Over a year ago, I came across an article that listed the top marathon courses in the US. I knew I wanted to run another marathon but I didn’t know when or which one it would be. One of the courses on the list was the Kiawah Island Marathon. My parents actually had their honeymoon in Kiawah Island so that one definitely caught my eye.
After mostly joking for awhile that the Kiawah Island Marathon would be my next marathon, I made the decision to sign up for the race. I also decided that it would be the perfect family vacation. My dad usually likes to run the races I sign up for, so I figured he could run the half and it would be good to have my family there to cheer us on. So I signed myself up for the marathon, signed my dad up for the half and found a house to rent.
Even though I made the decision to sign up for the race well in advance, I wasn’t too excited about my training. I love running once I’m running, but sometimes it’s hard for me to get motivated to run. Training for a marathon is a huge commitment and I just wasn’t ready for it this time. After running the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon a few moths prior, I knew that running the full marathon wasn’t in the cards for me. Yes, I could have set my mind to finish my training strong and would’ve been able to finish the marathon, but I wanted to do better. I only want to do another marathon so I can run the whole time and get a better time. I wasn’t going to barely finish a marathon just for fun since I’ve already done that. I also didn’t want to train too hard and risk injury.
So I ran the half marathon and I see why it made
the list. Kiawah Island, off of
Charleston, SC, is a beautiful place. The
weather wasn’t as warm as I had hoped, but it was still a great getaway. With different palm trees and plants everywhere it was so peaceful to be in such a place filled with natural beauty. The only thing you had to worry about was seeing an alligator. Luckily, I didn’t come across any, but I saw a few warning signs.
The course was flat which is always a win in my book. The marathon and half marathon started at the same time and the marathon course intertwined with the half marathon course. I thought that was neat because I got to see all of the fast marathoners run by me with ease. The course was very scenic going around the golf course, through the neighborhoods with villas and huge houses, along swamps and the beach. There were several points along the course for spectators to cheer us on and keep us motivated. My only disappointment was that there was supposed to be jelly beans along the course around mile 11, and they ran out by the time I passed. Oh well.
The post-race party was one of the best I’ve seen. I’m all about the food and beer after running. It takes me a little bit to want to eat it, but I love knowing it’s there! They had a buffet with salad, pasta, fruit, soup, the best corn bread muffins and brownies. I got to relax with a hard cider and then warm up with some hot chocolate. I was so happy to be done with the race and have a great meal ready for me.
I really enjoyed this race and highly recommend it. I’m happy with my decision to run the half marathon, and hope I return to Kiawah to accomplish my goal of completing another full marathon. The Kiawah Island Half Marathon is a great destination race.
What’s your favorite destination race?