Flying Pirate Half Marathon

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Kitty Hawk, NC

April 22nd, 2012

Finish Time: 1:49:30

AG 25-29: 10th

The starting line is a neutral zone where all preconceptions go out the window. Once you cross that line, it’s just you and your motivation to help put one foot in front of the other to get you to cross that finish line.

Rain rain go away come back not when I’m running. Well, that wasn’t the case this past Sunday. Saturday was beautiful, 75 degrees, the sun was out; it couldn’t have been more perfect. But that all changed overnight. Rain, wind, and thunderstorms. The perfect combination for our race on Sunday. Thankfully the wind calmed and the storms were on pause but the rain was in a constant pour that made my shoes feel like 5 pounds but lets just say, major motivation was needed this weekend and I haven’t been this sore after a race since my marathon. The race started at 7:00 am on Sunday and they wanted people to be at shuttle locations very early. So we got to ours at 5:50 but because there seemed to be limited buses and would fill up fast, we didn’t catch a shuttle until 6:30 because they took forever to get to us. But anyways back to the course. You are in the outer banks, so you expect a beautiful race near the beach… right? Wrong. The course started by some school on the bay side.  It takes you through the neighborhoods of Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills and ends near Nags Head next to some parking lot. The course is a point to point so you had the option to park at the start or finish. Our hotel was by the finish so we parked there. Parking wasn’t bad and they had different lots open available for racers. The shuttles would also take the spectators to the start and finish to watch their loved ones which was nice. The course is flat in the beginning, however at mile 10, everything changes. It is rolling hills for the next 3.1 miles in a mixture of mud, sand, rocks, and pine. Mix in the fact that the ground was soaked, puddles everywhere, minor flooding and the next 3.1 miles were torture. I was somehow on target to PR, even with soaking wet clothes and shoes. Unfortunately that all changed with the last 5k. Steep inclines, uneven ground, it was just fantastic! If that course had been anywhere else I probably would have PR’d, but because they chose to have the race on the bay side which was flooded due to the rain and through the woods, that goal was not within reach.

The ending was down a big hill and everyone who was present, (which was not a lot of people as it was pouring and a small race), could see you coming down the strip  which was cool because you could see the finish line from the top, however it was still a bad course ending.  The food afterward was very good and I was rather impressed. Egg and cheese biscuits, granola bars, peanut butter and jelly… It was delicious. The medals were cool as they were shiny pirates faces but other than that, there really wasn’t anything special about this race.

However, I want to pay my respects to all of the volunteers who came out in the pouring rain and handed us water, Gatorade, and GU. They deserve medals for standing out there for hours.

Perks: The food, cool medal and the GU Chomps they handed out on the course.

Ehh… Not a Fan: The Course.

Final Grade:  C

In the words of my friend Stu, as we recapped this race, “You guys are warriors”, and he is right. At the end of the day, I got up at 5:30 to run a race in the pouring down rain, who else would do that.

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