A Simple Running Log

April 9, 2018

Big Oyster Brewery 4.25-Mile Run recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:20 pm

Saturday, Clark and I ran the inaugural Big Oyster Brewery 4.25-Mile Run. There were some first-time bugs that need to be worked out, namely getting everyone bussed to the start area quickly enough to start the race on time, but overall it was a fun race with a great after-party, and one I’d like to do again.

Friday evening, we got to Big Oyster Brewery in Lewes in time to pick up our race packets. The race shirts were nice, and we all got to pick between bright yellow or blue, but they were “unisex” (men’s) sizing only, so mine’s a little too oversized and loose to ever run in. Why does “unisex” never mean women’s cuts, hmm? We have two arms, a torso and a neck too!

Since Clark and I were among the first 60 to register, we each got a four-pack of the brewery’s new Cape Kolsch, a lower-ABV kolsch-style beer that was also served at the after-party, and another cotton T-shirt. Not sure if they’ll throw in the extras for registering early every year, or if this was a one-time deal for the inaugural race, but I guess we’ll find out next year.

We went to Dogfish Head for dinner so I could get my free Mug Club birthday beer (plus a couple more), and then drove to Fenwick, where we spent the night at my in-laws’ beach house.

The race Saturday didn’t start until 10 a.m., so we didn’t have to get up too early. Bart met us at the house around 8:30 and then we all headed back to the brewery in Lewes.

It was cold, windy and raining pretty steadily the whole drive from Fenwick to Lewes, but the rain magically tapered off to just a drizzle and then nothing as we were parking. We still had the cold wind to deal with, but it was nice to not get soaking wet on top of it.

The first school bus shuttling runners from the brewery to the start line at the Fort Miles Museum in Cape Henlopen State Park was leaving just as we were walking up, a little after 9. I figured the second one would be along any minute.

Not so much. Apparently, they only had the one bus, so it took about 25 minutes to load up, drive to the start line, unload and drive back.

Kelly, Susan and I managed to squeeze ourselves onto the second busload. Clark got on too, but he needed our car key from me — even though we’d parked where we were directed to, they needed Clark and Bart to move their cars all of a sudden. I guess the owner of the business whose parking lot we were in decided he really needed those particular spots, so they had to move to a different part of the lot. Annoying, but whatever.

It was 20 minutes until the advertised start of the race when our bus unloaded in Cape Henlopen. It was pretty obvious the race wasn’t going to start anywhere close to on time.

The race director was asking everyone to pose for a big group photo, so Kelly, Susan and I took advantage of the distraction to get a jump on the bathroom lines haha.

It took a while to get two more busloads of runners moved to the start. Sometime after 10, I dropped off my sweatshirt in the back of a Honda CR-V that was acting as the official gear check vehicle, with the promise it’d be waiting for me back at the brewery when I finished. Then we ran a mile to warm up. When I got back from that, Clark and Bart had made it to the start.

kelly susan and me before race

With Kelly and Susan before the start, who I’ve gotten to do a couple training runs with this year.

It was 10:30 by the time everyone was in place and the race was finally ready to start. There was an air horn blast and we were off!

The first mile or so was along the paved walking trail through the park. It’s narrow with some curves and a handful of slight downhills and uphills.

Other than a very short interval workout about a month ago, this race was the first time I’d tried to run fast since, let’s see, the Rehoboth half marathon in December! I was sucking wind and hating life before we even hit the first mile marker. My whole body wanted to back off to a nice easy pace SO bad. I ran the first mile in 7:24 but I knew that wasn’t going to last another 3.25.

We ran out of the park and got on the road back toward Lewes. There was a brief section where we were running directly head-on into the wind and it felt like it was pushing me backwards. A guy running next to me at the moment blurted out something like “holy crap!” when it hit him.

Fortunately, the road curved just enough that it put the wind at an angle for the roughly 1.5-mile straight stretch we had to run until the next turn. I heard my watch beep mile 2 as we were passing the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal — 7:49. Holy crap indeed! I knew I was dying but I didn’t know it was that bad!

We made a left turn to get on the road that would lead straight to the brewery. The wind was now at our backs, which was a big help, but looming ahead was a bridge, the worst “hill” on the course.

That bridge would’ve sucked at any point, but it was especially awful at mile 3 of a 4.25-mile race — far enough in you’re really tired, but still just far enough from the finish line you can’t even tell yourself you’re almost done to push yourself up it.

I wanted to walk so bad! No one in front of me walked though, so I ran every step of it. Mile 3 was right at the top — 7:50.

Of course, the other side was a sweet downhill. That part felt pretty good! But at the bottom I still had another mile or so to go.

There was only one other runner within striking distance in front of me. I locked in on him and concentrated on catching him. I got him right before the turn into the brewery’s parking lot.

final turn

And there was the finish line! I lurched over it in 32:42, a 7:40/mile pace. Not what I was aiming for, but definitely what I had trained for.

Kelly and Susan were waiting just on the other side of the line to immediately commiserate on the wind and that damn bridge. I really needed a port-o-potty though; the last 1.5 miles or so, my guts had started rumbling, which obviously wasn’t helping anything.

I missed Clark’s finish while I was in the port-o-potty. He ran 35:20. I was standing there when Bart ran by in 37 minutes and change but didn’t even see him. For some reason, I had the worst time all morning finding either of them in a crowd.

I looked around for that CR-V I’d put my sweatshirt in, but it was nowhere in sight. I asked one of the race officials and they radioed the driver and asked him to come back to the finish area because runners kept asking about their stuff. Apparently he was helping clean up the start area and it hadn’t occurred to him that we might want our warm clothes back as soon as we were done running haha. It was only a few minutes until he arrived. I really appreciated having the option to wear that sweatshirt until just before the start so I didn’t mind the short wait to get it back.

Clark and I changed into dry clothes and then we hit the after-party. In addition to all the free Cape Kolschs we wanted, they had fruit, veggies, bagels and NACHOS with pulled pork, pulled chicken, shredded cheese and melted queso. They were so good!

post race food


post race beers

And beer!

The awards went three-deep in 10-year age groupings. I wound up fourth of 35 in the F 30-39 group (and eighth of 143 women, and 26th of 251 overall.) So I didn’t win anything, but Kelly got a really sweet insulated cooler tote bag plus two filled crowlers for winning our age group in 29:56, and Susan got a $75 gift card for being the first place female masters (40+) runner in 31:27.

Did I mention this race only cost $25 to register? I’d say we all more than got our money’s worth!

Kelly and Susan left after the awards, but Clark, Bart and I stayed until they stopped handing out beers. On the drive in that morning, Bart had noticed the Dewey Beer Co. for the first time, which Clark and I had only tried once before, so we went there next. They had a sour brewed with strawberries and oranges that was REALLY good.

Bart went home after we got done at Dewey, but Clark said there had been a couple beers on Dogfish Head’s menu he hadn’t gotten around to at dinner the night before, so we stopped in there for one more each.

We went back to Clark’s parents’ house next to pick up Pepper. As soon as we got home, we had to shower and leave again, much to Pepper’s dismay, to meet Clark’s parents to go out for my birthday dinner.

We went to Mitchum’s Tavern in Trappe, which just reopened less than a month ago under new ownership, the same group that runs some of my favorite restaurants in Cambridge. I had a bone marrow appetizer and monk fish with mushroom risotto, and thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Clark’s grandmother really liked the crab cakes she got too.

We went back to Clark’s parents’ house for homemade chocolate-on-chocolate birthday cake.

It was pretty late by the time we got home. When I woke up Sunday, I was exhausted. I was so tired I wound up taking a real nap in the afternoon, which I usually can’t do. I never made it out for a run. Other than folding some laundry, I just stayed on the couch all day.

Today, I feel back to normal. I got my crap done for work this morning, so I’m going out this afternoon to knock out the 90-minute long run I skipped yesterday. The stupid wind finally died so today is a better day for that anyway.


  1. I’d like to switch lives for a while. You are running all kinds of awesome stuff.

    Comment by runeatralph — April 9, 2018 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

    • This is a great place to live if you like beer and running — so many of the breweries have caught on to how many runners enjoy a good beer after a race!

      Comment by aschmid3 — April 9, 2018 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

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