Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Outer Banks Marathon Weekend

Outer Banks Half

I had a great time over this past weekend and didn’t even run.

It was the Outer Banks Marathon weekend in my adopted home town but I wasn’t going to be running in any of the races this year.   Kind of odd how many people thought it was weird that I wasn’t running and it came up in every conversation I had.

“So are you running the Half?”

“Nope, just volunteering this year.”

“Why not? Are you hurt?”

That conversation was repeated a bunch.

I just did the MCM10K and am wrapping up the Rest Phase of my training for the year, so my training needs to get pretty particular at this point and I’m planning my rest days as much as I’m planning my workouts.  I need to have fresh legs to get the most out of the track and the hills, so tossing in a 13 mile run haphazardly isn’t really the best idea, plus it ain’t cheap.  Next year I’ll put it in there and maybe even see if just doing long, steady state runs can get me a decent time in the Half.  That’s what the Fall is for me: three runs a week of moderate effort and weight lifting to put back on some weight lost in the summer track season.  Not the best thing for racing, obviously, but not horrible either.  And, of course, I could make it for fun instead of for ego.  ; )

The weather in Dare County was great for races and a lot of my friends had great races.

David was running his first ever marathon after going through an amazing weight loss transformation.  He was a sprinter and talented athlete in high school, but had gained a bunch of weight after that.  The past couple of years he buckled down diet-wise and started running.  Now he’s a challenge sort of guy so simply doing a marathon just wasn’t enough:  he signed up to do the OBX Challenge and run an 8K on Saturday followed by the Marathon on Sunday.  When I raced my Half I did the same mini-version of that by running the 8K with a 13.1 mile chaser.  David hit a sub 7 minute pace time for the 8K then turned around and ran a 3:31 Marathon!  Dude…

Gretchen is a friend of mine who I helped along with a plan so she could “finish a Half Marathon and not die.”  She clocked in her first ever Half with a time of 2:16!  A whole lot faster than what she figured it would take because she didn’t have to walk any of it.

Another longtime friend of mine, Blake, was down from Maryland and surprised me with a 1:36 in the Half!  Geez…and the guy always tells me he’s not very fast.  Puhleeeze….

There were bunches of other great stories, too including Kathy who was celebrating her 1 year anniversary of beating cancer by running a 13.1 mile “victory lap” with her sisters.  Made me smile AND cry.

As for me, I got to experience the races from the other side of the barricades.  I’m being literal there.  Literally, I was on the other side of the barricades during the race.  I also got to set up those barricades the day before.  You should see what goes into the finish line area.  One serious logistical exercise being done with smiles and enthusiasm by volunteers, and it was a lot of fun.  Plus, I got to hang out and talk to friends I haven’t seen in a while which is always fun for me.

I took a couple of pictures of the “chute” and the emergency area that is massive, but somehow on race day you almost don’t even notice it.  It’s an entire hospital just like on MASH!  Okay now that just showed my age….

 For next year I’m issuing an open invitation to come run in this festival.  The first few folks who want to can avoid the hotel bill and stay with me in my house just three blocks from the finish line!  Of course you also have to pass an interview with my wife, but there won’t be any background checks (Bob) so you’re good.


  1. Ed, this is really cool. Thanks for posting and encouraging others to volunteer for these events!
    Lynda Wood- OBSE Staff

    1. I'm in for future events, Lynda! It was fun and I definitely felt like I was more deeply involved in the whole race weekend experience.