It’s Veteran’s Day Weekend, which means on the Outer Banks it’s also Outer Banks Marathon Weekend.
What is now Marathon Weekend began as just the Marathon in 2006 with two goals in mind—get people to the Outer Banks in the off season and help fund the Dare Education Foundation, a local nonprofit that supports the school system.
Over the years it has grown and added another nonprofit—the Outer Banks Relief Foundation.
It is no longer just the Outer Banks Marathon, although that is the premier event. Sunday is the headline races, with the Southern Fried Half Marathon beginning at 7:00 a.m. at Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head and the Marathon kicking off at 7:20 in Kitty Hawk.
Saturday though is the family day, the time when all the shorter fun races are held. For runners who want a timed race and a bit of a challenge, there’s a 5K and 8K. For families and and especially the youngest runners of all, there are two Diaper Dash races and a one mile fun run.
Sunday is the day for the more serious runners, although there are some pretty outrageous costumes mixed in with the hardcore running equipment.
What seems to set the Outer Banks Marathon apart, according to numerous reviews, is how beautiful the course is.
The race begins beneath the heavily forested canopy of Kitty Hawk Woods on the Woods Road, through a residential area to parallel Kitty Hawk Bay before circling the Wright Brothers Monument. The packed dirt roads of Nags Head Woods are next and that may be the most beautiful part of the course.
The race ends in downtown Manteo, with it’s classic small town look and feel.
There are a couple of challenges on the course. Nags Head Woods is a little bit hilly, but the real heartbreaker comes at mile 23—the Washington Baum Bridge, 640’ of a 4% grade connecting the Outer Banks with Roanoke Island.
The difficulties aside, runners have been almost universal in their praise of local support and organization.
The Outer Banks Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying race.
The Holidays are coming and there is no better place to spend time with family than the Outer Banks. Check out our listings at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.