Monday, September 29, 2014

Jersey Shore Race

 A visit to an authentic Italian restaurant is a must on a trip to Jersey.  Carb loading at its finest!

Grateful to snag one last "summerish"weekend!  I can't even remember the last time I visited a beach without lugging around an armful of sand buckets and little ones.

The Jersey boardwalk was everything I envisioned.  The kids would have loved the carnival-like environment.  

 Showing off our age group awards.  As a first, we also won a pair of socks for earning 2nd and 3rd place finishes.  

The caliber of photos I snap while running!

Still standing after 13.1!

During my childhood, my dad made it a priority to take his children to all 50 states.  Somehow, I only visited 49, never setting foot in Delaware.  On Sunday, we crossed into Delaware and stopped at a Starbucks.  I have officially arrived in the 50 state club!

The Jersey shore conjures up many images.  Certain reality shows portray the Garden State's coastline as a place where debauchery and intoxication reigns.  Those stereotypes lingered in my mind, and so I arrived on the Jersey shore with a sense of apprehension and concern.  I worried my dear friend Claudia and I didn't own enough gold chains and tacky swimsuits to fit in with the Jersey crowd.  I wondered whether spray tans were required before crossing the state line?

We arrived at Ocean City, New Jersey for a half marathon.  Once again, I accompanied my friend Claudia on her quest to run a race in every state.  New Jersey wasn't on my short list of destination races.  Wasn't there a race in sunny California or scenic Arizona?  Claudia insisted New Jersey would be fun.  I smiled politely, secretly holding onto my doubts.

But Ocean City, New Jersey is nothing like the images shown on TV.  It's more Disney, and less MTV.

Ocean City is your quintessential East coast beach town.  The streets are lined with perfectly restored, historic beach homes facing the ocean.  Little surf shops and coffee bars dot the roads.  Two Ferris wheels dominate the seascape and usher visitors onto a boardwalk lined with food stands and carnival rides.  But the sandy beaches and ocean views are the stars of the show.

Claudia and I (and her friend Rebecca) made it our weekend job to gaze at the ocean.  This was accomplished with hours spent lingering on the beach and then evenings atop a rooftop with chairs facing towards the waves.  For two landlocked Midwesterners, we never tired of our new occupation.  On Sunday, when we participated in the Ocean City Half Marathon, the ocean formed the perfect backdrop and constant throughout the race.

I felt I owed New Jersey an apology.  She was the perfect weekend host and I vowed to see her again.

**  Thanks again to my inlaws for taking on a task not many would undertake! I so appreciate them helping with the kids and cleaning my car!!

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