My first race for 2013 was the Charleston Half Marathon held in Charleston, SC. This was my sixth HM and one of the best races I’ve had the opportunity to run. It was one of several events of the 3rd Annual Charleston Marathon. The marathon, half marathon, and 5K events were held on Saturday, January 19th. There is a kid’s marathon hosted on the Friday before and a Bike Ride held on the Sunday after. This was also my first experience with this race.
Being that Charleston is only a little over an hour away from where I live, I decided not to get a hotel room and just drive to the Expo early Friday morning and then to the race on Saturday. The events had an 8:00am start which made it doable. Oh, did I mention that I also won a free entry to this event. I registered back in November and sometime right before Christmas, I received a refund of my registration fee from Active.com. To this day, I have no clue as to what contest I won. The Charleston Marathon did host a contest, but the winner for that event was announced on their Facebook page. I never received any notification from Active via email, so instead of continuing to inquiry about it, I decided to just let sleeping dogs lie and accept the blessing.
NOTE: I didn’t take any pictures during the race. So the few area photos that I have posted in this report are what I’ve found online, just to give anyone who has never been to Charleston an idea of what the course had to offer.
I arrived to the start at Burke High School in Charleston around 7:20 a.m. I would have gotten there a little sooner, but I left me cell phone on the charger and had to turn back around to go home. After finding a parking spot, I made my way into the school to take a bathroom break. Was so glad that this was a large high school. There were plenty of restrooms available, so the wait in line was fairly short. Oh, another cool perk is that they made the locker rooms accessible to participants if you needed to take a shower once you returned back to the start. I thought that was a pretty cool gesture. (Just in case you were wondering. The school was closed for the first semester break and MLK holiday).
Once I did some last minute wardrobe and equipment checks, I made my way outside of the school towards the starting line. This was one of the most relaxed starts I’ve had so far. The crowd pretty much strolled to the starting mat. Of course, I always start in the back. I guess that’s why the time on my Garmin was almost dead-on with my chip time.
Miles 1 - 3: This is the absolute best part of the city. These first few miles take you toward Battery Park. Nothing but beautiful plantation homes and the Charleston Harbor in your sights. This is one of the most popular areas to sight see and to get a great run in. This year’s medal has the Battery pictured on it. Lots of people stopped to take pictures of the harbor and the homes. In the spring time, the flowers/foliage is so gorgeous in this area.
Miles 4 - 6: We have made our way downtown and are now running up King Street and towards North Charleston. This street has many of your finest boutiques, stores, and eating establishments. I’m glad nothing was open at the time. I’ve spent plenty of money in this area. Primarily in the Apple store. LOL!
Miles 7-10: Now I wish I did pull out my phone to take a picture. Sometime after the water/Gatorade/Gummi bear stop we came across two soldiers on the route who were in their BDUs and carrying packs. They were running the HM. I missed them at the start, and was truly impressed to see them this far ahead toting all of that extra weight. These guys rocked! That was the most inspiring moment of the race. [The marathon and half marathon course split in opposite directions right before mile marker 10].
Miles 11 - 13.1(?): After making it through an industrial area and another residential area, we made our way to Riverfront Park in North Charleston. I’ve posted an aerial view of the park to give you a better idea of what it looks like. We ran the entire loop of Riverfront Park, taking in all of the beautiful scenery and monuments located out there. This was my first time visiting this part of the city and so it was very nice to be able to run in this area. It was also a nice way to end the final portion of the race. Everyone who crossed the finish line had their name announced and the city/state that they represented.
After crossing the finish line, I got my medal and then took some time to enjoy the food, beer, music and camaraderie at the post race party before boarding the shuttle back to the start.
Gun time: 2:40:04
Chip time: 2:36:35 (Not a PR, but ranked #3 out of 6)
Garmin results: 13.21 miles in 2:36:38
On to the next!
Thank you for reading. Happy Running!
Half Fanatic #3091 ~ Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon
"Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi
The Mildest Nihilist
Sounds like a great race on a beautiful course! Congratulations!
PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02 / FM: 4:50:35
Smaller By The Day
That's a scenic race! I like the medal too. Throw in some shrimp, grits and beer, and I could see that race becoming a tradition if you're from the area. Congrats on HM #6!
Weight 100 pounds lost
5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)
10K 48:59 April 2013
HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013
MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013
What a beautiful race! Lucky you!
It was indeed a nice race. We were there, couldn't have asked for better weather. And the start at the high school was really nice, with the inside bathrooms and a warm place to wait. I think the organization has some growing pains to overcome, but the race itself was nice. Congrats on your race!
Sounds like a beautiful race! Charleston is a lovely city. Congrats on your HM!
Up next: Front Runners New York LGBT Pride 5-mile 06/28 | NYRR Team Championships: Women (5M) 08/02
Goal race: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K 10/25
Awesome job, Nikki! Keep it up.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Running for TJ
Great job, Nikki!!
You're description of this race might be the best advertisement...the race sounds so well thought out (e.g., real bathrooms at the start!), supported (e.g,. shuttles back from the finish), and enjoyable (e.g., scenic, flat).
Thanks for the RR!
Overcoming sarcoidosis one step at a time...
Great job, Nikki! I know you said that this wasn't a goal race for you, but I think you ran it very well!! Thanks for sharing such a nice write-up with us!
But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.
I hate I missed you! When I answered your post about the timing chip, I realized that you were in Charleston too. Oh well. Maybe we'll get a chance to meet each other the next time
Jess runs for bacon
Wow, beautiful race and beautiful medal! This one may have to go on my hit list! NIce work
Stress fx Queen
Nice race Nikki! I had to laugh at you leaving the phone on the charger. What would we do without our phones!
I got cold when I read your weather report. That place is always windy! Love the pics of the Battery (one of my favorite places to run)
Sounds like an all around great race! From the free entry fee to the beautiful scenery and post race food.
Congratulations. What a fun race.