Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2015 Outer Banks Marathon Race Report and Video

Here is Holly's 2015 Outer Banks Marathon Report and Video:

This race has been on my radar for a while. I used to vacation at the Outer Banks as a kid and I knew it was a pretty area and it would make a good spot for a race. They also had a Pirate Challenge, which involved doing an 8k on Saturday, and the Full Marathon on Sunday. The challenge has since been downplayed to a pretty generic thing but you did still get a bonus medal. Dave and I arrived Friday afternoon and took in the sights and then met Michael who came in to do the challenge with me.

The 8k on Saturday was mostly on a wooded trail that was pretty rough. It was hot and super humid. After the 8k I wasn’t feeling very confident about the marathon on Sunday. Thankfully a big storm came in Saturday afternoon and dropped the temperature and changed the direction of the wind.

The weather for the marathon ended up being almost perfect. There was a 20 mph wind but thankfully it was mostly a tailwind. Those few times we did turn into the wind were not fun so I’m very happy it was at our backs for most of the day. My parents and brother came down to cheer us on and got up at a ridiculous hour to get to the start. They are crazy but I love them and I’m happy they were there!

The start had two waves and very quickly we were off on a point to point course from Kitty Hawk to Manteo. It was a very scenic route that had us running on the bayside in the beginning by some beautiful homes. Michael (Twitter: @makomichael) was up to his usual shenanigans, which made the race go by quickly. I felt pretty good in the beginning and our pace was a bit quick. We did run on that same rough trail we did for the 8k, (Michael and I argued for a mile that this was the same trail we ran on the day before) and then an even rougher single track trail, which I wasn’t a fan of.

Around the midpoint my stomach started hurting which never happens. It slowed us down a bit but we were still on a good pace. To get in to Manteo you have to run over this huge bridge. I saw a bridge WAY in the distance when we were at Mile 21 or so and I said to Michael that there is no way that is the bridge. He of course said, Yep, that’s it. It was so far away and then it was so long to get across. Longest last miles ever. I was very happy to finally get to the finish line and see my family there to cheer me on. Thanks to them for braving the wind and cold and cheering me on at a ton of places. Thanks to Dave for doing a great job of getting them safely around the course. The after party was nice with beer, pork sandwiches and sweet potato fries. I would definitely recommend this race as one to do for North Carolina, just beware of the bridge!

Dave's Comments

This was my first visit to The Outer Banks and I had no idea what to expect. The first surprise for me was the fact that there aren't any restaurants or bars on the beach. Most establishments were a block-or-two off the beach or in a strip mall on the main drag. We flew into Norfolk and had a pleasant drive down with a stop at Weeping Radish Brewery and Sausage Shop. We were lucky enough to also see where the Monster Truck Grave Digger lives.

After attending the race expo we hit a near-beach bar for Happy Hour shrimp and fish. Holly then took me to Jockey's Ridge State Park for sunset. This is an area with large sand dunes and a view of the inlet. It was really pleasant until the wind picked up and sandblasted us. Michael found us leaving the dune and the three of us headed out for more snacks and eventually dinner.

On Saturday Michael and Holly ran the 8k. I thought about doing this too but I asked a man at the expo about the course. As soon as he said "wooded trail" I was out. In my opinion not having the race on/near the beach in a beach town was a missed opportunity. Instead of running I was put in charge of picking up the Duck Donuts and walked the beach a bit. After the race we went to the Wright Brothers Memorial and made it just in time for ranger talk. This fact only excited Holly. Afterwards Michael drove us down to Cape Hatteras to see more dunes and the lighthouse. We had lunch in the area before returning back to Kill Devil's Duck Donuts for Michael's family order. Fortunately the shop was near the Outer Banks Brewing Station.

Sunday was Race Chasing with the family. We figured we would be good up until Mile 19 before we had to go over the big bridge and out of our way to get to the finish (20 minute detour for the race). It was a bit chilly most of the day (and windy) and we spent a lot of time sitting in the car sheltered. Once Michael and Holly hit the long open road of the main drag it was time for us to pack it in and head to the finish. The rest of the day was spent driving to and hanging out in Virginia Beach.

Here's the video:



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