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Mini Space Coast Half Report

Figment82

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I know there was some interest in the Space Coast Half/Full Marathon, being that’s it was one of the few in-person races still happening, so I thought I’d create a new thread.

Overall, I felt extremely comfortable and had a fantastic time. I literally went back and forth on my decision to still run in-person versus switching to virtual - it was really stressing me out. We decided to switch from our usual 2-night stay to just a short overnight - not even a 24 hour visit.

The expo/packet pick-up was at the race start/finish area, in an outdoor park. It’s typically held in the convention halls at one of the host resorts. The location change made it very easy to social distance, and I was in and out in mere minutes. The finisher medals (bonus medal for completing a 3-year challenge) were given with the bib to reduce a contact point at the finish line.

Pre-race, the number of runners seemed comparable to years past, but it was very easy to find a quiet place to wait if you so desired (which I did, haha!). They held a staggered start with corrals instead of just opening the start line and letting everyone shuffle in a mass herd. Masks were required in the corrals until you crossed the start, and everyone I saw complied. There were 4 corrals for the north half/full marathon and 4 for the south half. They held everyone back for the south course, but with 5 minute intervals, everything moved quickly. I was in the 7th corral (of 8 total) and started 28 minutes after the first runners.

The staggered start really helped to reduce crowding on the course. It’s an out and back on a road with one lane on each side, so once the returning runners reach you, you are a bit limited on space. No pace groups helped prevent bunching and I never felt “trapped” behind anyone. There was weaving, of course, but I never felt like I was too close to anyone. The only negative is that because the faster runners had a 10 minute head start (and the full marathon had almost 30 minutes), the faster runners caught up a lot sooner than usual (I’m sure the elite marathoners were not super thrilled).

Aid stations were limited, as they had warned beforehand. I ended up investing in a Nathan hydration vest and it worked really well - I actually wish I had done it sooner! They were handing out full bottles of water and PowerAde if you needed it. And although the course didn’t have quite the usual party atmosphere, there were still residents out on their lawns waving and cheering, and a couple wee even handing out mimosas, Fireball shots, and beer. 😂

I told my husband that about a half mile into the race, when everyone had removed their masks and gotten into their running groove, it almost felt like any other year. I hate to use the word, but it was probably the most “normal” thing I’ve done in a long time. And I finished with a 2:47:10, so not too shabby (for me, anyway 😁)!
 

Figment82

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for sharing 😊 Sounds like they had a great plan in place to keep people safe.
Yes! I was so nervous going into it, but everything was handled very well!
That was an amazing report and the most normal current event I’ve read in months!!! Thank you and congratulations.

It is so awesome to see a large scale event adapt and come to fruition!!

Thank you! I’m sorry that it’s a bit of a rambling mess - I was trying to capture my thoughts during the trip home while it was still fresh in my mind (and took advantage of my daughter’s nap 😂).

Everyone seemed so excited just to be a part of a live running event again. It gives me hope for the future!

As an additional note, the event is capped at around 7600 total runners (all 3 races). I checked the results, and it looks like there were roughly 3100 in-person finishers.
 

DznyGrlSD

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
I just got an email about registration for 11/28. This falls in line with my (hopefully) Dopey training but I'm worried about the 7 hour cutoff
 

Figment82

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I just got an email about registration for 11/28. This falls in line with my (hopefully) Dopey training but I'm worried about the 7 hour cutoff
Yes, registration opens very soon! I will say the course is very flat and forgiving, and the fellow runners and spectators are super supportive. If they continue to do the rolling start times this year, I think you would get a little bit of extra time as the marathon/north course started first. I believe the 7-hours starts after the last person crosses, but don’t quote me on that. I can’t speak for what happens after the 7-hour cutoff, but there is a sidewalk for portions of the south course, especially as you get closer to the finish.

This year will be the 50th anniversary of the race, so I’m expecting there to be a lot of interest, but the marathon seems to fill last every year. They are also super great at allowing you to switch distances even as the race date approaches, should you change your mind.
 

DznyGrlSD

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
Yes, registration opens very soon! I will say the course is very flat and forgiving, and the fellow runners and spectators are super supportive. If they continue to do the rolling start times this year, I think you would get a little bit of extra time as the marathon/north course started first. I believe the 7-hours starts after the last person crosses, but don’t quote me on that. I can’t speak for what happens after the 7-hour cutoff, but there is a sidewalk for portions of the south course, especially as you get closer to the finish.

This year will be the 50th anniversary of the race, so I’m expecting there to be a lot of interest, but the marathon seems to fill last every year. They are also super great at allowing you to switch distances even as the race date approaches, should you change your mind.

after talking to a few people I think I'm going to sign up for the 1/2 on the South course.
 

DznyGrlSD

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
ALMOST signed up for Space Coast half this morning. I'm going to marinate on it a few days before plunking down $$
 

DznyGrlSD

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
I completely understand! I signed up first thing yesterday, because I’m crazy, haha!

I've got until 2/28 before the price goes up. I'll probably do it.

Here's what I'm thinking for Disney:
Summer Virtual series again - with more attractions theme
Wine/Dine - virtual only
Marathon 22 - IF Covid numbers keep going down, LIMITED in-person registrations and a virtual option
 

Texas84

Premium Member
Thinking about the Space Coast but not until they clarify the 'safety' protocols. I was signed up for a half Saturday and they sent an e-mail on THURSDAY saying they decided you had to run with a mask. No opportunity for a refund or transfer to virtual. So maybe I'll wait and pay a higher fee.
 

Figment82

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thinking about the Space Coast but not until they clarify the 'safety' protocols. I was signed up for a half Saturday and they sent an e-mail on THURSDAY saying they decided you had to run with a mask. No opportunity for a refund or transfer to virtual. So maybe I'll wait and pay a higher fee.
It’ll probably be similar to last November. They only required a mask at the packet pickup, start line corrals, and after you crossed the finish. Everyone spaced themselves out so well that I never felt nervous about being around others during the run.

That’s not cool at all to drop a pretty significant mask policy like that last minute!

Edited to add: Here’s the link to their 2020 safety protocols - https://www.spacecoastmarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/SCM-2020-COVID-19-Safety-Protocols-R.pdf
 

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