With the successful return of the Rock ’N’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach on Labor Day weekend, it appears that road races are officially back! A growing number of small local races are setting dates and opening registration making this year the perfect time to race your local 5k or 10k.
Check out these races
The Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k is back and registration is open! The date is set for Saturday, October 30th. This marathon is a Boston Qualifier. This means if runners finish under a specific time trail based on their age group, they will be eligible to register for the famous Boston Marathon! I definitely recommend attending this competitive race whether you run, volunteer, or spectate.
Miles4Missions Jammie Jog 5k Run & Fun Walk is timed event that starts and ends at First Baptist Church in Swansboro on Saturday, November 13th at 8:00 am. With each registration, this non-profit event provides a new pair of pajamas to a local child in need. Funds raised by this race also support local missionaries from Onslow and Carteret Counties.
The Turkey Trot Costume Fun Run is held on Thanksgiving Day in Cape Carteret. A “Fun Run” is not a timed race, so you won’t need a bib or timing chip. These races are not competitive which makes it perfect for the whole family to do together! Awards of pumpkin pies are granted to the first male and female to cross the finish line as well for best flock costume or best individual costume. To register for this year’s Turkey Trot visit RunSignUp.com/trotthetrail
You can find all of these races on RunSignUp.com.
Benefits of Road Races
Races rally the local running community to unite and work toward a goal. Whether running or volunteering, you should expect to create and nurture friendships both new and old during these events. Typically, funds generated by racing events benefit a local charity or community project, so these types of events can literally build amenities or fund programs in the local community.
Whether you are a pro, weekend warrior, or novice runner there is no better motivation than registering for a race. The approaching race date and start time provides the participant with a tangible goal. Serious runners typically train for their race in the weeks or months leading up to the event. Beginners can potentially train from couch to a 5k in approximately 8-12 weeks. Running the same race each year can be a great way to measure your progress. Leading up to competitive events such as races, runners are motivated to improve their paces during training for race day. Whether competing against themselves for a personal best or against other runners, races add that highly competitive element that drives us.
Race Day Tips
Don’t wait until race day to hydrate. It’s best to drink plenty of water days leading up to the event to ensure adequate hydration. Even if start time is super early, you should fuel up for the run by eating a small breakfast or snack. A rule of thumb is to not wear anything new on race day. If you get new shoes, break them in with a few training runs before race day. New items can cause blisters and/or chafing. My last tip would be to also make sure to eat well after your race, I recommend eating at a local restaurant with friends and family because race day is a day to celebrate your accomplishment.
Jessica Diaz is an ultra runner, loving wife & mother, owner of a Siberian Husky, RRCA Running Coach & Race Director, as well as Digital Manager at The GYM Cape Carteret Aquatic & Wellness and CEO of Diaz Media Marketing.