Are you at the starting block? I guess we really aren’t either. There isn’t a starting block in half marathoning…
Ok, so we start the race! And then wait until it’s our turn… We were pretty excited to start the race. It was a “smaller” race, but there were still a lot of people.
Hello corrals 1-5!
We were at the back of the pack, just where we like to be! I immediately saw someone with a shirt from a shoe store in Cincy. I wanted to beat those people! Crazy, right? Mile 1 came pretty quickly. Miles 1-2.5 are on Croatan Highway and very flat. At this early time in the morning no one was out on the road, this was pretty cool. This was not the case later in the race. Around mile 2.5 we turned into a neighborhood and the sound. Well, we didn’t walk into the sound but were right by it. There were a lot of cool houses in this neighborhood and neighbors out saying, “Hey!” to all the runners and walkers. I found that all the locals and people visiting for this race were very friendly and motivating. Thanks guys!
We came upon mile 3 in the neighborhood and then we got dumped back out on Croatan Highway on mile 4. By this time more cars had made their way onto the highway and I gotta say, not a huge fan…
As we were walking past Jockey’s Ridge I noticed that someone had made a huge sandcastle on the dune facing us, it was pretty cool. I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to take a picture so just use your imagination!
Mile 5, still alive, and turning into another neighborhood. It is also at this point that Leanne tells me that she can feel blisters start to form on her feet!
Picture of the sound from inside the neighborhood. Wouldn't that be an awesome backyard to have?
Also around mile five or so (at a porto potty) we finally pass the aforementioned couple for Cincy! Sorry Cincy, but you were our people to beat! Miles 5 through 6.5 wind through this private neighborhood. It looked very well manicured and islandy. One thing I’m sure the people in the neighborhood appreciated were all the lovely porto potty’s. Some people didn’t want to wait in line and instead watered the ornamental grasses in the median, classy. We slow down our pace, to try to lessen the pain of the blisters while in the neighborhood.
Miles 7 – 8 are back on the highway. Leanne is really hurting now! There are a lot of aid stations along the route, but did we stop? Hells no! Are we that stubborn? Hells yes! The highway is really busy now. It kind of stunk (literally) because of all the cars. The exhaust was really distracting. So was how slow the traffic was going. We were basically pacing cars instead of people. Leanne starts to kind of hum/sing during this part of the race. We also start to quote our favorite snippets of TV shows. On constant replay during this race were, “I don’t like ghosts. They scare me. They’re spooky.” From SNL when Christopher Walken had his “kids” on the show.
Another gem is also SNL when they are spoofing Dateline NBC. I couldn’t get the video to post, but it’s “horrifying!”
People ask what we talk about on these half marathon’s and the answer is, nothing that is really all that awe-inspiring or groundbreaking. We usually quote moves, TV shows and other things that we’ve heard in day-to-day life. So, nothing all that exciting, but whatever can keep us motivated to keep going!
Mile 8 we saw this sign.
Not funny... It says, "Marathoners only 27,456 ft to go. Wow.
I think it was supposed to be motivating, but by this point everything seems like a cruel joke. Pain and soreness start to set in and you aren’t feeling so chipper and fresh anymore. We can pretty much see the island of Manteo, which is also like a cruel joke. You can see it, but you aren’t there, yet.
Mile 9 greets you with this lovely image…
Oh yeah, we’re going up that. The only hill and they put it at mile 9.5. Thanks! While walking along the highway a biker (bicyclist not Harley) rides by and announces that the 1st place marathoner is on his way and to get off to the right!
Super/extremely fast runner!
Yeah, no one was going to catch him.
That hill kept getting closer and closer and my dread kept getting deeper and deeper. It’s not like we were going to turn around and not do; because how silly would that be? Up the bridge we go. Big long strides, keep your head up! And so we do. At the very top of the bridge is mile 10 and a camera man. What the what?! Who puts a camera man at the top of the bridge? Everyone, I’m sure, looked awesome. Hair pulled back just so, look of determination in their eyes… Oh, no wait, that’s at mile 1.
Mile 11 was kind of quiet. By this time there was a big gap between us and the people behind us, with only some people in front of us. Now don’t read this thinking we were really ahead in the race. That’s not it. It was just that there was another big gap in front of us with stragglers in between. This was kind of a dead zone. Not a whole lot of “fans”, not a whole lot of runners, just kind of quiet, not unless you count the never ending line of cars off to your left.
Mile 11 and some yards you turn into Manteo. Welcome back to civilization, not that you left, but more people are here. Mile 12 is in Manteo and it’s around this point while Leanne is hum/singing that out of nowhere she says, “Boom! Cymbal crash!” This may not sound uber hilarious to you, but at that point in the race, I died. Really, I did. If people were really paying attention to us at that point they would have thought I’d (we’d) lost our minds and maybe we had.
In Manteo there were more people walking on the sidewalks and keeping people going. Including some half marathoners who had already finished. One cool thing about our number bibs is that they had our names on them. With your name being on your bib people are more apt to say things to you instead of, “Hey, you can do it!” it’s, “Hey Emily, you can do it!” Believe it or not the name helps.
Mile 13! HALLELUJAH! By this point I don’t really know how Leanne is doing as great as she is. I would have thrown in the towel long ago. Mad, mad props to my BFF (;)) for finishing 13.1 miles with blisters on her feet almost the entire time.
View the sound from the Manteo side
At mile 13, even more people were gathered. Even more people were screaming our names telling us we could make it. If I could give an award for most supportive and engaged crowd, it would be the crowd in Manteo village. Seriously, they were awesome. Seriously.
We can see the finish line, we speed up, more yells of encouragement, and finally and with great exuberance we cross mile 13.1!
Right after you cross the finish there are volunteers handing out water, blankets, and medals. There were also some banana’s but I don’t know what happened to them because they were pretty nasty.
One of the highlights was that you could take your picture with a pirate. So take a picture with a pirate we did. Aarghsome!
We gimped along the village to see what else there was to offer and decided to make our way back to the car. We just didn’t feel like waiting in any of the long lines for beer and other freebies.
Another shuttle took us back to our car and we got all situated to drive back to “The Beach.”
Overall, I liked this half marathon. We finished in 3:20, which is pretty awesome considering 1/2 of us were walking with blisters on both feet. And speaking of those blisters…
- Ouch! That’s all I gotta say!
That, my friends, is why Leanne is awesome and you are not. I don’t know I’m sure you’re pretty awesome too, but come on! 13.1 with blisters on both feet…
Outer Banks, we may back. Hopefully for vacation, maybe for another half marathon.
Three down, only forty-seven to go. Where should we venture to next?