5 Reasons to Race The Outer Banks
A race is the perfect excuse for a getaway. After months of training in your hometown on the same well-worn paths with the same scenery, running (and biking or swimming) in a new location with fresh views, routes and people provides the inspiration you need to perform at your best. When the race is over, a well-deserved vacation awaits.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a top-tier choice for a destination race. With three race weekends that include the Flying Pirate Half Marathon in April, the Outer Banks Triathlon in September and the Outer Banks Marathon in November, there are dozens of reasons to race the Outer Banks. Here are the top five.
Speedy & Scenic Courses
A chain of barrier islands on the edge of northeastern North Carolina, the Outer Banks terrain is East Coast sea-level flat at its finest. Flat courses, mild temperatures and all that super-oxygenated air make personal bests possible. Along the way, you’ll enjoy water views and see some of the well-known Outer Banks landmarks.
Outer Banks Sporting Events, the nonprofit organization that produces these three Outer Banks races, is no fly-by-night organization. This group has years of race experience, a wealth of friendly and helpful volunteers and, most importantly, the support of the entire community. Over three separate race weekends, they offer two dozen race divisions - something for every ability and age. Most participants also agree that an Outer Banks post-race party is legendary!
A Community Welcome
Racers always comment about how welcome they feel on the Outer Banks — not only at the races, but also in the hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions. The Outer Banks is an extremely popular vacation destination in the summer, but the races are intentionally planned in the less crowded off-season months when the locals are more excited about visitors and it’s easier for racers to get reservations and move about without all the crowds.
Running For A Reason
One reason the Outer Banks community is so thrilled to see racers is that these racing events support a vital community cause. The races support Dare Education Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the students, teachers and schools of Dare County through grants, education opportunities for teachers, scholarships for students and so much more.
A Beach Vacation
Perhaps best of all, the Outer Banks is a fun and beautiful place to bring your family, whether they’re racing or not. With more than 100 miles of oceanfront beaches, plus hundreds of miles of sound-side shoreline, you can easily find vacation rentals and hotels right along the water. Watersports, fishing, hang gliding, ferry rides, four lighthouses, giant sand dunes, a world-class aquarium and so many more attractions and activities await families. The race seasons of April, September and November are typically very mild for outdoor activities.