We came back last night from a quick less than 24 hour trip to Providence, Rhode Island and it was a blast! Josh and I went on a road trip with running friends, Julio, Tania, and their baby to see Coach Brian run his 50th state marathon (and 75th marathon).
We drove up to Providence on Saturday afternoon and went straight to the expo at the Providence Place Mall to pick up our race packets. Julio was running the half marathon and Josh and I the 5K. The packet pickup was at the entrance to an abandoned department store and it was quick to pick up the bib, shirts, and materials. The expo is small – a couple of racks of merchandise and energy supplements.
Afterwards we checked into our hotel at the Hilton Providence, which is less than 0.5 miles from the start and finish of the race at Exchange Terrace. We then met Brian and his friends at their AirBnB for an incredible pasta dinner – fresh pasta, grilled chicken, salad, and desserts. It was a great night meeting new friends and hearing Brian’s memories and recaps of his journey to the 50th state.
The next morning, Josh and I grabbed an early breakfast at 6:30AM before the 5K start. I had an english muffin with berries which was perfect and Josh ate waffles, eggs, and berries. We got back to the hotel room, finished getting ready and walked over to the start. The weather was breezy and overcast, but perfect running weather. The start area was easy, casual, and there were a ton of porta potties which are extremely important to me at 7 months pregnant! By 8:25AM, we were off. Though I’m convinced Josh could have run the race faster than me, we ended up running it together. My bladder was not enjoying the baby and the movement so we made a pit stop around 1.25 miles in (I have a feeling this is the beginning of my running bladder challenges for the next couple of months). The course was scenic, relatively flat, but quite confusing about turnaround points since the full, half, and 5K all shared the same first and last 1.5 miles. I was really hoping that we would finish last but didn’t look like I was able to achieve my goal. Our finish time was a little over 42 minutes.
We grabbed water and went back to the hotel to put on some dry and warmer clothes before heading back out to meet Tania and see Julio finish the half. There’s something to be said about small town races — we were able to cheer about 150 meters from the finish and could have run part of the race and even the finish with the runners if we wanted to. When Julio finished, we met back up to prepare for Brian’s big appearance. The race tracking is not as robust as some of the larger city races but we were able to estimate using the Find My Friends app that he was running faster than anticipated and knew when he was approaching. He looked very strong and on pace for a BQ (Boston Qualifying time).
After Brian passed, we immediately walked over to the finish area and caught up with him and his friends celebrating. Brian completed his 50th state and all of them were under sub-4 hours. What an incredible achievement! We spent a bit of time enjoying the post-race festivities — pizza and beer (don’t worry I ate my share of pizza instead of drinking the beer) and then went back to the hotel to get ready for our respective trips back to CT and NY.
While a quick trip, it was so much fun to be in person to help him celebrate such a big accomplishment. It was such a milestone weekend and we had a blast participating in the Providence race festivities and celebrating with Coach Brian!