Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Space Coast Half Marathon–Weekend and Race Recap Day 2: Expo

November 30, 2013

The plan was to get to the Expo early and get it out of the way and then maybe look around Kennedy Space Center.  Although we didn’t set the alarm, we were up & going by 8:00AM.  First stop…breakfast!  There was an IHOP just down the road so that’s where we landed.  There were several other runners in there (you could tell because they were wearing shirts from events that they have done) and a Marathon Maniac was in the booth behind us.  While eating, some folks wearing Colts gear came in and one of them was going to do the marathon tomorrow.  And our server – sadly I don’t remember her name now – was awesome.  You could tell she really likes her job.

After breakfast we were on the road headed to the Kennedy Space Center.  It was approximately 30 minutes away and although we missed the first exit that we should have taken, the second one would got us there just the same.  Florida may be labeled as the Sunshine State but it certainly wasn’t giving us that weather this weekend.  It rained off and on the entire time but that also gave us the opportunity to see a rainbow now & then.

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I downloaded the parking pass that the event provided for us so we didn’t have to pay for parking.  It was fun that the Space Center was decorated for Christmas. 

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But I think that also distracted us because we weren’t really sure where we were supposed to go once we got to the ticket gate.  You could tell that everyone was being scanned and using a ticket but we didn’t have anything like that.  After asking a security person, we discovered that we (mostly) walked right by the Space Coast Marathon table that would give us our entry pass.  To our defense, it wasn't signed and was next to some other quick pass ticket area for the park. 

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Anyway, we got our ticket and went inside.  You had to be told your bib number by a volunteer outside before you could go in to get your stuff.  That was all fine and everything but once you were inside, the marathon people needed to go to the left and the half marathon people should go to the right…again, no instructions were given to do that so my husband went “my way” and had to be redirected to the other side.  Although he wasn’t going to be able to run, he was still going to pick up his bib & shirt.  I was surprised at how small this bib/packet pickup area was.  After getting our bags we went in to the merchandise area.  I was also looking for the 50 States table so that I could get my club specific shirt from them.  While walking aournd I didn’t really see anything that I wanted to buy.  I contemplated a pink Space Coast hat but passed.  We went back into the lobby area and saw this display of all the medals in the series.  SWOOOOOOOON!

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Finally found the 50 States table and  - as is usually the case - there was someone there not realizing that OTHER PEOPLE need to get their stuff as well and just kept going on and on with questions about the shirt and some other shirt she bought and could her son join, etc.  SHEESH!  Eventually got my shirt and decided to make one more pass in the merch area and go back and get the hat.  But there weren’t any left.  Like my husband said, if you think you want it, you should grab it right then and there. 

Before exiting we walked through the small Space Center area and checked out the display.  We decided that we didn’t want to buy tickets to tour the entire Center and this was really good enough. 

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As we walked outside, there was some lady barking out that if you were done at Expo and didn’t have KSC tickets you needed to leave the park.  But we are rebels and continued on to check out the rockets and things they had on display.  My thought is what’s the harm of letting people walk around?  By seeing some of this stuff that might interest them in to purchasing tickets for the rest of the park. 

We got lucky in that it never rained while we were there and we were able to get some good pictures.

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Back the hotel to drop our stuff off and took a quick trip down to the beach.  They were getting ready for a wedding but I think I overheard someone say that it had been delayed because of the rain.  It was RED flag conditions but surprisingly, there were people out in the water.  After walking south for a bit we went back to our room to get ready for dinner.

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Before dinner I also need to stop at the Radisson to get my Three Little Pigs (TLP) challenge bag.  The TLP challenge was something that I saw on Facebook.  I knew that they did this during the Disney races but I was surprised to see it for this one too.  Of course I jumped on board, especially when I found out that there was a vegetarian option – strawberry flavored gummy bacon.  It was an additional $30 to do this.

We got the address to the closest Applebee’s and headed there after the stop at the Radisson.  There wasn’t much in this bag but it is cute!

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If you have read any of my other posts you know that if we are out of town for a race, I like to go to Applebee’s for the celebratory carb load meal the night before the race.  I always get the 3 Cheese Penne Pasta.  It works for me and now it has become a family joke and an homage to Major League.   #RespectTheStreak

After dinner we drove into Cocoa to see if we could tell where the starting line would be and what the parking situation might look like.  It was less than a 10 minute drive from where we had dinner.  And then it was back to the hotel.  We watched a little football but I was going to need to be in bed between 8:00PM and 8:30PM.  There were two shuttle times in the morning; 4:15AM and 5:00AM but the Half Fanatics had scheduled to do a group photo at 5:15AM so I needed to be on that first bus.  I set my alarm for 2:45AM.  Who am I?  Obviously my husband didn’t need to get up that early so he went down to the hotel bar to watch some more football.

I got everything laid out for in the morning and then it was lights out by 8:30PM as scheduled.  You could tell that we were at a host hotel and that more than likely everyone was there for the race because at one point before he went downstairs my husband got excited about a football game and started yelling.  Although it was somewhere in the 7:00PM hour, we were the recipients of banging on the wall from folks wanting him to pipe down.  And I didn’t hear a peep once I went to sleep…aside from my husband coming back in around 10:00PM.

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