Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Save the Light Half Marathon & 5K

From the website:

"A half marathon and 5K to support the preservation of the Morris Island Lighthouse by Save the Light, Inc., a grassroots non-profit organization that formed in 2000 to save the Morris Island Lighthouse from being lost to the sea. Both races are USATF-certified and start and finish near the Folly Beach Pier. Half Marathon is a run only event. The 5K is open to runners and walkers."

I was not looking forward to this race.  The course map looked boring AF.  I was still sore from the 15k the weekend before and 1 day at the gym during the week.  But, I prevailed.


Packet pick up was not applicable.  Pre-race packet pick was offered on Friday night at Tides Hotel from 4-7pm.  Places I'm not interested in being on a Friday night at that time?  Folly Beach.  Packet pickup was also offered the morning of the race, so I opted to get there early and pick up my packet then.  Packet pick up on race day was simple enough, show ID, get bib, get stuff (except I didn't get my stuff), done.

It was good that I didn't go to packet pick up on Friday night.  Since I had registered "too late" to guarantee a shirt, I didn't receive one. I asked if I could get a shirt in a different size, they said they weren't allowed.  Several people commented on this situation on the event page, but CHS P&R (Charleston Parks and Recreation), who put on the race, didn't seem to care.  Their suggestion was to go up after the race and see if there were shirts available.  I did that.  They had already packed everything away.  There was a lot of rage because of the situation and because I'd lumbered my sore, barely functioning body up the stairs to check and they weren't even there.

Communication was nonexistent.  There were no emails.  ALL event info was on the website and that was that.  There weren't even any updates on the FB event page.  I did ask on the event page if anyone had received any pre-race communication and CHS P&R referred me to the website.  I was looking for parking info.  There was none.

Race Info was meh. The bare essentials were on their website.  Period.

The Race

Parking wasn't an issue when I arrived at Tides Hotel at 0700.  In fact, because the parking attendant hadn't set up yet, I didn't even have to pay, but I have no idea where everyone else parked.  Even for a small race (751 participants per the finishing results), parking was probably a nightmare.  There is limited parking on Folly Beach anyways and 99% of legal parking is pay-to-park.  Essentially, I got super lucky.

Amenities.  The Tides Hotel seemed to be the base of operations for the race.  There were bathrooms in the hotel that most people were using.  There were a few porta potties near the start, but most people were opting for indoor plumbing perks.  The hotel being at the start line also meant that there was an indoor space to hangout before the race.  It wasn't super cold the morning of the race, but it was cold per Charleston standards, so most people stayed inside until it was time for the race to start.

Start Line.  I don't recall the National Anthem, but I may have missed it.  I took a pre-race nap in the backseat before the race and then went to pee in the hotel, then came outside to attach my bib and do some stretching and walk the 1000 feet to the start line and waited less than 5 minutes before the race started.  This was ideal for me.

Race Course.  I wasn't wrong about the course being boring, but it wasn't as bad as the 15k the weekend before.  We did a loop, which actually ended up being pretty cool because the fun stuff I'd seen on the first pass, I was able to stop and take a photo of/with during the 2nd pass.  That said, running a half marathon takes more time than running a 5k (who knew), and as it got later and later, there were more and more vehicles on the course.  AGAIN, VEHICLES ON THE COURSE!  So much rage.  I hate competing with vehicles during a race.  I had zero fucks when there would be a vehicle behind me and I was running in the middle of the road (where the slant of the road is the most minimal because my hips and IT bands already hate me and I try not to exacerbate that more than I need to).  I did almost get hit by a truck mirror when they passed me and I would have guaranteed that person would have regretted hitting me, had that happened.  I'm crazy enough to run a half marathon and the street they were on was a dead end.  I WOULD FIND THEM.  That didn't happen, so they were lucky.

Either an NJROTC group or baby Nukes (Navy sailors) were the course "proctors".  They were awesome.  They didn't just stand around on their phones.  They would interact with the runners and there was one dude being super silly and dancing.  These small things are huge when you're running long distances, because it breaks up the miles, and that is always welcome.

Finish Line/End of the Race. The finish line was near where we had started and it was clearly marked.  There were spectators around the finish chute who were cheering finishers on, which was a delight. That said, my least favorite part of the race was sprinting across the finish line, then his little older lady stopping me so she could rip something off of my bib.  Lady, I just ran most of 13 miles.  I need to walk this out and standing here is NOT doing that.  Once she finally got the tiny tab ripped from my bib, I was handed a medal and then was out of the chute.  There were trays of apples and oranges and coolers of Gatorade and water that you could help yourself too.  I liked this, but I would have liked some type of bread, but the apples were a nice offering.

The Race

Would I do this race again?  Maybe.  I don't think the course would change and the medal was super simple, which would not really appeal to me.  This is probably a one and done type of race.  It is local though, so I could be tempted.

Etc Photos

1 comment:

  1. The communication alone would be enough for me to say screw y'all I'm not doing this again.


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