Ooof, it has been 2 weeks already since I completed the Yeungling Shamrock Dolphin Challenge in Virginia Beach, and I’m finally getting around to writing a recap of my experience! It was such a fun weekend full of friends, good food, and of course running. To really capture everything I want to share, I’ll split this into a few posts like I did for the 2018 Detroit Marathon. Today’s post will be about the trip to Virginia and the expo!
Jenny and I drove from Michigan to Virginia on Thursday. We left bright and early in the morning for the sole reason of being able to have Chik-Fil-A for breakfast in Toledo. Okay, that wasn’t the sole reason – we also wanted to get to Virginia at a reasonable time. And it was a good thing that we did leave so early! We had to make a quick stop on our way out of town to pick up a few things, including some AWESOME St. Patrick’s Day swag that you’ll see in pictures later in this post. After that, we were off.
As we started our journey, the skies were a little ugly. In Ohio we hit some rain – it was pouring by the time we got done with breakfast. The gloom didn’t last too long though. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by abundant sunshine and the temperatures were climbing! We stopped for lunch in West Virginia and ended up hanging around for a couple of hours just to enjoy the gorgeous weather. After our long, cold, dark and icy Michigan winter, temperatures in the 70s and sunshine were very welcome!
By the time we got to Virginia it was getting dark. We were lucky to have our gracious host Kat offer to make us dinner, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We stayed up late chit-chatting and planning for the weekend, knowing we could sleep in a little bit the next morning before we headed to Virginia Beach for the expo.
We decided that we weren’t in a huge hurry to get to the expo Friday morning. Originally we had planned on being there as soon as it opened just in case there were any race exclusive Goodr sunglasses that might sell out, but sleeping in a little bit that morning was definitely more important. We took our time getting down to the expo, enjoying a delicious lunch on the way. It was a good thing we did because it was a long day at the expo!
We grabbed our bibs and race swag, made a few other purchases, and explored all of the vendors at the expo. Kat left us to go pick up Jacque from the airport, and Jenny and I hung out at the expo waiting for the Meet & Greet with Meb Keflezighi. We were both excited and nervous waiting in line, wondering what we would say, and then realizing we had absolutely nothing with us for him to sign! First we found the backing off a sticker, and then I noticed a pile of “bibs” sitting on a table. We ended up using one of the bibs – although we both wished we had bought his book instead to have him sign! It was awesome getting to meet him and Bart Yasso. Meb was a little quieter, wishing us luck and shaking our hands. Bart was more out going and even let us take a “Bartfie” with him, as he called it. We joked with him about a fellow member of our running club that had just tried Yasso 800s and said we could give him a high five because they went well.
After the Meet & Greet, Jacque and Kat met back up with us and we got Jacque’s bib and swag. We then went to meet up with more running friends for dinner. You can check out my What I Ate Wednesday post about all of our food – Friday night dinner was definitely one of my favorite meals of the whole trip, and that may or may not have been influenced by the delicious crush cocktails we tried.
My next post will be about the 8k and other Saturday happenings, and a final post about the half marathon on Sunday!