I made good time and arrived early. The race started at 9:00 and they wanted everyone to check in by 8:15 or so. Last year check in was slow that that is understandable. I arrived in town just before 7:30. I stopped at the Port City Java just over the bridge from the mainland and had a coffee and freshened up. I hung around there for a while and then then checked in. I remembered parking near the McDonald's last year so I did that again. Parking was about 100 yards from the start of the 10k. Can you say convenient?
|Before the race, the finish area on the right.|
After checking in, I went over to the finish area to see how loose the sand was. The last .1 miles is in the sand. It was very loose again last year. Despite the name of the event -- and probably because of the electronic timing -- they have the runners stay up pretty high on be beach near the sea oats.
The event consists of a 5k and a 10k. Most people do the 5k but both years that I have done it, I've run the 10k. The way they run the event, the 5k and 10k start at different places. The 10k starts, runs by the 5k start where all of the 5k runners cheer, and then a few minutes later the 5k starts. The 5k course and the 10k course are interlocking and both events share the same finish line. The town literally shuts down for the event so this ends up being a closed course (other than the occasional person backing out of their driveway). As a second time participant, I remembered the two gotchas for the event (1) last .1 on sand (can you say s-l-o-w?) and (2) the shared finish area and interlocking courses means that the 10k runners and the 5k walkers end up finishing together is it is very congested.
The race started exactly on time and it went well for me. Last week I checked the McMillian site to get an idea of pacing for race. It says 8:31 minute miles based on my half marathon time. That sounded completely unrealistic to me so I plugged in my 8k time from November and it calculated 8:39. I finished with an 8:30 pace for a personal best of 52:47. Needless to say, I was tickled!
|Janyne the leprechaun|
|Life Guard chair at the finish area|
|Carolina Beach boardwalk after the event|
|A lot of people wore green boas, leprechaun hats, green wigs, green shirt and some even brought their own Paddy Wagons!|