Oak Island Lighthouse Half Marathon Recap

  
Well the third time is a charm as they say. I have to say that the highlight of my spring is heading down to Oak Island in April for a weekend with the family. Not only is this run very fun and challenging, it’s a great first half marathon for anyone wanting to try it. 

  
Packet pickup last year was at the Chamber of Commerce building. This year they decided to have it at the airport. It was a little hard to find for any out of town runner like myself but I found it. My wife has a great sense of direction.  The T-shirts this year are way better this year then last. They fit way better. I actually ordered a 2X cause I thought it was going to be like last years tight fitting shirts. 

  

I was a little worried going into this race cause I had pulled a muscle in my back on Wednesday and then pulled it again on Friday morning at crossfit. So I was in pain. I took some anti inflammatory pills and was feeling better but was I feeling 13.1 miles better? 

The morning of the race I was feeling confident. This was my third year running this race. I was a seasoned vet at this point. The race moved locations and now no longer required you to run over that big bridge but now required you to run to the NC Baptist Assembly and then turn around and come back. 

  
The buzzard went off and the race began. I kept a slow pace to the mile one marker as always so the crowd would start to thin. So many people this year. This race has grown so much in popularity over the years. Then I moved to my 8 minute pace and stayed there. I could feel my body getting comfortable with my pace. I smiled and I knew at the 3 mile marker that this was going to be my race. 

I ran faster and stronger then ever before. I stopped at ever water station and walked as I drank my water and then resumed my race like a boss. Soon I coming close to the turn around at mile 7 and it felt like forever for me to get there. Finally I reached it and I knew that now was the last phase of this race. I had to keep it together. 

  

On the way back I saw all the people I passed. They looked tired as I felt. I cheered them in as I passed them. Soon I was back in the residential area around the end of mile 8 and I knew I was almost done. Residents crowded along the streets with signs and yelling for us to have a great race. I was having the best race of my life. 

Soon I was on the way back to the road closest to the beach. I released I was on mile 12 and this was most over. I texted my wife and barley said “1mile left”. That was how it looked. They say the last mile is the hardest in any race and they are right. It seemed that mile took forever. 

Soon the finish line was in sight and I made it. My wife and kids greeted me and they handed me my find her medal which was a huge margarita glass. 

  
I loved the new course and the fact that I walked away from this race with a new PR for a half marathon. The medal is not an ideal finisher medal but great for a Jimmy Buffet themed race. 

  

  
  
After the race I changed clothes and we grabbed some taco and rode to Carolina Beach and got donuts at the magical place called Britt’s Donuts. 

  
Great weekend and a great race! 

Now on to the next race…The Mother’s Day 5k! 

Oak Island Half Marathon Run Recap

  

So I did it! I ran my first half marathon race! I am officially a half marathon runner!

First, let me say that I am sorry the blog entry from Friday never posted. It was a user error. I don’t like using the mobile blogging app and now I am reminded why.

Anyways, lets get to the race.

Saturday morning arrived. I was pumped and nervous at the same time. I could not wait to get started and show myself what I could do. I ate a good breakfast and drank some Amino Energy. I was ready and determined to do well!

When we arrived at the race, traffic was crazy trying to get in a get parked. With only 15 minutes until the race was going to start, I got out and stretched and walked up to the starting line. It was very cloudy outside. I was nervous it was going to rain and I was right.

  

The buzzard went off and the race had begun, I said to myself lets start at an easy pace and work our way up. When I reach to start of Caswell Road it began to rain. My glasses were covered in rain and my face was wet. By the time I reach mile 3 my shoes and socks were completely soaked. I knew I was in trouble.

At mile 4 you have to cross over the big bridge that connects Oak Island and Southport. I knew this bridge was going to be a challenge but carrying the extra weight from the water in my shoes was not going to help. I still manage to get over. I saw other people struggle to make it up. It made me feel that I was in good company. At one point a woman was leaning over the bridge blowing chunks. I felt bad but told myself that this was not going to be me. After making the loop around you had to go back over the bridge again. I made it over and was done with mile 6 when my calves started to feel as if they were on fire.

Miles 7- 9 were thru some residential areas. I remember thinking that this maze was never going to end. At mile 8 I stopped at a water station. The first time I stopped the complete race. I needed a minute to get myself together. My legs were on fire.

At mile 10 I knew I was not going to make it under the two hour mark liked I wanted to but I had to keep going. Pushing through the pain I jogged my way up to mile 12. One more mile is what I kept telling myself. ONE MORE MILE!!!

Soon the finish line was there and I could hear the cheers and see the people waiving at me. I pushed through and made it to the finish line with a smile on face. I happily accepted my medal that I earned. My total time was 2:35:05, which is not my best but through the crazy weather conditions, I will take it!

One thing this race taught me is that you can train all day every day but there are some things that are just not in your control. Finishing a race at any time is still finishing and you need to be proud of just that. At least I finished and I can say I ran a half marathon. I will be back next year! Its already on my calendar!

So what’s next for this runner? A much need break from running. I am think a couple of weeks to get my body back to where I need it to be. Then, I am going to start training for The Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon! That’s right 26.2 miles and I am both scared and excited! Wish me luck!