This is late – sorry. Oh well.
There are lots of different things that give races an appeal. The list below is a pretty good summary. A run doesn’t have to have all of these things to appeal to me – in fact it may just have say one or two of these things and do them well.
So, anyway, here is the list in no order:
- Well supported
- Well organized
- An RD who is loving what he is doing
- Fair priced (value in other words)
- Nice place to run
- Good views
- Friendly runners
- Good atmosphere
- Its own character
Croatan pretty much had all of these covered. Brandon the Race Director did a superb job in every aspect of this race. From the schwag, the course, the volunteers – I loved this race.
Now the character of the race – Brandon is a former marine, and the race being held on the marines’ birthday, there was ceremony marking the occasion. Also to commemorate veterans day, at the start of the race, active duty and retired military were asked to lead for the first lap. We were also given special t-shirts that said the branch of service were in. I had my own special shirt with “Royal Navy” on it. Nice touch, and thank you.
The course is a 1.3 mile loop, in the Croatan National Forest in Eastern North Carolina, about a 3 hour drive from home. My plan was to run somewhere north of 50 miles. How north of 50 all depended on how I felt when I got to 50!
I got got to run some loops with Ray K and hang out with my friend Steph (who also volunteered for several hours – thanks!). I enjoyed their company.
The course – 1.3 miles is a great distance, you get a ‘bonus mile’ every 3.3 loops. The views around the salt marshes were gorgeous. I can honestly say that despite running around it 37 laps, it never got boring and I actually never even got familiar with the loop. Normally on a small loop ultra, you get to learn every single turn, tree, view, pothole etc. Not this one – I think the diversity of the scenery just kept it interesting. The sunset was spectacular
So, anyway, I got my 50 miles in, and tried to sleep for a couple of hours and then drove home.
This race is a great one. Put it on your to-do list.
Enjoy the photos – you can never have enough sunset pictures.