March 2019

Run a Good Race

Author: Courtney Hampson

Four years ago, I stood poised (not poised as in calm, cool and collected … poised as in standing still waiting for what was next) at the top of a mountain with my ski instructor. I explained that I was running a half marathon in a few weeks and my hesitancy was that I didn’t want to get hurt before the race. He quickly retorted, “Courtney, at the speed you are moving, an injury is very unlikely.”

It turns out I ski like I run. Slow. Cautious. Measured. I am not trying to win any races; I am just trying to finish them. This year my goal is to run a dozen races, and I have some favorites I will never miss. As our brief brush with winter makes its departure, the Lowcountry begins to experience our best “running weather.” Cool spring mornings, when the humidity has yet to rise, make for perfect training runs and race days. If you’ve been looking for a reason to get your body moving, check out these options.

Palmetto Bluff 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon
March 10
For the serious runner, the Palmetto Bluff Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier. For weekend sloggers (like me) the Half Marathon and 10k courses are dog and stroller-friendly, making this race one for the whole family. With a start and finish line overlooking the May River, and a course that takes you along tree-shaded pathways amid this 20,000-acre community, Palmetto Bluff wins for best views. Speaking of winning, overall male and female in each race receive a show-stopping stay at Montage Palmetto Bluff.

Don’t worry, even if you are bringing up the rear, you can feel good about your miles. The race benefits the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, which protects the area’s natural wild spaces and historical sites through educational programs and research projects. With every step, you’ll help ensure Palmetto Bluff’s spectacular ecology is treasured for years to come.

Beaufort Twilight Run
March 23
They say you should train when you race, meaning morning races require morning training. I break the rules for this one because The Beaufort Twilight Run wins for its great vibe. With a course that winds through Habersham and ends at an oyster roast, you can’t lose. Regardless of where you are in your training, there is an option for you. Choose from a 10-mile run, 8k run, 5k run, or 1-mile youth run. The after-party kicks off as the sun sets and the music starts. Winners get cash prizes, and everyone else gets to enjoy the bevy of food trucks and beers.

Nine Line Run for the Wounded
May 18
Lace up on Armed Forces Day for the sixth annual Run for the Wounded at Daffin Park in Savannah. Race proceeds support Nine Line’s initiative to build a Veterans Village for homeless veterans in Savannah. With both 5k and 10k options available, this run is just the right thing to do. Participants enjoy a post-race beer from local, veteran-owned Service Brewing Company and a great Nine Line Apparel T-shirt.

Nine Line Apparel was founded by CPT Tyler Merritt, a member of the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, along with his wife Angela and brother Daniel. Their vision was to create a clothing brand to be enjoyed by patriotic Americans around the globe. In the past few years, their brand has grown, and Tyler decided to give back to the community through expanding the Nine Line brand and incorporating the Nine Line Foundation.

Firecracker 5k
July 4
Before you indulge in your holiday beers and BBQ, start your morning with a quick 5k through Jarvis Creek Park. In its thirty-fourth year, it is the oldest road race in Beaufort County. You’ll have to leave the dogs and strollers home for this one, but the race is full of spirit with plenty o’ red, white and blue. If you’re willing to divulge your weight, there are categories for men over 200 pounds and women over 150 pounds. (Question for organizers: my real weight or what my driver’s license reads?)

Tunnel to Towers 5k
September 7
The Tunnel to Towers 5k Run and Walk Series was created to honor the heroic life and death of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who lost his life on September 11, 2001, after strapping on his gear and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.
Held all over the country, the race series honors the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and our first responders and military who make extraordinary sacrifices in the line of duty every day. Local and regional firefighters run the race impressively in full gear. If that isn’t enough motivation, perhaps the 343 local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who line the course with pictures of each firefighter who lost his life, will move you to run faster than ever before.

Go ahead and explore the Lowcountry on foot. Stretch. Hydrate. Nourish your body. Get out there.

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