Saturday, October 12, 2019

Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon and Training Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Crawlin’ Crab half marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

I ran the Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon on Sunday, October 6th, and it was the first time I had been to Hampton, VA. The experience was exhilarating. The race management, course, and after-party were all things that made the race what it was.

Arriving in Hampton, VA on Saturday, the expo was easy to find. Packet pickup was available for an extended period so I was happy to have the schedule flexibility. The expo had various options for t-shirts, name it! I realized I didn't have recovery slides and almost got some...and the cool socks! Man, I'm a sucker for these things but I didn't break the cardinal rule of nothing new on race day. 

My hotel was within walking distance and what you'll find if you ever check out the Crawlin' Crab Half, is that there are a plethora of hotel options within walking distance of the start line. So convenient that you don't have to worry about getting into the city pre-race or take public transportation. For half-marathons I don't really see the need to carb-load and my philosophy is don't drink alcohol, stay hydrated, and go to bed on time.


I was a little confused in the evening about where I was going in the morning until J&A Racing publicized exact directions on social media to clarify everything. The social media presence for this race was onpoint and was super helpful in regards to packet pickup and race day info.

As I prepared for the race, I thought about personal expectations for performance. I paced myself for 2:30 time and as a result, I found the 2:30 pacer for the race. There were multiple pacing group options up-to 2:45 for individuals trying to hit a specific time. I wasn't paying attention to my splits and ended up starting out faster than I should have. I dropped out of the pace group and continued to use my phone to track. Around mile 8, I got pretty sick to my stomach so I threw in walk breaks to avoid losing my cookies. Fluids weren’t sitting well with me. Sometimes you realize it's not your day and you have to change your mindset to make it the best you can, given the circumstances.

Personal struggles aside, I LOVED the race. There was so much community support and the volunteers kept the many stations moving efficiently. Running through the different communities was a great viewpoint on the area and it was really neat to see people cheering the racers on. Little kids to the elderly and everyone in between seemed to be out clapping and giving encouragement. Honestly, it was nice to have fluids with me but I could have gotten by without anything extra. They offered water and Gatorade with one GU stop. I was using another product, so I tried to stay away from the untested items on the course. Popsicles were on course which was a nice touch. It felt pretty good to cross the finish line.

LET'S TALK AFTER PARTY! After getting some dry clothes on (drop bags/station available) it was time to get crab soup and beer! J&A Racing did such a wonderful job at turning a racing event into a social event. Friends, family, racers, all together with opportunities for pictures, live music, crab soup, and beer. Each half marathon participant got vouchers for free soup and several beverages. Craft beers are really out of my wheelhouse but it was a perfect way to end the day. Shout out to Old Bust Head Brewery for making a Caramel Macchiato Stout that tastes like heaven.

I would 100% run Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon again. It's close enough to Virginia Beach to turn it into a weekend of racing and fun with family or friends. I learned more about what works for me and what doesn't. I loved the community involvement and that really kept me going when things got tough. If you are up for the call, I'd say try the Shell Yeah! Challenge. Check it out!

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