If you haven’t ever done a destination race, well…what are you waiting for?
I’ve never been to Hilton Head. When my good friend and running partner moved to the area last year, one of the first things we talked about was me coming to visit and doing a race there. A mutual friend decided she wanted in on the fun, too, so the plan was set in motion. We signed up, booked flights, and waited for the day to come.
It was a Saturday race, and we arrived on Friday in the late afternoon. Not ideal, I know, but it was a long travel day from Phoenix with connecting flights. We headed over to packet pickup at the Westin. It was very small. There was a half, full and a 5k for this event, with a cap of 2,500 participants. Our goodie bag wasn’t much, a neon green shirt and a mini flashlight/caribeener.
We headed out to carb load with pasta, and yes there was one brew involved. To add to my excitement for race day, I was given a fun assignment to do a twitter takeover with my running group, RunEatTweetAZ for race day.
The race started at Jarvis Creek Park. It was an out and back loop for the half. South Carolina is way more wooded than I expected. The course did not provide any beach views, it was mostly flat with some forested trails, and we crossed a few creeks. We wound around through the park and came out on the shoulder of a highway. We ran over a steep bridge, into more wood and trails, then looped around and came back. Here's our "before" pic at the start line. It was about 38 degrees.
This race made state #8 for me on my 50 state journey. I love destination races. It was a great excuse to come out and see that part of the country. We had a whole other day to just sightsee and relax.
Next year we are already planning to come back to visit her again, and this time to run a half marathon in nearby Savannah, GA.
Are you planning a destination race this year?
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!