I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday weekend! Since I'm going away midweek, I decided to turn the whole thing into a two week vacation. So I'm officially relaxin'! My training schedule for this weekend called for a long run of about 9 miles. In keeping with my recent love of the supported long run, I perused the local race calendar for a race that might fit the bill. Long Beach was holding a 10 mile race on Sunday. Having never been to that neck of the woods, it sounded like it might be a good way to get in some new scenery while I clocked in the miles. The start time for the run was 8am which meant leaving the house by at least 6:00 to allow me time to get lost. I Mapquested the meeting point and hoped for the best. The day had dawned overcast with predictions of possible rain. However, the temperature was already 70. I loaded up my waistpack with Gatorade and Clif Bloks so I wouldn't have to depend totally on their water stops. I dressed in everything that I was planning on wearing for the half next weekend, down to the socks, and headed out the door. The drive was pretty easy. There was some kind of accident on the other side of the highway which required a helicopter to land on the roadway. Hope the people involved weren't too badly injured. But the early hour meant that traffic was fairly light and it didn't hold us up too long. I arrived at the registration and got my bib. I bumped into Andrea from the Striders and thought I saw Gerry, who races every weekend. I had no idea they were going to be there. It's one of the things that I'd like to develop in the club if I get a chance. I volunteered to be webmaster and would like to add a message board to the website where those of us who race can coordinate with each other. I wish they'd get some team colors together. They've put together t-shirts in the past and I have a running jacket with our logo on the back, but nothing that I would want to race in. I'm a little jealous when I see the clubs who arrive in matching singlets. But that's not up to me. The race was right down by the beach. You could see the water from the finish line. By this time the sun had come out and I realized that I had forgotten to slather on any sunblock. I'm probably going to regret that. There were also tons of midges in the air. I tried to sit down and relax before the race but I was being bombarded by insects, so I headed toward the start line. The race started on a major roadway through the city of Long Beach. Once the horn went off and we were underway, I realized that I would probably be bringing up the rear of this run. The short races usually start off that way and then the field comes back to you once the novice runners have expended all their energy in a blazing start, but this race looked like it had more seasoned runners. I settled in to my easy run pace of about 10:20 and just kept going. The first couple of miles wound through the little roadways of this beach community. I saw some interesting houses. I guess beach life attracts some of the more 'eccentric' citizens. At about the 2.5 mile mark, the course went up onto the boardwalk. This was to be about the only elevation change for the day. Running on the wooden boardwalk is an unusual experience. There were a number of bicyclists out and you could feel the vibration in the boards as they passed. We stayed on the boardwalk for 2.5 miles. The beach on our right and condos on our left. It was a beautiful view. After we went back down to street level, we headed away from the beach. The houses through this part of town were bigger and more permanent looking. Quite a few of them looked like they needed some serious maintenance. The sea air can be hard on structures. I was starting to feel the heat and my early rising at this point. There were quite a few wonderful Long Beach residents who came out with their garden hoses to spray the runners as they went by. At one point I actually found myself almost dozing on my feet. Sleeping and running? Amazing. And at a pace that two years ago I would have been pleased to do in a 5k race. I finished up the race in 1:44.01 -- exactly my target pace. I felt it primarily from the knees down. Very stiff, but nothing hurt. A good run. As I headed over to where they were handing out water, I noticed that there was a barbecue fired up and they were making hamburgers and hot dogs. I thought that there was no way I could eat that at only 9:45 in the morning, but that was the only food offered at the finish line. So I picked up a cheeseburger and chowed down. It was pretty good. I walked around a bit with my stuff and looked to see if any of my teammates were around. I saw a couple of NY Flyers and a bunch of people from the Hellgate Road Runners. Unusual for a Long Island race. I had talked to a couple of people from Hellgate at last week's race, so I was looking to see if they were the same people. I noticed a tall blond guy who could have been Josh Morphew. He was standing with a woman who had a little dog on a leash that I thought looked like the one that Josh had posted photos of. Still being a little shy about asking a complete stranger if he was someone I've only 'met' through the blogisphere, I decided to check the posted finishers to see if Josh had run this race. There was his name! So I went over and introduced myself. The woman was Josh's lovely wife, Salena, with his doggie, Harry. We chatted a bit on the usual running and blogging topics - how'd you do, what are you running next, funny meeting another blogger here. Josh said he was sticking around because he may have got an award and then they were going to go for a swim. At this point the organizers announced that they were going to pull the raffle winners first. I heard my bib number called and went up and received a gift certificate for a free large pie at a local pizzeria. Will have to get back down to Long Beach sometime so that I can use it. After the raffles were over, they started to announce the winners. The overall winner actually ran the 10 miles in under an hour. Amazing. They announced a bunch of special awards for top Long Beach resident, top veteran (it was a Memorial Weekend race afterall) and then they started with the age group winners. Josh got I believe it was a fourth in his age division. I hung around for most of the announcements and then headed home. I think I've done everything I can to be ready for the Steamboat Springs Half next weekend.