|The numbers don't lie - the last 78.6 marathon miles (click on chart for larger view)|
|Coming across from Wrightsville Beach early on|
|Daughters provided course motivation throughout!|
|A tough and sweaty road was coming to an end!|
Below I have listed the my pros and cons for this race. One man's opinion for that particular day. I encourage you to always do your homework and check with others that might have a different perspective of the race when you are making a decision on signing up. I think I have been fair and I would love to hear from others that have run Wrightsville Beach
In short, I was not blown away by this event. As in most cases, the volunteers and race organizers were super friendly and did all that they could to host the best event possible. Ultimately, the course itself just leaves too much to be desired. Billed as the Wrightsville “BEACH” Marathon, you actually never see the beach. The start is on the island and crosses a few small bridges over the ICW. But because they occur in the first few pre-dawn miles you are either trying to find a lane to run through or you are watching your step across the metal grates on the drawbridge, hoping not to slip.
Once you leave WB, just shy of mile 3, it is all Wilmington. Well, actually, a subdivision east of Wilmington. Marathoners run 3 loops through the Landfall Community, a gated golf course neighborhood burdened with the misfortune of a poor choice of names (there is apparently no "landfill" anywhere nearby). Mile 6 to mile 22 are several long, slightly changing loops through this subdivision, (see course map or check out link to watch route WBM Course Player). Then to a shopping center finish.
|Lar & K hold up their old dad at the finish line|
In only the 3rd year, keep at it Quintiles. If you can ever roll out a more scenic and creative course, we might just try it again someday.
|WBM course route relative to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach|
- Fun weekend with plenty of good food, recreation and sights
- Low key expo without large crowds
- Transportation to starting line is great - we stayed in Hampton 1 mile away; I walked
- Best race shirt yet
- Great medal
- Not as “flat” as advertised, especially in sub-division, but still flat
- Affordable race entry
- Easy departure from finish - shuttles running and parking lots provide an easy out without a long walk.
- Opportunity to speak with Bart Yasso at finish.
|The Mayor of Running - Bart Yasso|
- Marathon course was created on the back of a napkin, requiring triple loops, armbands to verify which loop you are on and mixed pace running for greater congestion on main road
- Few aid stations within the Landfall Community, especially between miles 12 and 22
- For a warm day, (add to point above), disappointed in volume of water / Gatorade in small cups. Often needed two and three cups. One key learning is to bring my own bottles for warmer days.
- Logo tube socks for all runners (sea blue and yellow at that). Really? Maybe running socks or a visor, but 1970’s NBA style socks?
- Few spectators, with little to no on-course entertainment, especially through neighborhoods.
To be honest, I realized that the smaller event would not compare to DC or Disney in terms of the total experience, and that was OK. The people are great, the pacers were encouraging, although there were only four of them, and the hassle-free logistics of the event was a nice change of pace. The only really downer was the course. Other than that, it is a well organized race and a fun time. Let me know of any questions.