Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cox's Marathon - mid race sights

Last night I headed out to check out the middle of the course for the Cox Marathon.  I love running with my camera and checking out the surroundings.  You see things differently when you are running and you can always stop and take a picture.  Check out the race details for yourself at

Henderson Bridge (aka the Red Bridge) crossing from Providence to East Providence at mile 3

Looking back across at Providence's Waterman Grille from E. Prov. at mile 3.5

Old Bridge forever pointing skyward

Munroe Dairy at mile 3.75

Munroe still does home delivery!
I won't need their delivery service at mile 3.75, but ask me at mile 22.

At mile 4 we head south on the East Bay Bike Path (EBBP).
We will be back at this spot after mile 24 and headed up this hill.

Looking back at the Washington Bridge as I head south.
Mile 24 will take us up and across the bridge.

At mile 4.5 looking out at downtown Providence from the upper overlook parking  lot on the EBBP.

This parking lot will be the spot for the water/Gu/Gatorade/Food/Medical stop at mile  23.75.

The EBBP is part of the East Coast Greenway from Florida to Maine.
The EBBP is 14.5 miles long and goes from the Washington Bridge in Providence to Bristol, RI.

The EBBP is part of The Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.  You can still see sections of the old rail line.

The EBBP has been closed since Nov 1 from mile 20.5 to 23.  I am hoping it will open soon!

The upper parking lot is 4.5 miles north of the Crescent Park Carousel, we will get there.

Metacomet Country Club on the left side of the Veterans Memorial Parkway.

We run across the Amaral Brothers Bridge at mile 5.5

Watchemoket Cove - close to high tide

New wind turbines in Providence

See that orange snow fencing out there on the cove bridge.
That is where we will be running  at mile 22.5 on our way back north.
It is a thin old railroad causeway that is out there exposed to the elements.

The cove from the bridge.

I never knew that the Veterans Memorial Parkway was once know as the Barrington Parkway.

The Parkway is one of RI's Scenic roads.  There are deer and goose crossings along the way.

The road going down to the Squantum Assoc. is off of the Vet. Parkway.
We will see the club at mile 21.75 once we are back out on the EBBP.
It is a beautiful spot on the Bay.

Bradley Hospital will be on our right at mile 6.33
Bay View will be on our left just after that.

There is a play ground right out front.
My girls have watched me run by at this very spot.

Just before mile 8 we get to the Dari Bee - YUM!

How quickly do you think they can serve a chocolate vanilla twist as we pass back north at mile  20.5?

The Crescent Park Carousel in the setting sun at mile 9!  I wonder if the calliope will be playing?

It is a great ride if you get a chance & you can grab the brass ring if you are lucky!

Bullock Cove after mile 9

We will already be passed mile 10 and the Clam Shack before 11 am.

Clam Cakes, chowder, fish & chips!  What is not to like?

Bullock cove looking south from the Crescent View Ave. bridge.

Brewers Yacht Yard & Marina - Bullock Cove

Mile 11 southbound & 19 northbound - Vintner & Wannisett 
The location of the Vintner Ave Playground.

Another great location to watch the runners go by if you have kids.  There are even picnic tables under the pavilion, but no restrooms.
 That is all I have for now.  I am hoping to get out on the half course sometime in the next week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting to know you - Cox Providence Rhode Race marathon course

Today I headed out to get to know the few streets that I have not run on along the marathon course chosen for the Cox Providence Rhode Race.  I am planning to run it May 6th as my first ever full marathon.

Nice aerial view of the course eh?
I took some notes regarding the streets and headed out the door.

I used a brown marker, but it turned purple before the run was over!
Here are a few photos from along the course.

Looking out toward the bay from the country club.

Nice groomed lawns and waterways.

Watch the road while you are on Nayatt.  The surface is less than ideal.

I didn't know people were allowed to take their dogs golfing with them. 

We only get this view for less than 1/2 a mile so enjoy it while you can.

Watch out for the geese and their droppings down by Brick Yard Pond in Barrington. 

The miles on the East Bay Bike Path are beautiful!
Hopefully miles 21 & 22 will actually be passable/runable.  They need to finish up the sewage line project that has had that stretch closed since the beginning of November.  It is due to be finished in April.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Princess 1/2 Marathon - Feb. 26th 2012

One of the happiest runners at Disney!

The fourth year of the Princess 1/2 Marathon was my second.  From the moment I crossed the line in 2011 my sister was planning my return so that we could do the race weekend together.  And what a return it was!  We did it in grand style.  In all there were 10 of us there.  Myself and my two daughters, our parents, my sister and her husband as well as their two kids, and my brother-in-laws mother.  It made for quite the crew!  By the time we made it to the actual race I had already been in the WDW parks for 4 days + 1 day at Legoland; to the Princess Social Media Meetup at EPCOT and the expo on Friday; run the Tangled 5K, gone to expo for a 2nd time, and run the kids mile on Saturday.  We had set out all of our race costume with bibs pinned on, packed our race pouches, and set our alarms for 2:40 am the night before.  I had had a lousy nights sleep before the 5K on Friday night and needed to sleep as well as I could before the half.  Sleep I did until 2:40 am that is.  Then it was up and at um.  We were planning to leave the resort at 3:15 and I think we were out the door at 3:20.  Our father dropped the 3 runners off that morning.  Here is a parking tip if you drive yourself.  Stay left on the access road going into the parking lot and head toward cast parking.  We were literally 5 cars from the entrance to the Princess 1/2 tent area!  It was spectacular.

Sisters before the race!

Disney Divas at the D tent pre-race.
Once we got there I had my father do my temporary tattoo art work.  He wrote Disney Divas on my arm and applied fairy tattoos.  I was racing in a custom made Tinkerbell costume made by Me.  I had light up wings sewn onto my jog bra and bells that tinked sewn onto my skirt. I was running with an e-race group known as the Disney Divas.  Once we headed into the tent area we looked around for the "D" tent for Disney Divas.  There were about eight of us already there.  We chatted for a moment and took so pre-race photos before heading off to the start line which is about 20 minutes away from the tents and only about 1.5 miles from Bonnet Creek where we were staying. 

The happy Princess and her Prince.
They ran out of the special runDisney princess wraps early in the morning.
 The corrals were set up in a U shape this year.  A through about D were on the right side of the U and E through H were on the left.  If I recall right in 2011 they were in one long line.  This meant the porto-potties were in slightly different places.  Boy was I glad I had on a throw away sweatshirt at this point.  It was a chilly morning.  I had pulled a sweatshirt out of my own giveaway box at home and it proved to be a good move.  I picked up a Mylar blanket for my sister once we got to the tent area and my brother-in-law said he was fine in his t-shirt.  
My first runDisney race starting in the A corral!
Again we took more photos and then headed off to our corrals.  My brother-in-law was in the C corral.  They don't let men start in A & B.  My sister was in B, but fell back to start with him in the C corral.  They ended up running the whole race together, which would never have been possible if she had started in B.  I was in the A corral for the first time at a runDisney event.  I had submitted a 2:05 expected finished based on my race time from May 2011.  In Oct 2011 I was able to go sub 2:00 and finish the Newport 1/2 marathon in 1:56, but I did not need to submit it since I was already in A.  

And we were off!
Being the photo bug that I am I wanted to take start line photos, so I moved my way right up to the front line of the A corral.  Once I was there I figure why not just go for it and start from the front.  Then they moved the A corral up to right behind the elites and I found myself 4 people off the start line for the whole event.  I figured I would drift right if I needed to get out of everyone way, but I held my own just fine.  

When I saw the marker I immediately decided to photograph them all.
Of course it took me a second to realize I needed to stop to take the pictures.
When I got to the first mile clock it said 8:20.  Plenty of people had passed me, but I don't think it was a problem.  There was plenty of room on the road and everyone was in a very focused race place.  One of the spectators called out from the tree line on the left with a megaphone "Go Tink Go!"  I just shook my arms in the air and did not say anything in acknowledgement.  Then he shouted out "That's right Tink, I am talking to you!"  It was great!  I had already made the decision before the race to stop for all character shots, but at mile one I also decided to take photos of all of the mile markers and race clocks.  I also threw in a few photo ops of my own along the way.  

Pirates on the way out...

Leading men without their ladies so we had to step in!

Oh those villains!  I loved the lighting and the smoke!

Thanks to all the volunteers who took my photo for me!  Great job on this one!

I stopped for this shot for my girls.

I even beat Alice to the party!

My favorite photo of the whole race!
Runners are their own characters , especially with great props and backdrops!

I wish the carousel was better lit up.

My Prince for the morning!

I can't believe I ran through the castle while it was still dark!

Louis wanted to get close.  It must be tough being so big and green.  Those are some great smiles!

1st time I have ever met Jessie!

The train conductors were out with the train.
They thought it was great that I wanted my photo with them, but they did not even offer me a ride!

Look at all that shimmering fabric!

Help is this Fillmore the VW Bus in a different paint job?
He was just so cute and we love VWs!

At about this point I was wishing it was not already 1/2 over!  I think I am ready for Mickey in 2013!

I was feeling more like Gaston at this point than Belle!

Oh gentlemen if you only had the whole pair!

The Princess 1/2 was a party and I was hanging 13.1 around the course!

There were no keys so I did not get very far!

My main duck!

Showing off my Disney Diva power shoulder!

At mile 9 two other runners offered to take my picture.  Thanks ladies!

The gentlemen looked even more into it after seeing thousands of female runners!  Thanks guys for making it fun. 

Did they put that billboard up just for her?

I told Jack "That he was catching the ladies coming and going!"  His response "Always!"

Strength breeds strength!
Around mile 10.5 another runner said "You must be really fast, because you are stopping for all the photos!"  The only response that came to mind was "I am taking a ton of photos!"  She really gave me a great boost of energy right after I had come around and up the overpass.  At mile 11 I briefly thought I could have done this race sub 2:00 if I had taken a few less photos, but who cares and I took even more along the last 2.2 miles.  

That's right Disney Divas rule!

We are strength personified!

Happy group - happy runners - 1 mile to go!

A power pair!

I even got her to give a shout out to the Disney Divas!  She was great!  Fantastic attitude and costume to boot!

Been there - Going there photo!

These guys were great!  They were thrilled I wanted a photo with them.
There was so much energy in this group.
I hope they get to run a runDisney race at some point so that they can embrace the race from both sides.
They have the energy for it!

The announcer called me on multitasking as I stopped to take a finish line photo!

And the medal goes to...


A dusting of Disney magic to get the celebration going!

Bling shot!

Ready for the next 13.1 - Mickey Marathon here I come!

Sharing my medal with Snow White!

Did they make the ribbon purple for Rapunzel?  I bet they did!

Sisters with their bling and smiles!

Champagne toast!

We did it!

Until we meet again runDisney!
I wish you could have all done the race exactly the way I did it!  I had a fantastic time without some of the pitfalls that were experienced further back in the pack.  I maintain that I run other races to get great qualifying times for runDisney races so that at Disney I can take all the time I want and boy did it work out great this race.  Almost everyone in the A corral was racing for time and for the most part my character stops were walk ups with no lines whatsoever!  I even had to pull a few characters off the course because they were just high-5ing  runners since no one would stop.

The shirt - the medal - the pin - the necklace!

Princess weekend was all that I ever could have hoped it would be and more!  2012 surpassed my 2011 experience.  I smiled the whole time and loved both of them, but this time I got to share it with my sister!

I will runDisney every chance I get and would love to do it with other running Disney enthusiasts!  This was our 3rd runDisney family race trip.  I think I am ready for a ladies race weekend!  Who wants to Wine & Dine?