Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Divas Marathon & 5k Series in North Myrtle Beach

On Sunday, my sister, mom, and I ran in the Divas Marathon Series 5k. It was the first race our first time running together and it was the largest race I have ever participated in. With over 5500 total participants in the 5k (1100 in the 5k) and half marathon, I had no idea what to expect.

Some questions that came to mind the days leading up to race day included but were not limited to the following:

Where would we park?
How would we get to the starting line?
How would we be timed?
What would it be like to finish and not be able to wait at the finish line for my mom and sister?
How would we meet up?

I was really worried about how the race would go because the logistics of it all made me nervous. There was no need to worry. The Divas Marathon Series staff had the logistics under control. The race was fantastic. The excitement, music, dj, friendliness of runners and volunteers made this race an outstanding experience.

Race Packet Pick Up
We checked in and picked up our race packets on Friday afternoon. Check in was located at a local community center and was well organized. We picked up our bags, shirts, bibs, etc. and headed out relatively quickly. The pretty pink tech shirts were very small but the Divas staff had this taken care of by the end of the race. They asked participants to email them with information and a new shirt would be sent out as the size discrepancy was a manufacturer error.
The finish line before the race began
Many runners were dressed up and showing support for Boston
On race day we woke up early and drove to one of the designated race parking lots. There were shuttles waiting for us and we got on the bus and drove to the race location. I was the most nervous about the parking. I was afraid that we would not be able to get a shuttle in a timely manner but I was wrong. There were many shuttles and we got to the race location in 5 minutes.
The cutest little spectator

Race Experience
The half marathon began at 7:00am and we were able to cheer for them before we started. The 5k began at 7:20am and was just as exciting as the beginning of the half marathon. The crowds of people cheering along the entire course was so motivating and exciting.
My sister, Allison and I post race.
In the final stretch, we were greeted by volunteers handing us hot pink boas and pretty tiaras. As I turned the corner to reach the finish line I saw the clock at 29 minutes. I could not believe that I was going to achieve my best PR to date at this race. It was so exciting. I was even more excited to hear my name called over the loud speaker as I crossed the finish line. I was greeted at the finish line by hot, muscular, shirtless firemen but really all I could care about was that they were handing me a medal. I love the princess medal that we received.
Showing off my bling!
I was worried that finding my sister and mom would be a challenge since we were not permitted to wait by the finish line. There were corrals that led us to a champagne station, rose station, and food.

Allison meeting up with me after she crossed the finish line.
There were also professional photographers waiting to take photos after the race. I waited in one of the corrals for my mom and sister. I did not have to wait long as they finished a couple of minutes behind me.

Boy, were we excited!

Allison, mom, and I after we all finished the race.
We took lots of photos and then picked up a banana and headed out to the streets to dance and do the wobble with other race finishers.

Final Verdict
I would recommend the DIVAS Marathon series. In fact, my mom, Allison, and I are hoping to return to Myrtle Beach for this race next year because we enjoyed it so much.

Allison and I are now motivated to train for a half marathon. What half marathon race should we sign up for?

4 thoughts:

Chrissy Z. said...

Awesome, congratulations! Great accomplishment and great photos! xxx

Gina Phillips {Hiya Luv} said...

Thanks Chrissy! Yes, it was quite an accomplishment:)

Jodi Dwyer said...

That sounds like so much fun. Love all the pink. And champagne when you finish!? Nice! Congrats on the PR too.

Gina Phillips {Hiya Luv} said...

Thanks Jodi! The hardware that we received is awesome and of course I ADORE all the pink:) It was a great all women's run! I would recommend:)

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