Disclosure: I am an ambassador for the 2017 Publix Savannah Women’s Half and as such received complimentary race entry. All opinions are my own!
I rolled into Savannah the day before the race with plenty of time to hit up the New Balance Fashion Fitness Expo! Conveniently located in the Savannah Women’s Half host hotel, the Hilton Savannah DeSoto, the expo has a smaller “boutique” feel to it. After grabbing my bib and gear bag, I got to check out some of the local sponsor tables!
It was great to be able to experience unique Savannah businesses all in one place!
As always, Publix is an amazing sponsor.
I got to check out all the New Balance gear, too!
Saturday morning came with the perfect running weather – chilly at the start but sunny with a slight breeze as the day moved on. The start and finish line is at Forsyth Park. One of my Race Day concerns of any race I run is finding parking when I get there. Staying at a hotel in the historic district eliminated that worry! We walked a few blocks to the start line.
After an amazing performance of the National Anthem by Cecilia, we were ready to start!
The corrals are loose and on honor system. This is a smaller race, and though there are signs advising where you should start according to your pace, you don’t have corral assignments on your bib. Just be considerate and fall in where you think you will be with similarly paced runners.
Both the 5K and the half marathon start at the same time, so all the runners are in there together. It makes for a little congestion to start with, but don’t worry – you’ll break free soon enough! And you get lovely views like this one:
The course runs through the historic district, down to Daffin Park and then back again. You’ll pass through many of Savannah’s lovely squares; this is a great way to see places your wouldn’t normally as a tourist in Savannah. I found that the bathroom and water opps were sufficient. We dubbed our race “The Savannah Stroll”, meaning that we weren’t in any kind of hurry, and we still had plenty of water and Powerade.
I love running with Jenn and Meghan because these girls put up with some mid-race shenanigans. If you know me at all, you know that there are few things I love better than second-hand sales.
At Daffin Park is the home to Savannah’s minor-league baseball team. A few years ago when I ran the Rock -n- Roll Savannah 5K, it was at Daffin Park and the team was named the Sand Gnats.
Sadly, in my opinion, the team has changed names. I like that little guy. The new name makes me laugh every time I say it. So I had to get a picture with the new mascot.
Why, Savannah? Whyyyyyy?
There was almost an angry mob, y’all. A car tried to drive down a street on course that was supposed to be closed. Angry ladies swarmed that car, yelling, and the driver pretty much had no choice but to turn off at the first available opportunity. Don’t mess with women who have run 12 miles already. They’re kind of pissy.
We felt a lot of support from not only the crowd, but other runners. We had several friendly interactions with runners we came upon along the way. It’s another reason I like the smaller races.
The finish line! Woo! You are routed right past the iconic Forsyth Park fountain before reaching the finish. We were lucky Anna-Marie ran the 5K and was there to snap us approaching the finish.
The mood in Forsyth Park after is a big party! There are playgrounds for the kids, music and picnic spots for everyone, and something special for the adults.
Free mimosa and beer after the finish. I walked up to the tent and was asked, “Do you want one mimosa or two?” The answer is always two.
We took a few minutes to enjoy the surroundings and bask in the glow of our 13.1 miles. It was a gorgeous afternoon.
Sunday morning brought Yoga on the Square with race sponsor Dancing Dogs Yoga. The session was free and open to all Savannah Women’s Half participants. I don’t own a yoga mat but they had one I could borrow.
Y’all, they had my body doing things I had no idea were even possible. This was a serious workout. But here’s the good thing about yoga – you really just do what you are capable of. Meghan, Jenn, Brandi and I were all in a row together, so I kept looking to them to see how to do some of these poses. I performed them to the best of my ability and that was good enough. For this newbie, it helped that there were a couple of people walking around to gently correct people’s form and help them figure out what should be where.
I love the above picture so much because of the way Brandi and Meghan are both looking at me. I wonder if I was issuing noises that were a cause for concern. But even with all this being new, I found myself doing things like this:
You kind of learn that your body is capable of more than you thought it could be. And it was a great stretch out before I had to get in the car and fight the spring break traffic back home to Atlanta! My New Balance outfit that I was gifted as an ambassador was perfect for yoga. Moved with me and that’s saying a lot since I was moving in ALL KINDS of ways.
This is my, “I’m smiling for the picture but I wasn’t expecting such a workout and I really need food” face. We walked down to The Coffee Fox, one of Meghan’s favorite places, and replenished what we worked off at yoga.
Sadly, race weekend came to a close. Time to get back to Atlanta and Real Life. We are already making plans and recruiting for next year. Join us! I’ll be sure to post any info about the 2018 Savannah Women’s Half as soon as I have it. Both this race and the city of Savannah make this a nonnegotiable weekend on my race calendar!