Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bahamas Marathon - Pre Race Report

Just for Amy and Kathryn I'm working on my race report on my flight home from the race. (Nothing to do with not being able to sleep, nope this is all to keep you happy.  Hope you appreciate my sacrifice!)

Despite being in the travel industry for eight years I've never been on a FAM trip so had little idea of what to expect.  I was nervous about sharing a room with someone I didn't know and in general about the group dynamics.

At the Toronto airport I spied various people who looked like runners.  One of them was handing out shirts so I guessed it would be my group. Right I was. I met a few people, chatted and tried desperately to remember names.

At the resort (Superclubs Breezes) we checked in and I ended up rooming with Wendi, a very nice and very cool agent from Toronto.  She was very experienced both with running and with FAMs so an excellent person to be around.
The view of the Breezes pool 

I was the only person from the group signed up for the full marathon, I was infamous before anyone even met me.  I told people in the group the distance I was racing and they responded "You're the one!"   When people asked what distances we were doing and someone said "She's the full" it sounded remarkably like "She's the fool!"

In the days prior to the race we did a variety of agenty things - site inspections of the Breezes property, the Atlantis resort and the Sandals resort; a Dolphin experience; wandering downtown Nassau.  It was interesting and fun but not necessarily the restful type of things you want to do prior to a marathon (the Atlantis site tour was three hours of walking).

Hanging out with dolphins 

At the aquarium at the Atlantis

View from the Executive Lounge in the Cove tower at the Atlantis resort

Just as difficult as staying off our feet was eating sensibly.  We were faced with tempting buffets for breakfast then uncertain stretches with no food and a couple of seriously unhealthy dinners (but soooo good!).  If you're ever in the Bahamas, go to Twin Brothers at Arawak Cay for the fish fry.  Pretty sure deep fried conch (pronouced "conk") isn't recommended pre-race food but wow it was good. Ooh, and do brunch at the Atlantis and have dinner at the Sandals.  You'll thank me for the recommendations.

Grilled red snapper at Twin Brothers fish fry

So after three days of doing everything wrong we finally came to the marathon.

I picked up a copy of the race program and looked at the race registrants.  There were maybe 120 people signed up for the marathon.  I joked to the other runners and to my parents and coach that I might actually place in this race!

It was good to know in advance that once the half marathoners turned off I'd be pretty much on my own.  Running in a crowd is a very different energy than running alone so it was good to be prepared.

After a pasta dinner at the Breezes buffet, a good portion of which I managed to wear (no pre-race nerves!), we had an early night and tried to have a decent sleep.  We set four alarms and of course I woke up five minutes before any of them went off.


Claire Thompson said...

Looks wonderful! But what the heck does FAM stand for? You and your TLAs!!!

Alison said...

Oops! It's short for familiarization. In the travel biz (short for business!) suppliers will give agents subsidized trips so they can be familiar with destinations or properties and sell them more successfully to their clients.