On Saturday, Michelle and I headed "down east" as we say in North Carolina to the town of Beaufort near the southern tip of the Outer Banks to run in the 31st annual Historic Beaufort Road Race. I chose to run the 10k event while she competed in the 5k run.
For this first time ever, my mom was able to come out and watch since she has never been able to make it out to a race I've run in before. Typically, my races are not in this part of the state though I have spent plenty of time vacationing in the area over the years.
As expected, it was a typical NC summer morning with high humidity and full sun by the start at 8 AM. Luckily, there was a fairly strong and constant breeze blowing off the water which certainly minimized what could have been any even hotter day. The course itself winded east along the waterfront, through residential areas and back to the waterfront for a finish at the same position as the start. This was definitely the flatest course I have EVER run a race on being along the coast and without the hills or any bridges to cross along the way.
All in all, I rate the race as a very good event whose organizers has obviously figured out what works and sticks with it. There were also 10k and 5k walk, wheel chair and baby jogger divisions along with a separate 1 mile walk event. Unlike many of the races I have run in or spectated at in the NC Triangle area, this race also had plenty of course volunteers who were handing out water, cheering and offering cooling stations with their garden hoses. In the 6.2 mile run, I passed six water stops including one that had full bottles of water. At the finish, volunteers handed out full size bath towels to each runner that had been soaked in ice water. The post race snacks were simply done but well done - bottles of water, sliced oranges and bananas. The race was a no frills event and I loved it.
My chip time for the 10k was 50:19 which equals an 8:06 min/mile pace - faster than I have officially run in quite sometime. That was good enough for 6th in my age group and 42nd out of 188 10k finishers overall. I've worked hard this spring to up my game early in the season and I think this shows it. I set my 10k PR in November 2003 running the Old Reliable Run in Raleigh with a 48:43 but that was in my late twenties with a downhill sprint for the final mile. I had hoped for a new PR at Beaufort this month but there is always next year!
Following our run and a cold shower, we spent the afternoon on a secluded beach nearby enjoying the views and a few cold beers. Now that I am back home, its time to start upping the mileage on my runs as the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon and Richmond Marathon are only 3 months away.