Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 Diva’s Half Marathon–Galveston, Texas

Looking for a fun weekend getaway with the girls? How about a race that involves tutus, tiaras, boas, and all things hot pink? Well, look no further! The Diva’s Half Marathon Race Series is held all over the United States and this past weekend, I took part in their Galveston, Texas event!

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I ran this race with my sister-in-law and her friends Mary and Chelsea.

This events leading up to the race were full of mishaps – no one’s fault, it just made for yet another crazy adventure! We decided to call ourselves the “Unfortunate Runners” because it seems as if something crazy happens every time we participate in an event together! (Take this Christmas race for example…)

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Flat Karen, ready for a 5K!

The morning of the race is when the series of unfortunate events took place.

  • I woke up ridiculously late. We planned to leave the house an hour and a half before the start time of the race (because we still had to cross the ferry). Thankfully, we made it out only about 8 minutes late.
  • After arriving at the ferry docking site, we were told that the next ferry would be along in 20 minutes. TWENTY WHAT?! Okkk…
  • We were also directed to the TSA screening lane because apparently four ladies in hot pink tutu’s at 5:30 on a Saturday morning rings suspicion.
  • We finally loaded onto the ferry but instead of moving right away, we stayed put for another 10 minutes before finally moving. (Y’all, I was getting SO nervous…the race start time was fast approaching!)
  • As we neared the Galveston dock, we saw a cruise ship pulling into harbor. Guess who got stuck behind the cruise ship moving at a turtles pace? OUR FERRY.

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Hi Carnival Dream! I mean, I love cruising but would you mind moving out of the way, please?

  • As the ferry approached the dock, Mary attempted to start her vehicle……uhhhh……it wouldn’t turn back on. What. The. Heck?! The battery was dead. Great, just what we needed!
  • After allowing all of the other cars to move off the ferry, our vehicle was “pushed” by this little cart thing…
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  • I assumed that the ferry workers/docking area had a device that could jump our car but NO, that would have been too easy. Know what we had to do? Stand there like crazy women in pink tutu’s, hoping some generous soul would forgo the current ferry ride to give us a jump.
  • THANKFULLY, the last car in line turned around to help us – he was very sympathetic because he just dropped his wife and friend off at the start line. He understood our dilemma.

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  • By this point, it was 7 a.m. and the first wave of runners were currently enjoying the start of the race. The “Unfortunate Runners” were still a mile and a half away from the start line. Yes, our entire debacle took almost an hour and a half. Sheesh.
  • We finally made it downtown and couldn’t find anywhere to park.  After driving in several circles, we finally landed a parking garage, parked, then took off at a dead sprint for the start line.

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  • The start line was still up (thank goodness) for the 5K runners. Our race began at 7 a.m., the 5K began at 7:30 a.m. At this point, we were approaching 7:20 a.m. I guess we looked so frantic (ok maybe I was the only frantic looking one) that someone told us to jump the fence and just GO. So, that’s what we did – we jumped the fence at the start line in front of the 5K’er, we crossed under the inflatable start line, and we began our race. No time to stretch or fix any piece of stray clothing. Unfortunately, the timing mat at the start line was set up for the 5K by this point, so we have no “official” start time for this race.

After that, it was all smooth sailing from there (thank goodness)!

Prior to this race, I didn’t have any pre-conceived notions of a finish time. I knew Mary wanted to run with me and was attempting a 2:15 or better. This was Mary’s 2nd half marathon. I agreed to pace her and that became our plan!

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Woohooo we MADE it!

After my heart returned to a more normal and less sporadic beat, I was able to calm down and enjoy the scenery. This really was a gorgeous race route!

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We began the race in the old downtown area of Galveston, then ran out to the sea wall.

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Before long, Mary and I approached the walkers, followed by the run-walkers, and finally the group of mostly runners.

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I was SO glad I remembered my glasses. Y’all, that sun was BRIGHT.

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Race day was such a beautiful, clear, and cool day! I was happy to see a complete change in the weather from the day before!

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I attempted a picture by the Gulf….that hair, though!!

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I loved how the Diva’s Half had these inflatable signs located all throughout their course. I saw at least 4 of them!

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On target for a 2:15, feeling strong!

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My absolute favorite part of this race was around mile 6-8 where we ran through this neighborhood of homes by the sea. My photos don’t do this area justice – it was gorgeous!!

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I wanna live here. For real.

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We decided to take a 2 minute walk break around mile 9 because Mary’s knees were hurting her. The bottoms of my feet were starting to hurt but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for me. I was glad my knee decided to behave!

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At mile 11 is when the mental struggle became a reality and I was able to coax Mary through the next 2 miles. We were dead on for a 2:15. I told her that she had to decide what was more important to her, achieving her goal of 2:15 or walking at that very moment. She had come so far for 11 miles, I hated to see her miss her goal by even a minute.

I have to say, Mary was a trooper! She decided that her goal was indeed worth it and stuck it out for the remainder of the race!

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I snapped a quick picture at mile 12, then put the camera away for the remainder of the race.

As we neared the finish line, we were each handed a tiara and a boa! Mary didn’t think she had anything left in her to sprint at the end but before I could even blink, she took off! We were running a 7:20 at the finish!

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We crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 25 seconds! I couldn’t have been more proud of Mary – she achieved her goal and pushed through when the race was it’s toughest.

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Bottles of water and glasses of champagne/ginger ale were available at the finish line.

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Another fun part of the Diva’s Half Marathon Series is the medal area!  “Fireman” are there to hand out medals and take pictures with the finishers which I found rather amusing!

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Since we had our choice, we chose the guy all the way to the right! :)

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We took a few pictures, then began the search for our friends. After finding them, we stood around at the finish line to cheer for Kayla and Chelsea when they crossed.

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Woohooo we did it! What a fun race (despite the ridiculous morning)!

I just mentioned out loud that I was shocked about the lack of food at the finish line when I saw a runner eating a banana. I asked where she got it from and she pointed me around the corner and down the road a bit. There WAS a finishers area after all!

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They were giving out packages of dried fruit, pretzels, a banana, and an oatmeal cookie!

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Kayla and I both wore our Sparkle Athletic crown “Schwings” for the race!

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I loved this race, the scenery along the race route, and the amount of water/Gatorade stations along the course. This was a really fun race filled with lots of fun and a ton of girl power! I would love to run this race again in the future and definitely think I need a do-over…hopefully with no mishaps next time! :)

Have you ever run a Diva’s series race?


  1. Omg what a hectic and frantic way to start a race! So glad that you didn't miss the start of the race altogether and that you were still able to run.

  2. Great recap Karen and congrats for pacing Mary to her goal time! I love the one Divas race I ran last year at Myrtle Beach. I also paced for that race and it was my friend's first half. The Divas races are perfect for first timers since everyone is so friendly!

    1. Thanks so much, Pam! I couldn't agree was a great race experience all the way around!

  3. Sounds so fun! I was late to the Jazz half a couple years ago b/c they had TWO potties at the start line. They were singing the national anthem while i was still in line. THey had already taken down the start when bobby and I ran over and people had to tell us where to go!

    1. I remember that! I thought about you as we were racing to the start line! LOL

  4. This sounds like such a fun race! I'm going to add it to my list.

    1. It really is! :) I hope to run it again next year!

  5. OH my gosh, that is the most pre-race drama. Thank heavens once you started running things were good.

    1. was crazy. I'm just glad we were still able to run!

  6. Thank goodness you had a good race after all that drama.


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