The Divas Half Marathon in Galveston, TX 🌊 🏃♀️ 🏅
On April 28th, my sister and I completed the "Divas Half Marathon" on a beautiful Sunday along the Gulf of Mexico (near Houston) TX. This race was my 7th half marathon and my sister's first! Although every "Divas" series is a little different, I wanted to provide a personal review of the Galveston race.
Let's start from the beginning: Registration!
We registered quite early--about a year exactly-- for this race and ended up paying $73.60. If you've read my previous posts about Disney races, I can tell you that this one was significantly cheaper😅. But here's the thing--you definitely get what you pay for😂, and I'll explain more below.
Training: There are a TON of free training plans available online. I suggest doing a search and finding one that fits your schedule and goals. To be honest, I didn't train for this race. I stuck to my daily F45 regimen and kept my fingers crossed!
Accommodations: For the Galveston series, a discounted rate was provided at the Moody Gardens hotel. Although we live within one hour of the race location, we stayed at the hotel so that we would not have to travel early on the morning of the race (the half marathon start time was 6:35 am)!
Race bag pick up: The bag pick up and expo was Saturday from 9-5. We actually almost missed the pick up! My sister and I were both very busy and barely made it to the expo (at 5:10). Thankfully, they were still there and we were able to pick up our bibs! I do think that Expo should be extended to allow for out of town traffic to pick up bags a little later on Saturday evening (maybe 11-7 pm would be more adequate). You may also purchase a VIP pick up and grab your gear on race day, but this was quite expensive.
Race bag contents: This was probably the most disappointing race bag I have seen in a while. The swag bag consisted of a pink tutu, a super thin performance t-shirt, safety pins, a bib and a box of maxi pads 😭. I don't know, something about the box of pads really made me 🙈. It really just seemed so cliche....I don't even know if that's the right word to describe my feeling. I just didn't like it🙅🏻♀️.
The BIG Day: The race start was very conveniently located within a short walk from the hotel (also, tons of free parking if you chose to drive). The half marathon was very loosely organized by waves, but to be honest, it wasn't necessary. After the national anthem, the elite runners and first wave started promptly.
The course: I'd say the course was disappointing. The first 5 miles or so were along the seawall and that was BEAUTIFUL. The remaining 8 were through a neighborhood or two and back to Moody Gardens. As if the course weren't boring enough, there were very few spectators and no entertainment along the way. I know it isn't quite fair to compare to a Disney Race or the Marine Corps Marathon, but I was honestly surprised. I am glad I had my sister to run with, or it would have been extremely boring and felt like a training run.
The Finish line: I think this was probably the best part of the race (not only because it was the end😂😂). At about .1 out, you were handed a boa and tiara to run through the finish line. I think this is a nice touch and makes for some fun photos. Medals were presented to each finisher from a shirtless fireman....also fun🙈. For after race snacks, the series provided: water, a small glass of apple cider ( to look like champagne), plantain chips, nature valley granola bars, and a banana.
Takeaways: Overall, I rate the Divas Half Marathon in Galveston a "C". I like that the race is local, and appreciate the feminine touches, I just think that a few areas (expo, course, spectators/entertainment) could use some improvement. If you were going to do ONE race as a bucket list check mark, I wouldn't recommend this one. If you are racing to collect "all the medals," go for it!! I personally wouldn't have missed the chance to run with my baby sister on her very first 1/2 marathon, and this was a great way to spend time together!