The first weekend of February is always one of my most favorite because of one thing – Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor, FL. The Best Damn Race series started in Safety Harbor and its by far my favorite of all 4 locations. The town is super cute, the host resort is on the water and AMAZING, and the course is beautiful. It also happens to be one of the races I do that my best friend Laura goes with me for. She is the world’s best cheerleader!
Checking into the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa is always a highlight of the trip. I mean how can you not be happy about this view?
Another great thing about staying at the resort? The start line is right outside the front door! No getting up at 3 am, no driving, no fighting for a parking spot, and no standing around in the cold for (potentially) hours waiting for the race to start. On the morning of the race I was able to get up just 45 minutes before the race and be outside and ready to go with plenty of time to spare.
Laura accompanied me to the start line with her handmade race signs in hand. I knew I’d see her along the course and that made me a happy Meghan. I met up with my friend Amy who happens to be one of the pacers for the race and she talked me into joining her pace group. I really didn’t think I’d be able to swing it, but knew the motivation from running with a group of people would definitely help out.
I stuck with them for about half the race before I had to start slowing down a bit. I felt like as long as I had them in my sights I was okay with not being right with them. The weather was great and since the course is so nice it was easy to keep moving. A couple of times when I started feeling like I wanted to give up I’d look up and see Laura standing on the side of road with one of her signs – it was awesome!
Around mile 11 I was in a whole lot of pain and the finish line started feeling really far away. Thankfully around mile 12 I saw Laura again. How was she getting to so many places on the course? Come to find out she had a map taped to the back of one of her signs and was asking the cops and volunteers on the course how to get to certain places the fastest. At the end of the race we ended up realizing that she walked almost 5 miles during the course of the race. I think next year she just needs to sign up for the 10k 🙂
Thankfully seeing Laura was just the push I needed to get to the finish line. I may not have finished with my pace group, but I still finished 11 minutes faster than my last half marathon and that made me very happy. Add in a super huge awesome medal, a glass of Best Damn Root Beer, and WOO HOO!
If you missed out on Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor you still have a chance to join in the fun in Orlando on March 5th. Come out and join the fun!