Spectacular views aside, this really was a fun race. It was only the second 10K I've ever done and my first one in a little over a year, so I knew I was going to beat my previous time, I just wasn't sure by how much. Turns out, I beat it pretty significantly, coming in at 49:25 with a pace of 7:57, which was good enough to land me the second place female overall and 9th place for overall finishers. Exciting stuff!
I really couldn't have asked for a better race. I was healthy (finally), well-rested (finally), stress-free (um...finally?), and the weather was perfect. The only thing that slowed me down a bit was the headwind for half the race, but when you're racing on the beach, there's just no getting around that. Even so, all of my miles were sub-8 minutes, despite the wind adding some time to my pace when I was running against it. So yeah, definitely no complaints here.
This race benefits a great cause (the Charleston chapter of the Surfrider Foundation) and everything at the race was done in as environmentally and locally friendly way as possible. No plastic water bottles, race swag bags were reusable shopping bags, and the prizes for race winners were from local businesses.
Each winner (top three overall gender winners and top three age group winners per division) received a one-of-a-kind, handmade art glass race medal made by a local studio (and sadly, the name of the studio/artist escapes me right now). But best medal I've ever gotten. Hands down. Love it. Plus overall winners got standup paddleboarding or kayak rentals from Charleston Outdoor Adventures and other beach type gear (beach towels, etc). I'm definitely thrilled with the SUP rental as a prize. For such a small race, the prizes are pretty fantastic. Plus the race goodie bag included a mug in addition to a race t-shirt and a few other coupons.
If you're racing this race (next year), here's what you should know:
It's out-and-back 1.5 miles, bringing runners back past the finish line and then another out-and-back 1.5 miles(ish) in the other direction before you loop back to the finish. So if you hate seeing the finish line before you're actually finished, well, close your eyes and keep on running past it for this race. Or just turn your head and look at the spectacular ocean views on the other side.
Also good to know: there's no chip timing, just gun time, so get yourself to the front at the starting line. But overall, really organized, super nice volunteers and race coordinators, and just a great way to kick off a Saturday morning in Folly Beach. Definitely will be back again next year! No question.
Results: 49:25 (7:57), 2nd place overall female
Weather: 70 degrees, 85% humidity, clear, sunny, a little windy
Health: Excellent, no issues