Running one mile at full speed isn't an easy task. I've done it, and almost vomited upon finishing each time.
If you want to take on that sprint challenge - and ratchet up the difficulty level - head to Wildwood for an event simply called Beach Mile, to be held July 18. It's a first-year event.
"Running on the beach is not easy. We didn't want to make it something too long that all ages wouldn't come out," said Jason Merola, events specialist at Morey's Piers, which is cosponsoring the race with the Sports Conditioning Institute of Bergan County, N.J.
Organizers went back and forth between a half-mile race and full-mile race and settled on a mile so that "it will still appeal to competitive people," Merola said.
The event will be broken up into four waves of runners, with the first wave starting at 10 a.m. and the last at 10:30 a.m. It will be held close to the water on damp, harder-packed sand. It's still more difficult to run on that sand than on solid ground, but it's easier than running on softer, dry sand. (Also, that weekend Wildwood is hosting both beach lacrosse and field hockey tournaments, which will use the softer sand for fields for those games.)
The fee is $30. http://
The top five men and women will receive medals, and all participants will receive two-day passes to Morey's Piers, which will let them into the company's amusement piers and water parks, Merola said.
I've done a lot of running - and some racing - on the beach. I prefer to run barefoot if the shoreline is free of jellyfish, but have worn running shoes too. If you are going to wear shoes, you can do one of two things: either tighten your laces to prevent sand from slipping between the bottom of your foot and your shoe, or make that race the swan song for that particular pair.
And prepare to have sore calves the next morning.
"One mile probably feels about three miles in real life," Merola said. He's not that far off.