Running Adventures: Getting Crabby. (Words and adventure by Karen Lindauer)

On October 3rd, I ran in the J & A Crawling Crab Half-Marathon held in Hampton, VA. This race promises great views of downtown Hampton & gorgeous stretches alongside the water and it did not disappoint. As someone who mainly sticks to the roads, beaches, or trails of Virginia Beach, being able to run somewhere different is always welcome. One great thing about this race is the ease of it. There is plenty of parking and access to the Hampton Convention Center for pre-race bathroom stops (actual flushable toilets!!). A lot of races are crowded with minimal parking which adds to the pre-race jitters, however the Crawling Crab was very chill and had a small community feel to it.

One thing that was very different for me at this race was my goal. Typically when I run a half-marathon, there have been months of preparation with a detailed training plan and strict nutrition as I always try to do my absolute best in race. Unfortunately, life has thrown me a huge curve ball recently with a diagnosis of Lymphoma which has significantly reduced my energy level. So this fall, running has been less about chasing a time on the clock and more about enjoying my ability to continue running throughout chemotherapy treatments. I decided to dedicate this race to myself and all those others out there who have to deal with the beast that is cancer.

With that said, this race for me was all about having fun. A great friend and I ran together with one goal in mind: to have as much fun as possible (with a few Orange Crush stops along the way!). I was able to take the focus off of myself and take in all the sights of the race. The scenery was absolutely stunning, and luckily there were many tree lined streets that provided shade for the hot, humid day that it was. Spectators stood along the streets to cheer, volunteers provided tons of energy at the water stops, and D.J.’s were set up along the course to provide music and comedic commentary. There was even a “candy stop”, where I stopped and stuffed my face with jelly beans before taking off again.

The finish line for this race is located right next to the after-party area, so coming into the home stretch we were greeted by many, many cheering friends, family members, and spectators. It makes you feel kind of important to have that many people cheering for you! Plus, with the finish line located where it was, it was a 2 second walk over the beer tent for a frosty celebratory beverage (after I chugged about 3 bottles of water and some Gatorade of course).

If I have one piece of advice for you, it’s to do this race even if you hate running, simply for the beer tent. The Crawling Crab hosted a Craft Brew Fest at the after-party, where there were at least 10 breweries present all serving up about 4 different beers a piece. You get 4 beers with your race entry, and you can purchase more (or bum beers off your non-drinking friends). If you don’t want to commit to the half-marathon, there is also a 5k on Saturday with the same after-party. More miles run = more beers you can drink. I always enjoy a race, but it’s the after party that I truly look forward to. It was a great time catching up with new and old friends, listening to the band “Cover This” play, and chowing down on Baker’s Crust soup.

This race will definitely be on my race calendar for next year! I’m already looking forward to it.


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