Me and Steph after finishing the 2013 Newport Half-Marathon.
Yesterday’s Workout: 4.04 miles @ 43:06
Hey everyone! I was planning on posting a little earlier today, but got side-tracked by a few things (like buying a new pair of running shoes for JP and getting a kayak – more on that in the next couple of days).
Today I’m a guest blogger for Carson over at Running Southern, so if you don’t follow her blog, please head over there and see what I have to say about my top five favorite races. Since my all-time favorite race is the Newport Half-Marathon, and I mentioned a couple times since the inception of my blog that I would post a race re-cap, I figured this was the perfect time to write about it (finally).
I’ve run this race twice now, both with my college roomie, Steph. This half-marathon will always have a special place in my heart, because it takes place in the town where I attended college. Because it’s been a while since I ran this, and it’s going to be pretty hard for me to recall every single emotion I felt during this run, I’m going to focus more on the different landmarks and sights that you enjoy during the race. There certainly are a lot of them!
The race starts on the road right next to the beach, called Easton’s Beach to tourists but known to locals as “First Beach.” The sucky thing about the starting point is that you immediately start the race going uphill, which is really tough! But once you get up that first uphill which is approximately a half mile (don’t quote me on that, it’s been a while), the rest of the course is pretty flat.
Newport is a beautiful city known for its coastal backdrop and mansions, and this race certainly allows you to see the beauty of the city. The first part of the race doesn’t necessarily capture that (there are some not as picturesque portions of the city), but once you get to mile three, you start to run by the coast, which is pretty nice.
Please excuse me if my photos appear to be out of chronological order – it wasn’t until I hit about mile four or five that Steph and I decided it would be cool to start a running blog and took photos at each like to document the run! The stretch of mile three is absolutely beautiful, as you run down the coastline a little bit with a view of Newport Harbor and the Newport Bridge, before turning onto Harrison Ave around mile four; at this point you will start to come across some of the large mansions in Newport, like the one that Jackie Kennedy summered in.
After passing a few big houses (under statement of the year!), you run an out-and-back through Fort Adams, which is part of the Naval Base in Newport. This is actually one of the hardest parts of the race (I think), where you get to the halfway point and exhaustion starts to seep in. It’s always the point where I go for my first Gu Chomp. Luckily, there’s a water stop there as well!
From there, you run past some more large houses, the Coast Guard house and (my favorite!), Ocean Cliff, the property where JP and I got married. After passing Ocean Cliff and the Coast Guard house, you make a turn onto Ocean Drive, which sits along the coastline again and boasts even more beautiful and large homes.
This stretch last a few miles, until you turn onto Bellevue Avenue, where all the old Vanderbuilt Mansions (the original Newport Mansions) are located, along with part of the Salve Regina college campus.
Once you enter Bellevue Avenue, you’re almost finished, hitting mile 10. For us, this is usually where major cramping and “the wall” sets in. I know that I can’t stop, because if I do, I may not be able to start running again! I ha taken a photo of one of the mansions to include on here, but am afraid it accidentally got deleted. 😦
After running partway down Bellevue, you turn down a street (I can’t believe I don’t remember the name) that is actually located next to Steph and I’s dorm from sophomore year. This road is probably about a half mile long; during this route you’ll get to see a decent amount of the Salve college campus. From there, we turn onto Ochre Point Avenue, which is the 11-mile marker. I love this, because the Salve sports teams are volunteers at one of the water stops. Running through our college campus always helps us re-energize at the last leg of the race!
Another beautiful aspect of this portion of the run is passing the Vanderbuilts’ Breakers Mansion, which is basically located right in the middle of the Salve Campus. People come from near and far to see the Breakers.
Once we get through Salve, we know we’re almost done. From this point, we run down Anandale Ave., where there is a mixture of mansions set back from the road (you can’t even see them from there), and cozy little beach cottages. At the end of Anandale, you turn back onto Memorial Avenue, the road where the race started. The best part of the ending of this race is that it’s all downhill from there – the beach is in sight, and because it’s mostly downhill, you know you can finish the last mile without stopping. The race literally finishes right at the beach, where Steph and I always have a commemorative photo taken (see photo at top).
If this post seemed short to you, you should try running the Newport half-marathon, because the beauty of the city really makes the race seem short and sweet! There is also a half-marathon held in conjunction with the race; I hope to run it sometime in the near future so I can provide a full recap of that, as well!
What is your favorite half-marathon to run?
Also, be sure to sign up for my contest posted the other day to win a pair of My Soxy Feet socks!