Remember how I mentioned that my first two races of 2018 were in the same weekend? Well I’m back to tell you about race #2 – the Jekyll Island 10k!
I was invited to participate in the inaugural Jekyll Island Marathon and 10k in Jekyll Island, Georgia. I had visited Jekyll Island with my family in the past, so I was excited about the posibility of returning as an adult. Once I made sure I didn’t have to run the marathon and could do the 10k, I was ready to go! Thankfully my running buddy Jenn was up for the adventure!
After finishing up race #1 of the weekend we made the short drive across the border into Georgia. I love how quick of a drive from Jacksonville it was. I think sometimes in Florida we forget how close some of the places in Georgia are.
It was a very chilly weekend to be at the beach, but that didn’t stop us from making the most of our time there. Our host hotel for the weekend was the Westin Jekyll Island, which was also the site of the race expo and packet pickup. Once we got settled into our room, that had a beautiful view of the beach, we headed downstairs to the expo and packet pickup. It was a small expo, but everything was well organized. I was even able to finally pick myself up a pair of Goodr sunglasses from a local running shop.
We spent the remainder of our day exploring the island. We went to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (which was amazing), checked out the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, and wandered around the historic district. For an island that is only 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, 2/3 of which is conservation land, it has a lot to offer.
After our afternoon of exploring we went back to the hotel and enjoyed an AMAZING meal at The Reserve. This on-site restaurant has everything you could want from a coastal restaurant. On warmer days they have a wrap around porch where you can enjoy your meal with views of the ocean. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy every bite of our meals. Did you know Georgia is known for their shrimp? Me either! But make sure to listen to the locals and try them on your visit – you won’t be disappointed.
Since we knew we had race number two first thing in the morning, we called it an early night and took full advantage of the Heavenly beds that the Westin hotels offer. If we could have fit one of these on top of Jenn’s car I’m sure we would have tried to take one home. Before we knew it the alarms were going off and we were getting ready for a VERY cold race start. As we headed to the start line the temperature was only 34 degrees and would only go up by a few degrees by the end of the race. It was definitely one of the coldest races I’ve done.
Both distances were capped at 350 participants, so it was a small and very organized start. The marathoners started first and us 10k runners followed them about 15 minutes later. Our 10k course took us about 3 miles north along the main road, through some neighborhoods, before looping us around to head back south. After less than a mile we headed out towards the beach and finished the race right along the coast with beautiful views of the ocean. Even with the extremely cold temperatures (for me at least) it was one of the most beautiful race courses I’ve encountered. And you know what else is amazing? FREE RACE PHOTOS!
We didn’t stick around too long at the finish because we were so cold, but I can honestly say that we will definitely be back again next year! After getting cleaned up and warmed up we went to the Beach Village right next door to the Westin for lunch. Side note: keep in mind that you can’t purchase alcohol until after 12:30 pm on Sundays. Forgetting about this put a little hitch in our post-race beer plans, but we made it work! We had a wonderful lunch and THEN ordered some celebratory brews. Of course I had to go with something local.
I’m so glad we were able to check out this inaugural race and all that Jekyll Island has to offer. Thanks to the Westin Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Marathon & 10k for having us!
Disclosure: I was a guest of the Westin Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Marathon & 10K for this weekend. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.