|Half Marathon State # 21
Half Marathon #39
On October 21, 2017, State #21 would take me to Dover, Delaware for the Monster Mash Half Marathon. The weather for the race was perfect as it was in the upper 40s at the start and finished near the mid-50s, with humidity in the 85-90 percent range.
The Monster Mash Half Marathon is paired with a marathon as well, and is a great locally run event that covers most of Dover.
As stated above the weather was awesome for a half marathon. Here was the “Flat David” the night before the race.
The course is almost entirely flat, and starts with a loop around the Dover International Speedway. As a NASCAR fan, I was super excited about this. We got to the track about 6:15 AM, which was plenty of time for such a small race. We had a good amount of time to kill.
Before the race begins, runners and families just mingle outside the track until about 10 minutes prior to the start of the race. Then everyone gather together in front of the Miles the Monster statue for the national anthem and then we are walked down to the track to line up for the start.
Once in the track, we literally waited only a couple of minutes before they send us on our way. The race started right at 7:00 AM on the flat pit road at the start/finish line for the speedway.
Front stretch of the speedway.
There were about 237 half marathoners and another 177 marathoners.
After a lap around the speedway (it was neat seeing the super banked speedway, but we were able to run on the base which was flat), we head out into Dover. We pass sites such as historic and government buildings, a college campus, and out into farm/field areas for most of the remainder of the course. The only incline we experienced throughout the entire race was in the last half mile, as we had to go over a highway overpass coming back into the race track.
The finish line is right in front of Miles the Monster statute, so you run right to him at the end.
There were plenty of water stops on the course; however, toward the end many of the stations started to not have water. There was also an adequate police presence on the course. The half and full marathon are together until around mile six and a half, and then they join back together around the half’s mile 12. The one unnerving situation was that many of the roads are not closed to traffic, and many of the vehicles would pass really close to the runners. Parking for the race was simple, and in the same location at the packet pickup so that made navigating on race morning painless.
Parking and packet pickup at the speedway is extremely easy. In fact it is primarily just a packet pickup, as there was no expo or vendors.
There are also a lot of hotels very close to the speedway. We stayed at the Hampton Inn which was about five minutes away on the Dover Downs side of the speedway.
The medal for the race is amazing, almost RunDisney style in that it is huge and has a spinner element to it. Paired with the nice medal was a nice bib and tech shirt. For a small race it was really well organized.
As for my performance, it was one of my best. In fact it was my third fastest half marathons at a 1:49:07 (8:19 pace).
I was super excited for my efforts, especially since I was running a back to back weekend with the Atlantic City Half Marathon, New Jersey the following day.
Based on all of the above, I would highly recommend this race, as there are no real challenges to this course. It is a great race for checking off the state of Delaware.
As with all races that are new states, I try to find a nice burger and cupcakes after the race. Well, I hit the jackpot here in Dover, as I found a restaurant that was known for their burgers and cupcakes! The restaurant was called Restaurant 55. The burger that I had was a Bacon Cheeseburger; however, this was not your ordinary Bacon Cheeseburger. This burger had the bacon ground into the patty, so every bite you tasted the bacon. It was awesome. They paired it with fresh hand cut fries as well.
My wife had their fish and chips and said it was really good as well.
As for cupcakes, they had 4 varieties: Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate Farmhouse, Pinkalicious, & Pumpkin spice. I chose the Peanut Butter & Jelly and my wife chose the Pumpkin spice. They were both really good and are highly recommended.
Well after lunch we got on the road for a two hour drive to Atlantic City, New Jersey where I would do another half marathon on back to back days. Stay tuned in the coming days for that race recap of State #22 and my 40th Half Marathon.