In my second ever half marathon this weekend on the Outer Banks, I shattered my previous best time in last year’s Atlanta Half Marathon by over forty minutes. I’ll admit that I’m ecstatic (and a little surprised) at the results. To be fair, this particular race was far less difficult than my previous half marathon, in part because the running conditions–clear sky, temperature in the 50s–were just about perfect (not to mention the fact that I was better prepared).
The course itself is pretty cool–running alongside some sand dunes and weaving through a number of residential neighborhoods before crossing the Washington-Baum Bridge (probably the steepest and most intimidating part of the course) before finishing on Roanoke Island, near the location where English colonists first landed in a sleepy little village called Manteo.
For those who live nearby, the race is well-organized and includes a reasonable number of runners. In keeping with the maritime setting, the race’s pirate theme is a lot of fun (you can even get a post-race picture taken with a pirate or two), and you can even celebrate completing the race with a free beer or two (or more). Of course, the race was even more fun because I ran with several friends and colleagues (all of whom were happy with their times), but the race offered just about a perfect break from a long (if rewarding) semester. Now back to some belated teaching prep.