Outer Banks, North Carolina.

After we reserved a house on the Outer Banks for our extended family’s week-long vacation, we began our search for a race that would allow us to check North Carolina off of our quest list. The Nag’s Head Village 5K, which occurs weekly during the summer, is run on a Thursday which fit in perfectly to our Saturday to Saturday vacation schedule.

This race is one of several that Outer Banks Runcations runs weekly during the summer. Their open walk-up registration works great for vacationers who decide to run spur of the moment or aren’t ready to commit to a race ahead of time. Amelia and Matt joined us and signed up for the race, too. Everyone that runs gets a t-shirt, medal, and a “gift”.  Our gift was a “Run OBX” Runcations sticker.

The course, which is virtually flat, traveled through a lovely, quiet neighborhood that borders a golf course.  It was an out and back route which gave us a chance to cheer for Matt and Amelia as they looped back to the finish line more than 5 minutes ahead of us.

nag's head on course number 2

We were happy with our pace and our final time.  I was also pleased to find a decent race photo of me from the professional photographer who was on the course and at the finish.  While Mike almost always looks terrific, phrases such as “crippled spider” come to mind when I look at most of my images.

nag's head on course

As we crossed the finish line we received a hefty medal, a bottle of water, and (at that moment) the best post-race perk I could imagine…a cold, wet towel that we got to keep (our second “gift”).

The awards ceremony was brief since they only announced the first place male and female finishers.  However, we had each received an email before we got back to the house with not only our time and pace, but the weather, including temperature (75 degrees), wind (5 mph) and humidity (78%) and our overall and age group place and percentile. Amelia was first in her age group which was terrific but sadly not acknowledged beyond our family.

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nag's head finish line

Being able to run a race in North Carolina to check off our 21st state in our quest was great.  But we also really enjoyed our other runs that week. Ending a run with views like these was wonderful.

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IMG_5243Besides running, the week was filled with lots of time at the beach where we marveled at being in the water and not having our extremities immediately go numb as they do when we dare to venture into our frigid Maine waters.

obx beach

Here are a few images of the rest of the week.IMG_5304

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crab

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While the actual race was fun and satisfying, having our family with us on this most recent venture truly made our time in North Carolina much more cherished than our t-shirt, medal, or knowing that we had completed a race in our twenty-first state. As we’ve traveled to the 21 states that we have run in so far, we have realized that it’s actually the entire journey, not just the race, that we savor the most.

State: North Carolina

Date Run: August 13, 2015

Quest Race #: 21

The Bottom Line: The Nag’s Head 5K was a convenient, well-organized race with nice swag that was a fun addition to our fabulous week on the Outer Banks.

Do you run or race on vacation?

What was your best post-race perk?