Back in January, I registered for the Zooma half marathon. I’d run the race with two of my cousins and my sister back in 2013, and loved it.
At the end of June this year, I received an email from Zooma saying that they were changing the race format this year. Instead of a half marathon and 10k, there would be yoga and untimed 5 & 10k “group fun runs”.
Wait. What?! Can they really do that?
I paid for a half marathon.
Jess and I were the only ones who had registered this year. Kristen had recently had a baby and my sister wasn’t able to get away that weekend. Since Zooma was going to be the weekend after my half iron triathlon, which was the main race I was training for, I wasn’t all that upset about the change. I figured an untimed 10k would be less pressure and probably better for me. Yoga and some time at the beach would be nice. Jess was more disappointed than I was I think, but we both decided that we still wanted to do it.
Two weeks before the newly named “Zooma Yoga and Run Fitness Weekend,” we got an email saying that they were still working on getting everyone into the appropriate distance and pace group for the runs.
A few days before the race, we received a final email. The group run was conspicuously missing from the weekend agenda.
Sure enough, when we arrived Friday evening for packet pickup, there was no mention of a scheduled group run. When I asked about it, I was told that there wasn’t going to be an organized group run, but we were more than welcome to go for a run on our own. Well, yeah. I could do that for free anytime. I was pointed in the direction of some maps of suggested 5k and 10k routes that were on a table against the far wall.
Jess and I both wanted to go for a swim, so we changed into our bathing suits and made our way out onto the gorgeous stretch of white sand beach in front of the hotel. It is one of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever been on, but holy crap where we paying for it. Off season, it was close to three times what I generally pay for a hotel room.
The water was crystal clear and surprisingly warm. I figured we’d just duck under once or twice and want to get out, but it was actually comfortable. We ended up spending some time bobbing over the gentle waves and breathing in the salty air. It had probably been three years since I’d last been in the ocean. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed it. I was so happy to be with Jess because I can’t think of anyone else (with the possible exception of my niece Avery Jo) who would be willing to swim on Cape Cod in late September.
By the time we got out of the water, we only had a few minutes to change into dry clothes before hip hop yoga, which was the first official weekend activity.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the class was kind of fun. It was pretty much just a normal yoga class with loud music. I’m not a fan of loud music, especially when I’m doing yoga, but the DJ was actually playing music that I recognized and liked. The instructor was really good. So although I enjoyed the music and the yoga, I still didn’t feel as though the two went together all that well. It’s not something I’d likely ever choose to do again, but now I can at least say I’ve tried it.
Next on the agenda was the beach party, which had apparently been going on for most of the time we were doing yoga. There were only about 10 chips left. Jess and I were both starving. We ate our 5 chips each and moved on to the drinks. There was plenty of Barefoot champagne and wine spritzers. We ordered a pizza from the hotel restaurant, but I may have drunk a little too much while we were waiting for our food. It was a nice night to be out on the beach though, and the bubbly stuff was really tasty.
We were in bed at a reasonable hour, but I woke up the next morning feeling parched and my head hurt a little. It was damp and cloudy, but not as cold as I thought it would be. We rolled out our yoga mats and waited. The morning’s instructor was just as good as the one the night before. It was a relatively gentle practice. I loved listening to the waves and the cries of the seagulls and feeling the salty breeze on my skin. When we were on our backs, it was nice to look up at the sky and just watch the clouds float by. I don’t do that as often as I should. A little sliver of moon kept peeking through the clouds.
The “celebrate and chill” portion of the event started right after the yoga session, but I think most people headed out for a run beforehand. Jess and I were planning to do the 10K run on the map we’d picked up the night before. The first mile or so was nice, but we soon realized that we’d somehow veered off course. We ran for a while on a busy road with no sidewalk, but it was nerve-wracking and not at all pleasant so we turned around. My head was still hurting a little and I was feeling a little queasy on the hills. We ended up running 5 miles. It was enough for me. I was wishing I hadn’t had quite so much to drink the night before.
Back at the hotel, we grabbed some food to eat after our swim and made our way down to the beach. I think we stayed in even longer than we had the day before. The water felt warmer than the air.
The fresh fruit and pastries were delicious. There was more free alcohol, but I wanted coffee and there wasn’t any of that. We sat for a while and stared at the ocean while we ate our breakfast, but eventually my need for coffee became overpowering and I had to go find some.
There was a photographer there all weekend and the photos were posted online for free a little over a week after the event (which is why I’m posting this so late!). Free pictures are always a nice perk.
I’m glad we decided to go even though the event was completely different from what we had registered for. I had a great time with Jess, but I’m really hoping that Zooma brings back the half marathon and 10k next year. Sea Crest resort in September is a spectacular place for a race!