I am an ambassador for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon. I have been gifted with a complimentary race entry and other amenities and compensation in exchange for promoting the event. All opinions are my own.
Racecation weekend had finally arrived! I was in desperate need of some time with my sole sisters, in a beautiful city, with lots of delicious food, gorgeous sights, and running. Lots of running.
Meghan got to my house around 10:00 in the morning. We loaded up my car and said goodbye to Florida. Traffic was nasty, turning our normally two hour trip into a three hour journey. Sigh.
We were ravenous by the time we arrived in town, so we dropped our bags at The DeSoto (our room wasn’t ready), and walked a few blocks to grab a quick snack. The Collins Quarter had a table available promptly, and we opted for Drunken Berry Mimosas and a burger to share.
It was just what we needed.
Properly fueled, we walked back to the hotel in time to move our things into our room and head down to the Fashion Fitness Expo. Things hadn’t gotten too busy yet, so we were able to collect our bibs, swag and gifts and do a little shopping while we waited for Amy and M and S to arrive.
This year’s Finisher’s Gift was a branded backpack. It’s awesome. We also received a really cool reusable bottle and towel from Publix, as well as a Nourish bath bomb and lip balm from Savannah Bee Company. I also loved the event merchandise and snagged trucker hat and muscle tank.
We got some more photos and then our little group was ready to walk to dinner.
Our restaurant of choice was Treylor Park. It’s a favorite, and we love to get there for their Happy Hour. This time, it was a little more crowded, so we ended up eating in their Beer Garden.
The evening wrapped up with cones at Leopold’s. Because it has to be done.
Back at The DeSoto, we laid out our outfits and tried to get some sleep.
We were treated to some live music from the street and a fireworks display over the river. It was unexpected and while I stayed up later than I had planned, it was a nice treat.
Saturday – Race Morning
Since we were only a few blocks away from the start line, I got to “sleep in” a little.The 6:00 alarm was perfect. Meghan and I got up, got dressed and we were ready to go!
Right before the National Anthem, we met up for an Ambassador photo. Cecilia (far right) was the singer and as always, she gave the most beautiful performance.
I also got to meet Robin, one of my readers! So cool!
Amy, Meghan and I looked around for S and M, who had come from a different hotel. The “Snack Pack” was ready for a half marathon!
Miles 1 – 3
The first four miles of the race were tough for me. For some reason, I didn’t have myself together when I got to the start line, and I couldn’t shake it. Amy, M, S and I started at a fairly nice clip, headed toward the river. At Mile 1, we turned left onto West Bryan Street, and then another left onto Jefferson. That’s where the squares started. I adore the squares in Savannah, but the constant corners are always tough on my hips. At this point, Amy peeled off from our group, as she is coming back from a nasty injury.
Miles 4 – 6
At this point, I realized that S was hyperfocused and not chatting. We always chat on our weekly runs, and it’s such a great distraction. It wasn’t right without her leading the conversation, so I spoke up and got that situation rectified quickly.
These miles are pretty far outside the downtown area and lead down Washington Avenue, where exist some of the most gorgeous properties in the area. The homes are absolutely beyond and I confess to checking out the For Sale signs and making mental notes as we pass.
The hardest part of this area is that we pass runners who are already on the return trip. There was lots of cheering and excitement on both sides of the road, but I really couldn’t wait to get to that other side.
Miles 7 – 9
Into Daffin Park we went. At this point, the humidity was doing a number on me, I had made a critical error by not carrying hydration with me, and was relying on the aid stations for electrolytes. M and S were so strong and I told them to go on ahead.They refused, and I dug deep.
We passed the Savannah Bananas stadium, and wound our way through the Park. I had some Gu, and convinced myself to get it together.
Miles 10 – 11
I was starting to feel a little better, other than a dull ache in the arch of my right foot. I was really concerned about my plantar fasciitis flaring up, but we obviously had to keep going. We ran back down Washington, with a little box around Hedeman Park, and finally, we made the right hand turn back on to Price Street.
Miles 12 – 13.1
Oh, I was so excited to see that Mile 12 sign.
The end of this race is challenging because we have to run past Forsyth Park (and the finish line), to loop up another street and set of squares, then back around.
But finally, we could see the park. And the fountain. And the finish arch.
And we kicked it in for a strong finish! (The announcer, Fitz Koehler, dubbed us The Snack Pack because of our shirts, and I loved it!)
We collected our medals and Publix snack bags (with water and fruit and mini muffins, they are truly outrageous snack bags)
We went back around the area to find Meghan so we could wait to cheer Amy in!
Then it was time to party!
On our way out from the Finisher’s Chute, we stumbled across this adorable pug. I had behaved myself and not stopped for a single puppy during the race, so there was absolutely nothing to keep me from grabby handsing this sweet baby (check him out at @the_winstapug and give him some love!)
Ember City was performing at the amphitheater as we made our way past the amphitheater to the bar.
Runners are treated to two drinks: beers or mimosas. I knew we had mimosas coming at brunch and so I went with beer.
It was everything.
Our group had a blast hanging out at the after party, but we started getting hungry and wanted to make our way back to our respective hotels before the rain came.
We had literally just gotten to the fountain when the rain started to fall.I was able to snag this one photo. It’s a keeper.
This is my third year running the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, and each year has been better than the last. Attention is paid to every detail, from the expo, to the post-party to the rest of the festivities. The course is unfailingly gorgeous. The volunteers at the water stops and aid stations were friendly and encouraging. The bling is always on point. There was music and great signs and oh, yes. Free photos, courtesy of SportsPhotos.com. It is always such a pleasure to run these streets, and this year, I had the pleasure of doing it with friends who had never raced in Savannah.
To be continued with the rest of our weekend in Savannah and Yoga on the Square!
And mark your calendars! The Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon is scheduled for April 6, 2019! I’m going to be there! Will you?
What makes a great racecation for you?
Will you be joining us next year?