Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sand Dunes and Daydreams: The ZOOMA women's half marathon

The expo for the ZOOMA Women's Half Marathon was held in a quiet conference room at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Participants were offered a reduced rate at this luxury hotel, where the race would end and the post race party would take place. Although small, it did not lack in quality. The tech shirt was lovely, although it ran small. This has become quite normal, and most runners size-up. Even though this is a women's race, they did offer a unisex shirt for men who registered, a nice touch. 

The adorable swag bag pictured below also included a very nice running hat and a pair of "Feetures" performance socks, which I run in often and love, so I was very excited! 

There was also a knowledgeable rep from Cabot Farms who was sampling three amazing new cheeses, Luna bars, Hint Water (which I would find out later is amazing) and Muscle Milk. Honest Tea was sampling all five types of their tea, as well as four new organic sodas, I fell in love with the Root Beer which has no calories and and sweetened with stevia! 

After the cerebral smorgasbord of  stimuli at the Disney races last weekend, this small, peaceful point-to-point course course was a welcome reprieve.  Winding for the first seven miles through the peaceful terrain of Fort Clinch State Park, and then grazing the coastline down A1A for the last six, the calm waters and towering sand dunes seemed majestic on this cold Florida morning.

The last quarter mile of the race turned onto the beach, and the soft sand made for a challenging finish. Water and Bananas were provided, but the real after party was a short walk away on the beautiful greens of the Ritz Carlton. The finishers medals were lovely, with a sun charm dangling between two palm trees. 
Yoga and foam rolling was available under the Muscle Milk tent, vendors with shoes and merchandise were set up as well. A love band sang well-known favorites, and a crowd was dancing in front of them, this was not a crowd that felt the party needed to end at 13.1 miles! 

The tear off ticket from the race bib was exchanged for a food box with hummus in a pita, pasta salad, and a cookie. Honest Tea and Cabot were both back with plenty of samples, I could not resist some more of each! The farmhouse reserve was my favorite, and I learned they are a co-op which I love! 

In addition to the vendors from the expo, Barefoot Wine Company was there sampling wines and bubbly. I chose the Citrus Fusion which was outstanding.  An organized shuttle system took us back to our cars at the starting point, ending a perfect day of running, laughter, and the generous spirits that make us keep coming back to these events. 


  1. It was a cold but beautiful clear day. Wish my ankle felt better, but I did enjoy the race except for the sandy finish. Nice perks from start to finish and I spent the afternoon cruising around Downtown Fernandina. Stopped at the lighthouse for a few pictures and picked up brochures for my next time back. Let's do it again!! Thanks for being a great room buddy!!

  2. It sounds like a beautiful race! We're so glad you got a chance to sample some of The World's Best Cheddar and get to know a little bit about our farm family owners. Thanks for a great made us feel like we were there! ~Candace from Cabot