This is my first race report, Wahoo! This is one of the races put on by the company Vacation Races. Earlier this year, I ran their Grand Teton Half Marathon, which was a beautiful race but had some peculiar inconveniences, mainly being that they give you a silly rubber pouch to carry through the race instead of having cups at their aid stations (probably because they don't get many volunteers), and for both races the finish line has been accessible only to spectators who are willing to take one of the company's shuttle busses. Anyways, to the race: Pre-race nutrition was a challenge, as it is with all vacations where we have to spend days before with family. Friday morning my sweet grandmother had to make I'd breakfast, and needless to say, it was not ideal. Most of Friday was spent flying from Salt Lake City to Ft Lauderdale. I brought bagels with me and niche on the flights'complimentary pretzels. I had some quinoa and veggies for dinner. The morning of the race I had done delicious homemade white bread and a honey stinger waffle. The race took 30 minutes longer to start than expected. After the runners had lined up at the start line, a long paved trail in the park with swamp on both sides, the race staff had to bring a school bus down the path to deliver the volunteers to their posts. Imagine 1,000+ runners stretching themselves thin between a sidewalk and alligator-habitated wetlands. Then we had to wait for medics that are required for the race to start. The course is completely flat. My mom's garmin said there was a 7 foot elevation gain. An online source said 10. We didn't notice any. It is also nearly a long straight lap. 6.5 miles down, 6.5 miles back along a different path. I went out fast for me, a 7:05 pace. I stuck with a friendly guy from South Carolina who seemed to be comfortable at the pace, and that helped me. At the turn around point, I realized why I had felt so nice:a 10ish mph tailwind became a headwind. Soon I met another friendly local from Miami and we decided to take turns heading the wind. I think this helped both of us do better than we would've. I finished with a chip time of 1:36:28, 13th overall and 1st in the 25-29 division (there was a no double-dipping rule). My first age group medal, mostly because this was a remarkably uncompetitive pool of runners, considering the popularity of other vacation races and the fact that there were 1000-ish runners.