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  • Writer's pictureDeanna Sansbury

St. Michael's 5K Weekend

Last weekend we took the boat across the bay to St. Michael’s to run our first 5K together.

It was a big weekend for us in many ways… It was the first time we’ve taken the boat on an overnighter since we brought her back up from NC nearly a year ago, and it was also the first time I’ve done an official race, running more than one mile continuously. What can I say – we like to go big!

Sources told us that the trip over would be about 6 hours depending on the weather, so we planned to leave first thing Friday morning in hopes to be at anchor in St Michaels by early afternoon.  Our friend Mischelle, an experienced sailor and fellow 5k’er, was joining us for the sail over as well as the race, and we were all super pumped for the weekend to come.

Then the weather forecast started to go bad.  Very bad.  Friday morning we woke up to torrential downpours, flash flood alerts and small craft advisories.  The tide was so high, water was almost covering the piers at our marina.  There were huge rolling waves coming in from the bay that spouted up like geysers thru the pier.  We had to time the waves just right and run down the pier to avoid getting soaked.

Things were not off to a good start.

We made the call to postpone our departure until noon to give the weather a chance to improve.  When we finally left the dock at around 11:30, it was down to a light drizzle and the sun was hinting at making an appearance.  But the best part?  There was NO ONE crazy enough to be out on the water, so we had the bay to ourselves for pretty much the whole trip.  With all time we had, we decided to try out a new sail – our spinnaker!  Neither of us had any idea how to put that guy up at first, but like everything else on the boat, we just jumped in and figured it out.  The wind was coming from behind us, and the spinnaker took us to about 8 knots – the fastest we’ve been in a long time!

By 4:00 we were anchored up in a little cove just outside the main drag in St Michael’s, listening to some good music and taking it all in.  We eventually made our way into town to pick up our race packets and grab some dinner.  Exhausted, we were in bed by 10:00, nervous for the big race the next day.

Around 1:00 in the morning, I woke up hot and opened the hatch only to hear wind gusting outside. Half asleep, I told Matt maybe he should go outside and peak around to see if we’ve moved at all. I’ve gotten used to the security of of being tied to a dock and was new at this whole “living off the hook” thing.  Drifting anchor while we’re sleeping is one of the things biggest things I’ve been afraid of since beginning life aboard.  Unfortunately we HAD drifted a bit, enough so that the owner of the boat next to us was staring at us from the bow of his boat and shouting at us.

Him: “Hey! Your boat’s drifting! You need to move!”

Matt: “I don’t think we’ve drifted, I think its just our anchor chain letting out”

Him:  “You’re getting pretty close to my boat.  What I don’t understand is that there’s a whole bay out there and you’re sittin’ here 20ft away from me.  We were here first!”

Duly Noted.  We had been voted off the island – or more like, out of the cove. We picked up anchor and moved to a spot in the Miles River not too faraway.  The only way we knew to go there is because we had Googled St. Michaels last week before we left and had seen a picture of a bunch of boats anchored out in what seemed to be this spot.  Clearly we were not experts. We set again and stayed up for another hour just to be sure.  It was 3:00 in the morning and we had to be up to run in a race in less than three hours.  Oye vey.

Race day arrived and we found our way to the high school where we were we were to start, joined by over 3,000 other racers.  Around 8am the 10k’ers started, which our friends Becky and Kim were running. That was fun… everyone was relaxed and excited for a beautiful morning run.

Next up was the half marathoners.  Now they are a different breed entirely.  These folks took those 13.1 miles seriously.  Most were wearing the belts with the multiple goo packs, some had the shorty shorts that showed juuust a little too much thigh, and all that intense stare on their face.  It was intimidating! Wow, what has we signed up for?  I thought this was just a fun run!  Finally the 5k’ers were called up to the starting line.  We reluctantly filled in, with no one wanting to be at the front of the line.  We were all darting nervous glances sideways at one another, anxious for the race to begin.  Now, these were my kind of people! I was able to relax and just enjoy myself.

We ran the race – not together of course, since Matt is a waaay better runner than I am and smoked me at the starting line.  Afterwards we headed out over to the runners village for some snacks and to get our completion times.  Turns out Matt not only finished 6th place overall in the 5k, but he finished #1 in his age group!  The f*cker hadn’t run since MARCH and ran a 7:00 mile pace.  I on the other hand, who had been training since February, ran a 10:30.  <sigh>

The rest of the day we spent hanging out in town and enjoying some sun downers over a beautiful sunset with our friends on the boat.  It was such a great weekend and we’re looking forward to many more like it this summer on the bay.

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