- 3 miles/5K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
This was my third year pacing the OCMD Island to Island Half Marathon, and this year went much better than last year as far as the weather (which obviously can't be controlled). Last year was abnormally hot and humid, and this year was still somewhat hot but much more normal. If you read my BibRave review from last year, you may have seen I barely didn't hit my pace last year (I had really tried to hit the pace, but the heat negatively affected me), but I did this year. I did receive a free entry to the race as a pacer.
The race course goes from Assateague Island to Ocean City, with the course doing a loop in a neighborhood and going up a little on the Boardwalk before turning back. The course is flat aside from one hill, which is the Verrazano Bridge leaving Assateague. The bridge is early on in the race, which is good.
Since it's a point-to-point race, runners take buses to Assateague from the Ocean City Inlet. Since my friend and I were pacing, we got there pretty early and it was easy to board a bus; we didn't have to wait in line. There were also plenty of portable toilets at the Inlet. We ended up going to the bathroom in Assateague. We used an indoor bathroom, and there was a wait, but we still had time before the race began.
I would give course scenery a "4" because the beginning and end are awesome — Assateague and Ocean City — with water views, the Boardwalk and beach sights, but the middle can get a little tedious, as it's a long stretch of road.
The T-shirt this year was black, with the race artwork on the back and the logo small on the front left side. I got a women's cut, and it seems to be more of a regular T-shirt than a running shirt, although you could run in it. It seems to run a little small. I'm normally a medium, but I have been ordering large in race shirts recently since they all seem to be sized differently. I got a medium for this one and it is snug. I would have preferred a large. The medal was cool and had a Maryland theme (although it was missing the word "half" in front of "marathon," it did say "13.1").
The aid stations on the course were good and the volunteers were helpful, but I think there should have been more. Runners around me were surprised that they were three miles apart at times.
My friend picked up my packet for me and there wasn't really an expo anyway as far as I know, so I did not rate that.
Parking was very easy, but I took off a star because the price was somewhat high ($3/hour in the offseason). My friend paid about $16 for us to park, putting in enough money till shortly after 11 a.m. There was also a line at times to pay at the kiosks (you can also pay via an app — it's a new system for Ocean City).
After the race, runners could enjoy a piece of pizza and snacks like cookies, granola bars and bananas, along with a beer (no craft beer this year). I thought this was a well-run race in general and I didn't have any problems.
Read my full race recap on my blog here: https://sherunsbytheseashore.com/2018/05/04/true-redemption-pacing-the-ocmd-island-to-island-half-marathon-the-year-after-a-tough-race/