Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ron Jon Half Marathon
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Sunday, October 29, 2017

On Sunday, October 29, 2017 I race walked the Ron Jon Half Marathon in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  The skies were mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of rain (It never rained) with a temperature from 68 to 72 degrees and a wind of 5 mph at the start increasing to 15 to 20 mph with higher gusts by the end of the race.  The course was flat with the first 7 miles on Highway A1A from Patrick Airforce Base to Ron Jon’s Surf Shop in a dedicated right lane that was closed to traffic; however, some cars forced their way across the lane to enter or leave motels and businesses.  Also the first three miles were somewhat crowded because of the size of the field.  The next two miles were on side roads between Highway A1A and the Atlantic Ocean.  The next three miles were on the beach from Ron Jon’s Surf Shop to Downtown Cocoa Beach.  The footing on the beach was good for the most part but there was an incoming tide and medium size waves that sometimes flowed onto the course and had to be dodged.  The entrance onto the beach and the exit off of the beach was soft sand and took some effort to navigate.  The final mile of the course went again on Highway A1A in the dedicated lane and finished in Lori Wilson Park.  Water/Gatorade stations were located from 1.5 to 2.5 miles apart and had plenty of friendly efficient volunteers taking care of the needs of the participants.  Police helped out a key places and patrolled the other lane on Highway A1A to control, for the most part. the traffic from crossing over the course.  This is the third year for the event which has always been an “I Dream of Jeannie” themed race with prizes for the best Jeannie.  There were at least 200 women (and a few men) dressed in Jeannie outfits doing the race. I completed last year’s event as well as this year’s event and have enjoyed the well-organized fun event.  I managed to get third place in my running age group even though I walked the whole distance.

Cocoa Beach

Ron Jon Surf Shop

Race Exposition

Before the Race

After the Race

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
October 29, 2017