Destination Marathon – Why Not The Hamptons?

A marathon is all the better with travel to a country, region, or town I haven’t yet explored.  Experiencing a city, poking around a neighborhood, and enjoying the local scene can add to the wonderfulness of a marathon weekend.

So it was for the Hamptons Marathon in East Hampton NY.

The race is scheduled in off-season September when the ocean and beach grass wave farewell to late summer.

We arrived at packet pickup on an overcast afternoon and find some great schwag: beach bag, beach towel, flip-flops, lip moisturizer, and the obligatory t-shirt.

Race morning, I look around and observe that I am one of the few senior runners in the pack.  This is a younger crowd than some marathons with a large field of half-marathoners. The first few miles are nearly claustrophobic with runners packed around on all sides.  Soon, the half-marathoners split off and there is space to breathe and enjoy the scenery.  We run through neighborhoods with graceful gardens and shingled homes, through wooded areas, then along a rutted dirt road.  Aside from watching for auto traffic, the road is mine.  While there is always another runner or two in view, we are spread out, occasionally passing one another.  The course and climate are to my liking with a gentle mist to keep me cool and gently rolling hills to offer some variety in terrain.

Mile 24 opens a stunning ocean view and soon the course looks familiar as I approach the finish.  Chip time 4:22:00.

Not my best, but I’ll take it with gratitude.  I’m treated to coconut water, then with banana and bagel in hand we’re off to our guestroom for a refreshing shower.

Next, a post-marathon party in the picture-perfect hamlet of Amagansett at the funky landmark Stephen Talkhouse. Runners enjoyed a hearty appetizer and pasta buffet.

I’ve learned to stay light on food for several hours post-marathon, so I occupied myself with a cool beverage and runner conversation.

Sauntering back to the street, we scoped the Indian Wells Tavern for dinner.  It has a clubby feel, wood and brick, and a menu with choices described as classic east end.  We were seated at a window with a sidewalk view to soak in more of the local off-season life.

My husband chose a deliciously rich clam chowder and a wedge salad.  I was ready for something slightly more hardy but also mild, starting with zucchini chips,  then an orecchiette with sweet Italian sausage and enough fresh vegetables blended in to please my palette and begin restocking my nutrient deficit. Following dinner, we explored downtown Amagansett, peaking in local shops and art gallery windows.

The following morning on my early coffee run to Gaviola’s I found a course monitor outside our door.  Was this a flashback to yesterday?  No, it seems we were directly on the bike route for the Mighty Man Montauk triathlon.  Today, it’s my turn to be the cheering spectator.

Off to breakfast at MTK Cafe in Montauk.  On this rainy morning, even with all tables indoors and on the covered porch spoken for, we were seated quickly, service was fast and friendly and the pancakes were delicious, comforting, and just what I needed for recovery.

One last stop as we drove through the string of villages: the Wolffer Estate.

After admiring the straight lines of lush green vines, we joined in a brief mid-day wine tasting then said good-bye to the Hamptons and the Hamptons Marathon.

Time to go home.

Thank you Race Directors Diane and Amanda for a well done marathon event at a great marathon location.


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