This past Friday a couple of friends and I escaped for a weekend trip to Martha’s Vineyard for the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler. Since I’m not marathon training I wasn’t really up for putting my legs through a full 20 miles, so I took advantage of this being the first year that a 2 person relay was offered. My friend Ashlee and I decided to take on the relay together and my friend Nichole (training for her 11th Boston Marathon) was going to do the full race.
We took the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard on Friday afternoon, where we learned just before boarding about the blizzard that was going to be coming in following day (aka race day). Usually the cape and islands get less snow than the rest of the state, but nope not the case for this storm! We were expected to get 8-12 inches of snow starting mid-day Saturday, making for quite an interesting race.
When we arrived on the island Friday night Ashlee, Nichole, and I met up with a group of runners from the Somerville Road Runners club for dinner at the Black Dog Tavern. A quintessential New England dinner was long overdue and the Black Dog Tavern did not disappoint. We all had amazing meals, most of us got seafood, I had the bruschetta for an appetizer and ordered the scallops for my meal. So delicious!
After dinner the three of us went from Vineyard Haven to Edgartown where we stayed at the Kelley House hotel. I honestly booked the Kelley House because it was the only place I could find a hotel room (the island gets packed with runners!) but the three of us agreed that we LOVED this hotel. First off, there are homemade chocolate chip cookies and cold milk served in the lobby each night, so that was a “must” when we checked in. Our hotel room was perfect, with a super comfy pullout couch in the living room, a kitchenette, full bathroom, big bedroom, plus a porch outside. Once we got settled in our room we all immediately passed out, we needed our rest for race day!
The next morning we went out in search of coffee and breakfast, the race had an 11:00am start time so we didn’t have to rush which was really really nice. We found this cute little coffee shop called Espresso Love where I ordered a piece of toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee.
The weather was cloudy and cold around 35 degrees. Not nearly as cold as I expected so for the race I opted to wear my Old Navy Active compression capris, lululemon run swiftly tech long sleeve, lululemon what the fluff pullover, and my lululemon ear warmers.
Our hotel was near the 10 mile marker, so Nichole and I were going to the start of the race and Ashlee would stay behind to later meet up with me at the 10 mile mark and take the last 10 miles of the race. Before I knew it we were off! The first 10 miles were along the water, allowing for some very pretty views and sightseeing. I was worried about the wind along the water, especially with a storm coming in, but it definitely wasn’t that bad – could have been much worse. It also wasn’t very hilly, a few rises and dips here and there but nothing too significant.
I felt pretty good throughout the 10 miles, I was a bit nervous because I really hadn’t trained for this race. I had done a few 5-6 mile runs in the weeks leading up to the race but nothing more than that, so when miles 8-9 came along I was still pressing on but I could feel that my legs were tired. I also think miles 7-10 had the most wind and tired me out, but when I knew mile 10 was coming up I started searching for Ashlee and was SO happy when I saw her! I finished 10.1 miles in 1:27:01. I stopped running and Ashlee was off on the second half of the race and her first 10 mile run ever, I was so excited for her!
The second half of the race was through the woods on a paved bike path, it looked really pretty. I got a ride from some fellow runners over to the finish line and saw Nichole who had just finished the entire 20 miles – and placed third in her age group woohoo!! I then walked out to mile 17 and ran the last three miles in with Ashlee. The snow was starting to add up and it was slippery and made it hard to see, but we powered through it and crossed the finish line together. I was (and am) so proud of Ashlee for completing her first 10 mile race!
Overall the race, which benefits the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, was really well organized and the course, all along roads, was great. I would definitely do the race again, relay or full 20, the three of us were already talking about how much we loved the Kelley House and that we’d definitely want to stay there next year too, we had such a great time!
Post-race we got back and cleaned up before meeting up with the rest of the Somerville Road Runners for drinks and dinner at the Offshore Ale Co. and enjoyed getting snowed in on the island now that the race was over. We stayed the night before heading back to mainland the next morning.
All in all it was a fantastic race weekend filled with laughs, new friends, and of course plenty of running!