Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon
Calling all types of runners! Outer Banks Sporting Events has a race for every type of runner out there, all on the same weekend too. In November a diaper dash, Family Fun Run, 5k, Southern 6 miler, 10k, Southern Fried half marathon, and the big Outer Banks Marathon hit the roads and trails of our beautiful Dare county. This big weekend all goes down November 7-9. Typically, weather this early in November is perfect for running. It may take you a couple miles to get warmed up. but the air is clean and crisp, very low humidity, and there is a nice breeze. The weekend is packed with races and related events such as a pasta party and post race party. The schedule below is from the Outer Banks Sporting Events website and most times are to be determined.
Race EXPO and Packet Pick-up
November 7 l 12-7pm l Dare County Youth Center
This is where runners can pick up their bibs, event t-shirt, some free running swag and grab any last minute gear they may need. Past vendors have included Sound Feet Shoes, TRI Sports, Roanoke Island Running Company and much more! There will also be a second day to the expo on Saturday November 8 from 9AM – 6PM. Parking is limited so I would advise riding together and possibly be prepared for walking.
Outer Banks 10k
November 8 l First Flight High School
New for 2014, they upped the ante from an 8k to now a 10k. This is an out-and-back course that all begins and ends on the First Flight High School track. From the track to a dirt road, to road, to trails in Nags Head Woods, this race will give you a run for your money. This race is also a part of “The Challenge”. Paired with the Marathon, if you run both this and the Marathon you walk away with 3 medals for the weekend. There is a time limit of 1:45 and is walker friendly. Due to the off-road part of the course this it’s not stroller or wheelchair friendly. I would also recommend for runners to arrive fairly early to FFHS. There are so many events and races going on that parking can fill up rather quickly. I would also recommend leaving any extra belongings in the car just to be on the safe side because there won’t be a bag check at these races.
November 8 l First Flight High School
The Kelly Hospitality Group presents the Buccaneer 5k. This is an out-and-back course that runs the first half of the 10k. Be prepared for track, dirt road, road, and trail running. This is a timed event and is part of “The Challenge” with the half marathon. This race you have to pre-register for on OBSE’s website. This course goes off road and is not stroller or wheelchair friendly. I would also recommend not bringing a back to the starting line with you because there won’t be a bag-check. Last year, we warmed up and then shedded our extra layers. We just left them in a pile and no one seemed to mess with them.
Family Fun Run
This is a great race for the whole family! Run, jog, or walk 1.2 miles and claim your finisher medals and event shirts. There will be games and activities before and after the race.The best part, you can do it together as a family. Strollers are welcome on the Fun Run course.
November 8 l 11:45 AM l First Flight High School
For the littlest of littlest runners! This race is for all kids ages 1 -3 to have the opportunity to dash across the finish line under the arch. This race welcomes parents to accompany the kids and is free for all participants!
On top of these great races going on Saturday morning there are also the “Super Saturday Events” including pirates, walk the plank, pirate toss, face painting, Kitty Hawk Kites Rock climbing wall and much more!
What better way to end a day like that and also prep for Sunday’s races than by going to a pasta party? The Ramada Plaza Oceanfront of Nags Head is hosting a pasta dinner that includes two seatings with one from 5PM – 6PM and the second from 6PM – 7PM. Each dinner seating has a limit of 200 people at each. Children 5 and under eat free, 5-11 are $5, adults 12 and up are $12. So stop by and load up on your carbs before another day of races begins.
Sunday… oh Sunday! The day I just started training for. (That’s 4 months of training by the way) I am getting nervous just writing about it. Sunday is where the events take a sharp turn from the “fun run” to 26.2 miles. You might wonder how a race that long can even fit on the Outer Banks when you’re only running from Kitty Hawk to Manteo, but trust me they find a way. Sunday is when the 6 miler, half marathon, and marathon all take place.
Southern Fried Half Marathon
November 9 l Nags Head, NC
This is the first race of the day starting at 7AM. This race begins near Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head and finishes with the full marathon at the waterfront in Manteo. This was my second half marathon I had ever ran. Last year, as I was standing at our sponsor booth for Southern Shores Realty at the expo, I began thinking I should run the half (not having ran or trained at all). Then I started thinking a little crazier “forget that, I’ll run ‘The Challenge’ and take home 3 medals instead of just one”. I asked if it was okay for me walk around and take a look at all the booths. I came back with a runner packet and a full weekend of running ahead of me. I went home and convinced my boyfriend, who ran track in college, to run the races too.
The 5k was great, my boyfriend and I both took home medals. I won in my age group and he won 2nd overall. (No wonder his family called him speedy as a kid) Next morning was the morning of the half marathon. It was chilly but warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. I ran a slower pace than what’s normal for me now. On top of the lack of training and being out of shape it was more about running with my friend and his dad. The two of them have ran many races but wanted to make sure they got in a half marathon, together. The first 8 miles went great, and then we turned the bend to head towards the little bridge and the Washington Baum Bridge. We had a head wind of about 25 mph, uphill, with about 3 miles of the course in sight. For me, it always makes it harder when you can see a lot of the course ahead of you, it seems like your not gaining any ground. We made it up, and then back down the bridge and into Manteo we went.
The crowd along the course was getting thicker so I knew we had to be near the finish line. As I listen to these strangers cheering me on, my eyes filled up with tears. These people don’t know me, whether they are here to support another runner or not, they are still screaming for me to make it. That is the postive energy at races that I love being around. A little while longer and sure enough, there it was. FINALLY! We crossed the finish line. A lovely volunteer congratulated me and hung those well earned two medals around my neck. If you haven’t noticed by reading my running blogs, medals are what I look forward to. I picture the national anthem being played standing on my own personal podium as that medal is hung around my neck, very Olympic of me I know. I searched for my boyfriend to congratulate him and ask how his race went. (speedy of course) We wrapped up tight in our thermal space blankets to keep warm and enjoyed the post race party. Needless to say, the lack of training led to about a week of limping, hobbling, and wobbling around for both of us. Some of my recommendations for this race: scope out the starting point the day before, arrive early race morning in order to get parking, dont be afraid to take an easy warm up lap around the block, go to the bathroom as much as needed, check your bag, and lastly, take in every moment and view as you pass by.
The Outer Banks Marathon
November 9 l Kitty Hawk, NC
After the start of the half marathon, the full gets underway soon after at 7:20AM on Woods Road in Kitty Hawk. This is a North Carolina USA Track and Field State Championship race, a Boston Marathon qualifying race, and also my very first soon to be marathon. It’s required to maintain a 16 min mile pace, as NCDOT has to close the bridge to runners by 1:30. This course is beautiful and takes you through so many different parts of the Outer Banks. From Kitty Hawk, all the way to the Waterfront in Manteo, the course is laid out perfectly.
I got this great idea after having such an awesome half marathon this past May at the Flying Pirate; it’s time to run a marathon. I also love the Red Sox and have always wanted to go to Boston, so why not try and qualify for the Boston Marathon while I’m at it? Go big or go home I always say. It’s just a goal, a reachable goal with the training plan I have, a healthy diet, rest, and water. I will most definitely be bummed if I don’t qualify, but hopefully the glory of finishing my first full marathon will overcome that. As long as I don’t miss my goal time of 3 hours and 35 minutes by something crazy like 10 seconds, all is good! Wish me lots of luck and a pain-free 26.2 miles! Photo: OuterBanksReliefFoundation.com
Southern Fried 6
November 9 l Nags Head, NC
Shortly after the start of the full marathon on Sunday, the Southern 6 miler gets underway. This course also finishes with the marathoners and half marathoners at the waterfront in Manteo. Finisher medals await you and the rest of the runners at the finish line. This run is meant to be just for fun and will not be timed.
Don’t forget about the post race block party! This is the best part of the whole race weekennd. (besides the medal) You get to celebrate your achievement with free snacks, beverages, a beer garden, food, swag, and live music by Johnny Waters and Company until 2PM. The Half Marathon awards will be at 10AM with the full marathon awards beginning at noon. I remember walking away from this race last year thinking what a flawless execution by Outer Banks Sporting Events. Everything was so well organized, the food was excellent, the party was great, and the medals were beautiful, and the running times were correct. Whether you’re ready to run 1 mile, 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles, or all the way up to 26.2 miles, this weekend has everything you’re looking for. If you’re feeling up to it, head to the OBSE website to register!
If you are coming to the Outer Banks this weekend as support, the ice go-getter, the massager, the congratulator, the photographer, the living proof of accomplishment, and the cheerleader, don’t forget your Southern Shores Realty Cowbell. This will save your vocal chords and assure you that your cheering will be heard. The 2012 Blue edition set the standard, as the 2013 Silver edition topped it. Stop by our sponsor booth at the marathon expo to catch the reveal and claim your 2014 Southern Shores Realty Cowbell.
If you need accommodations for the weekend, we have what you need to ensure a great night sleep. Check out our Outer Banks Fall vacation rentals.