Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Race Review: Flying Pirate Half Marathon Outerbanks, NC April 2012

The Setting: The Outer Banks (OBX), so of course we made a trip out of running this race.  We rented a beach house with my cousins and our dogs.

We stayed in Kill Devil Hills, near the Wright Brothers Memorial and just one short block from the beach in a 3-story beach house!  It had it's own private pool and hut tub, plus a deck on the 2nd and 3rd stories from which you could see the ocean.

We drove out Friday morning and when we got there we had lunch at the OBX Brewing Company.  You may remember from our previous posts that it is the USA's first wind powered brewery, and we also love it there because they have huge outdoor enclosed yard behind their brewery with playgrounds, picnic tables, etc.  Avery can play and we can just sit and enjoy our beer and lunch without worry of her getting away or getting into trouble.

Here we are with Charline and Christine out on the back yard

Avery loves playing on the Pirate Ship playground and peering out one of the port holes!

We really loved our house.  It had 4 bedrooms plus 5 bathrooms!  The ground floor had a game room with a pool table, and as mentioned the swimming pool was a hit with the dogs!  Here they are jumping in together for a toy.  We caught them in mid-jump right before they hit the water!

The Expo:
  At the race expo, Avery got to meet a pirate!  It was small, but I don't really buy many things anyway.  I did purchase arm sleeves, some Gu, and I found a discontinued pair of my favorite running shoes so I had to buy them of course. 

The Race: This is actually in two parts because ran the "Challenge" which consisted of a 5k on Saturday morning and the Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  The 5k race was interesting, the course had us run up and down the Wright Brothers Memorial--which is a huge (and steep!!) hill. 
My cousin Lori and I running neck and neck!

After we stuck around for the awards, we headed back to the house and went out to the beach since it was so nice out!  Can't beat that April OBX weather!
On Saturday it was so beautiful that we hardly could believe the weather forecast for the following day...

It was supposed to be a very cool, rainy, windy, and possibly stormy morning for the Half Marathon.  Well, it was indeed that.  Luckly the wind wasn't quite as strong that morning (but did pick up later that day).  The start line had corrals to keep it from getting too crowded and there were adequate port-a-pottys so it made for a very smooth start.  The course wove through the coastal neighborhoods and along the water.  Not as much course support because the weather was pretty wet.   The last three miles were off-road...first on a hard-packed crushed stone road and then the last mile on mulch trails over short steep hills, sand dunes in the maritime forest.  With the heavy rain and soaking wet heavy shoes, the last few miles were very tough.  We joked afterwards that it was like one of those "mud runs" through obstacle courses since it was wet on the trails and because we got so muddy from splashing up mud.  Here we are passing the Wright Brother's Memorial, notice how different it was this day than the previous day's 5k!

Here I am cruising towards the finish line and another PR of 1:52:37!

Afterwards we got a picture with the Pirate
And a group picture with our medals

After the race we had some nice tasty beers and breakfast sandwiches at the after party, then went back to the house to warm up in the hot tub. 

Overall, great race because I absolutely love the OBX location and atmosphere.  The addition of the "challenge" option really made us feel like rockstars, and we ended up with three medals total!  

Grade: A


  1. Thanks for sharing that and Congratulations on that PR. I decided to do it this year and hopefully maybe it wont rain? I guess Ill find out. Renting a house might be ideal. Thanks for that idea! How is it for spectators? Do they just drop you at start and wait at finish? Or are there shuttle? Have the best day ever! Great recap. Loved the dog pics too.

  2. There is a shuttle, we parked our car in the grocery store parking lot and the shuttle pick up was right there and brought us to the start. At the end of the race, the shuttle took us back to our care. There are lots of places for spectators to watch you in the first ten or so miles, after that you head into a forest. Since part of the race runs through some of the beach neighborhoods, your friends and family may even be able to watch you from the front yard of your rental! I am hoping you will get great weather this year. It really was a great time! Wish I was running it again but in April I am doing the Nike Women's half here in DC.

  3. Thank you very much for the Info. 4 weeks to go for a sub 2. I have a really good coach now, so that helps. Best wishes with the Nike Women's Half! Following your blog now!

  4. any info on how you found a good beach house. which site did you go through? i am running the half coming up in may. in search of a nice house for about 6 to 7 people. thanks in advance.