weekend extraordinaire.

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    1. It seems like these low key weekends are always the most fun!

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  5. I have never been to Mobile! What a fun finish line set up. Those dresses! They look like birthday cake toppers we used to have when my daughter was little. Looks like you all had the best weekend! Love all the smiles bc that's what it's all about

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    1. That finish line was one of my all time favorites! I saw the maids waiting for me and I could hardly contain myself!

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  6. Glad you ladies had a fun weekend! I ran the full in 2017 and let me tell you there are hills in Mobile. They saved them for miles 11-20! I would love to do this race again, but I would definitely stick to the half. Mobile is a beautiful city!

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    1. Holly told me that the full is hilly on the back half. Good thing I've sworn off marathons! :p

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  7. That actually sounds like a lot of fun! I'm not sure why I never ran that race when we lived in Pensacola. I would totally come down there and do that race the next time you decide to! I'm glad your foot decided to cooperate. And yes, I've definitely run races slower than planned (Mississippi Blues Marathon) but I had fun anyway. :)

    And I don't blame you - I'd have passed on the Coors Light, too. Blech. lol

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    1. We're actually talking about Mississippi Blues! Another flat, fun race!

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  8. I have never been to Mobile. This sounds like such a fun race! The ladies in the costumes are awesome! Glad you all had such a good weekend and you had such a good race!

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    1. I learned a lot about those maids and it is quite interesting! I linked to them in the post. I loved having them there.

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  9. I'd definitely take a pass on all things oysters, too. We have friends in Mobile, and actually took part in the Mardi Gras festivities many years ago. Glad you all had a grand time together!

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  10. Hmmm, flat and fast ... I'm actually surprised you haven't met Teresa. I kind of thought you had!

    It's also definitely always a treat to get away from the snowbelt during winter!

    Sounds like a great race & a great time.

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  11. OMG look at the crinoline ladies! Great work and a lovely meet-up (I'm a bit jealous but I might get to meet one of the other weekly wrap ladies at Liverpool in May ...).

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    1. It's funny because life in the US is so homogenized but then you go to the deep south...

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  12. What a pretty finish line. Never been to Mobile but it sounds wonderful esp meeting running friends there.
    Yes yes. Many of my finish lines have been slower than I would have liked but still had a great time. And that's more important.

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    1. Right? I'd rather look back on the weekend smiling than feel disappointed in my finish time.

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  13. It sounds like you had a fun time and that took priority over your race results and that makes total sense to me! To answer your questions, I've never been in that area of the USA.

    Thanks for the linkup!

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  14. Such great photos, and I absolutely agree re: feeling like you already know them. As I think I said on your insta, I'd do this just for the belles at the finish. Glad you had such a great trip

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    1. What a fun place! Yes, I wanted to see those maids for myself.

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  15. I wonder if we could import those Azalea Girls to liven up Chicago finish lines...
    Wait you hadn't met Teresa?? Oh right I met her in Utah. I swear everything is a blur. Looks like a fabulous weekend. Those kinds of get togethers are good for the soul.

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    1. You know it! Grateful I got to go. I don't know if the Trail Maids would make sense up here...:p

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  16. I have not been to Mobile. Those dresses are simply amazing. Sounds like a fantastic time -- I would not expect anything less when ya'll get together!

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    1. I figured it would be fun but it exceeded my expectations!

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  17. Sounds like a great weekend! You can't beat a girls get together!

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  18. Now that I've ready both Holly and your race recap, I want to visit Mobile! It sounds so cute and delicious. Lol! Great job on your race and having no regrets. :)

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    1. Mobile and LA is just so different from where we live. It's a gorgeous city too.

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  19. Racecations are always better with friends and other running bloggers :) Seeing your shorts pictures make me wish I had a warm race to look forward to!

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    1. I considered F3 but the weather is so unpredictable this time of year! It was nice to run in temperate conditions.

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  20. Sounds like you had such a fun weekend! I actually have been to Mobile - but just briefly while on vacation in Gulf Shores.

    I have so many questions about the logistics of the Maids' dresses....

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  21. I have never been to Mobile! It is so far from us. But the race does sound like a fun time- and yes, sometimes it is ok to have fun and not go as fast.

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    1. Mobile is far for me and it's not an easy trip--I had to change planes in ATL and that's always a crapshoot! It all worked out great, tho.

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  22. That’s such a great finish line photo! Mobile sounds lovel6 and I’m happy to hear that you had a good race.

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  23. Those wine glasses looked very full ladies! LOL You did fabulous and it was fabulous seeing you :) I loved everything about this event, it was a very happy finish line for sure. Awesome finish Wendy!

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    1. We sure missed you on Saturday--you could have been sipping with us. It was an entertaining evening. I'm so glad you were able to join us and I can't wait until we do it again.

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  24. Such interesting post race foods! And a prayer before the race too? I have never been to the south, so that's all foreign to me, but the area looks beautiful! Good job on your race. Looks like a great girls weekend. Love your race outfit!

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    1. I've run a few southern races and the pre-race prayer is standard.

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  25. Glad you felt good for most of the race! Sounds like,a really fun time :)

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  26. Congrats on your race lady! That's exciting!! And sounds like it was a perfect girls weekend. I have a race coming up at the end of February......coming sooner than I thought now that I look at the calendar! haha!

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  27. so much fun!! and you also saw KAREN!! I love her! Of course I've never met her but we've been following each other on social media for a few years now. Besides the heel pain and the fatigue at the end it sounds like an amazing race. I've definitely ran races slower than I wanted but just happy to cross the line - most of my races the last 3+ years have been like that... anyway I don't know much about Mobile or much of the south at all. I did once pass through New Orleans the first night of Mardi Gras and stayed for a bit but I was on a road trip then destined for Los Angeles and my driver wanted to get going again (it was forever ago).

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    1. Lately, it seems like all my races have been slower than I wanted but way fun. Isn't that what it's all about?

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  28. This looks so incredibly fun! I love that you were about to meet up with so many awesome blogger friends!

    This looks like such a fun race - I might have to add it to my list for my 50 States Challenge.

    Sometimes, the race experience is way more fun than the finish time. I'm sorry about your heel pain, but I'm glad you had a blast out there and rocked out that new playlist! Congratulations!

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    1. Oh, that heel pain went away. Nothing was going to stop me from finishing!

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  29. I would love to run through the Deep South some day to experience the culture - but maybe on a cool, not-so-humid day! My curly hair would be a hot mess in the humidity :) hehe. If I have ran a race slower than planned, I usually come to terms with it after a while and think of the positives. Sometimes it takes longer to look at the bright side, like this past injury that sidelined me for the main portion of our northern racing season. It's all good now. Hope your heel pain heals up after some rest!

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    1. I'm not feeling the heel pain right now-but then again, I've only run once since the race! I'm going to put it to the test this morning. Fingers crossed.

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  30. Wow, what a fun weekend! That Mobile race just sounds like such a blast and the perfect location for a girls weekend. Nice change of scenery from the cold wintry Midwest too!

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    1. It's always nice to head south--even if it isn't hot. It's always warmer than Chicago!

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  31. My aunt used to live in Mobile a long time ago! I'd love to run a half there. Could be Alabama's state run for me :-)

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  32. I love that you have these awesome running adventures with blog friends! The race sounds good; I can't get over the outfits on the women at the finish line though!

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    1. They call this part of Alabama "LA" aka lower Alabama. It's the Deep South, with all the traditions, including the maids. I just loved it!

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  33. Congrats on the race! And it's so wonderful that you get to travel to races to meet blogging friends. I've never been to Mobile, but it sounds just beautiful. Maybe I'll add it to my travel list.

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