As you know, Frank and I ran the Blessing of the Fleet on Friday night. The evening was sunny with a cool breeze, perfect for a 10-mile run along the Atlantic Ocean!
For our pre-race meal, Frank and I indulged in some delicious peanut butter, jelly AND banana sandwiches. I honestly think the sandwiches held us over until 10pm that night because we didn’t eat much after that.
Our friends Jessica and Chris arrived in town around 3:30pm and we headed out the door just after 4pm. The race started at 6pm but we wanted to get there in good time to park the car and register.
It was a good thing we left early because by the time we actually got to the high school for registration, there were lines of people at the bathrooms and throughout the property. It was exciting and a little nerve-wracking, too!
Frank and I grabbed our bibs and headed out to a secluded basketball court to get in a dynamic warm-up and stretch. Next thing we knew, they were ringing the bell for a 10-minute warning before the race started! We headed over to the starting line where we were greeted by a sea of runners. We ended up falling right near the back of the race to start, which really didn’t make a difference since it was pretty slow moving for the first mile or so. There were TONS of runners this year so we knew we weren’t going anywhere fast at the beginning.
At the Blessing of the Fleet, there are tons of spectators throughout the town of Narragansett, RI. Families set up chairs on their front lawns, have BBQ’s and parties while we run along and they cheer us on! There were even properties with big tents in their yards and music blasting! This sort of race atmosphere makes running a blast and we had a great time high-fiving kids as we ran by.
Overall, the course is pretty flat except for a hill around mile 4 and 5. There is one long stretch of road that takes you along the Atlantic Ocean, specifically Scarborough Beach, and then another long stretch on route 108. Route 108 is probably the worst part of the race for me because it seems like it’ll go on forever, there aren’t many spectators on this part of the route, and you’re running along cars and grass, that’s about it!
We made it through smoothly and continued on running through another neighborhood before the final stretch of the race. Last year, around mile 8, there was a whiskey tent set up by the local whiskey distillery in town called Sons of Liberty. We’re not sure if we just missed them this year or they weren’t handing out whiskey shots (yes I’m serious), but Frank was disappointed when he wasn’t able to enjoy a sip of whiskey with two miles left to go. (Last year, he took a shot of whiskey and I swear it gave him MORE energy than me to finish off the race). Maybe next year!
All-in-all, it was a great time. We finished a few minutes slower than last year (unfortunately) with a time of 1:26 which put us around 8:38 a mile. Jess and Chris were waiting for us at the finish line and snapped an action shot on our way over to say hi!
Another change in last year – there weren’t any hot dogs at the finish line! Instead, we had water bottles, bananas, orange slices and grapes. I took a handful of grapes and two water bottles which I chugged immediately.
At the race’s finish line, Narragansett holds an annual Seafood Festival where runners and non-runners alike can enjoy beverages under a beer tent and listen to live music. There were plenty of small carnival rides as well as food kiosks providing some of RI’s best seafood dishes and sweet treats, including a freshly shucked oyster station!
Needless to say, this event is always a great time and the perfect way to cap off a 10-mile road race. We had two beers (How’s that for a post-race meal? Don’t worry, we ate a big meal around 10:30 at the Mews, a local pub!) and then took a dip in the ocean to cool off and refresh. Not a bad way to start our weekend!
Thanks to Jessica and Chris for joining us and supporting us as we conquered the miles and crossed the finish line. You guys are the best!