Monday, March 17, 2008

Shamrock Marathon/Half Spectacular

I am working on a trip report for the EC (unlike last year) with pictures like my mom is doing so look for that in the near future. But in the meantime...

Team NORSA just returned from the annual Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA. NORSA members Adam Domanski, Alan Stewart and Bethan Haaga participated in the event and Julie Brockman, Adam's girlfriend who wasn't able to register in time was official team cheerleader, nurse, driver and all around helpful person. Adam and Bethan both completed the Full Marathon in 3:58:04 and 4:08:46 respectively and I finished the half marathon in 2:14:59. For not training near as much as I should have I finished mostly injury free, able to walk (the next day too) and feeling great despite being in the back of the pack for my age, who's counting.

On Friday after classes Adam and I drove up to Richmond to meet up with Julie at her place and spend the night. Julie cooked up some Portobello mushroom, grilled chicken dinner amazingness and we went out to a bar with Andrew, another of Adams college friends before getting a good nights sleep. On the way up, Adam and I spent a lot of time talking about "our circumnavigation" and Saturday morning we were doing some casual research on budgets for circumnavigations and general big boat cruising. Warning, digression ahead.

Adam and 7 or 8 friends of his planned a 3 year circumnavigation a year or so ago scheduled for departure on November 2nd of 2009. The whole endeavor is based around a project backed by the Mariner's museum in Newport News, VA and is called "EYE of the world... an expedition in youth education". The basic idea is that this group would sail around hitting about 84 cities around the world in just over 3 years while in communication with schools in the US who could track their progress, send them e-mails, and during their journey, learn about other countries economy, history, religion, and even help map out the sailors route that they take. They came up with the idea and since then some of the original members have had life changes (job, family) that make the trip... less feasible. In short, Adam and his good friend Ian Harris are the only ones currently 100% a go on the project informally searching for a 3rd or 4th member with experience and commitment. Adam had told me about the project in the past but only recently was it more of a reality that I might be able to participate. Needless to say, I am... shall we say DOWN. I will graduate in May of 2009 and then... do it! At least that is my current plan. I am getting up to speed on the project and will be helping to secure funding through sponsorship and Adam may have found us a blue water 37 footer that has the potential to be donated to the cause. We shall see. Anyway, back to the weekend.

Saturday around noon, the three of us drove to Newport News to meet up with Ian who we would be staying with that night. Ian is in the military and soon to be out of the service and works as a chaplain's assistant on base. We drove into VA beach and dropped Ian off for a couple of hours on base and went to pick up our event packets as the VA beach convention center. There we found Bethan, another of Adam's school friends from the William and Mary days and we got our packets and explored the various novel products that race sponsors had in the following expo at the center. Back at Ian's we ordered pizzas and rocked out with some Rock Band.

The Half marathon start was at 7am followed by the full at 8. We woke up at 4:30 and were walking to the line around 6:30. We took shelter in a 7-11 next to the start with about 100 other runners. It was blowing about 10mph steady and in the low 50s but it didn't rain on us thankfully. During the run, I ran into a bunch of friends who had also come up from state for the race and I ran with them for about half the distance. After finishing, I met back up with them and we hung out in the finishers tent with hot soup, bananas, water, a live band and lots of beer. We all watched Adam and Bethan finish and not soon after, Ian and Alan (a different Alan) and his wife? (also college buddies of Adams) came down to hang out with us in the tent. Ian and them were waiting for Adam around mile 21 to..."cheer him on" which actually meant having a food fight with him with a lot of relish. yes relish. When he crossed the finish line we thought he had vomed on himself and thought, what a weenie until he reached down, grabbed some off his shirt and ate it. EEEWWW. No it's ok guys, its just relish. Apparently they wanted him to "relish" in his accomplishments of the day.

Although exhausted, we were surprisingly upbeat. Adam flew a kite that he had brought and the band was great so much dancing was done as well. I think I will be known as "wet suit dancing guy" next year at the race. After a while we decided that it was time to go boogie boarding in the ocean and I donned the rest of the wet suit that I had brought, Adam put on Julie's shorty and my balaclava and Ian had a wet suit as well. Ian took one for the team and bought us a boogie board thanks Ian. We sprinted into the water and were there for about 30 seconds. I got an almost instant cold headache like I had just downed an entire frozen slushy. We thought it must have been in the low 40s. I looked it up and found all reports say it was 53 but I'm not convinced. We did manage to get in a couple of good waves though. The surf was pretty big. Our 5 minute swim was plenty and returned to the warmth of the tent and packed up to hit the road but not before Adam and Ian had a good healthy beer fight mostly soaking each other. I think we were the either the clowns or the highlight of the after race party. Anyway, I think we had the most fun.

We retired to a seafood restaurant for a huge crab leg buffet before cleaning up back at Ian's, saying our goodbyes and getting a move on. We dropped Julie off (she drove back to Richmond) and made it to Raleigh around midnight fully sore and walking like old cripples. Another great trip for the books.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Do you ever rest, Alan?! Congrats, and happy circumnavigation planning!