A Beautiful View…

And it just happens to be during the 6th largest 10k in the U.S.

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge

I’ve lived all my life near the East coast and driven (or rode when I was too young to drive) over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge hundreds of times.
The view while crossing the bridge is amazing. As a child, I was giddy in the backseat as we approached the toll. I couldn’t wait to see the water and smell the air. No doubt I was excited but the bridge itself was just a means to an end. A way to get across the great Chesapeake Bay and to the beach beyond.
In 2014, a close friend told me about the inaugural Across the Bay 10K race. I loved this idea and signed up the first chance I got. It was such a great racing experience that I immediately registered again for 2015 (and have already registered for 2016).

Register for 2016 here

My friend and I talked 3 others into joining us this year and we stayed together the night before which made for interesting race prep!
Because my little running group was staying on the eastern side of the bridge, the shuttle ride to the start gave us the perfect view of runners in earlier start waves already crossing over. So energizing to see before our own start! The weather was perfect this year. Sunny and just warm enough to really enjoy it.

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Our Little Running Group

The first quarter mile or so is on solid ground as runners spread out en route to the bridge. I know its silly, but I was giddy again, like a kid, as soon as I stepped on to the bridge. Being on foot gives you a new perspective. You see so much more when you’re not speeding by in a car. This is definitely not your average road race. I’ve never seen so many people stop in the middle of a race to take pictures. (Admittedly, I took pictures too, but I never stopped moving!)

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As far as the actual run, it was pretty uneventful. Basically, a really big hill and a straight line. The last mile was tough but I could hear the finish line music long before I could see the finish so that helped me push to the end. Our small group had split in two during the race but none of us crossed the line alone. The finish chute was packed shoulder to shoulder and slow moving but the after-race expo had lots of food and drink options to help celebrate our accomplishment. Another note: the cell service in the finish area and expo was terrible so be sure to arrange a meeting place in advance so you aren’t wandering aimlessly!
Running across the bridge allowed me to look at it differently. This time it wasn’t just a means to an end. It was exciting being up that high and looking out over the Chesapeake Bay. I highly recommend this race to anyone who can make it! Maybe my little running group will be a bit bigger next year.

 

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Did you run this race? Tell me what you thought of it.

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