Race #296 – Sunset Beach Half Marathon – Sunset Beach, NC – 05/16/15

RSB-Logo-500-2With the spring half marathon season pretty much finished, this race caught my eye just a couple days prior to being held and I managed to talk Linda into taking a three-day beach vacation so I could run it. It was my fifth half marathon of 2015 and I thought it might give me a chance to finally break the 1:40:00 mark, which has been an elusive goal for me so far this year. After having run 10 of 12 half marathons in 2014 under 1:40, it’s no doubt been a rocky start for me this year. I’m not really discouraged or complaining but I am a little surprised that I’ve lost quite a bit of speed from the age of 62 to 63. I guess losing it as you get older probably comes in spurts much like gaining speed when you’re younger.


Race Number:  296

Race Name:  Sunset Beach Half Marathon (“Run Sunset Beach” includes half marathon, 5k, and 1 mile “Turtle Trot”)

Location:  Sunset Beach, NC

Date:  May 16, 2015

Race Rating:  104


  • M:  William Oliver (Durham, NC) — 1:23:30
  • F:  Haley Beann (Pinehurst, NC) — 1:31:14

Course:  Mostly flat except for crossing the large bridge twice and a gradual ascent of about 1 mile after the bridge going out.

Weather at Start:  Sunny and warm — 61 degrees, 88% humidity


  • Beautiful course in small beach community.
  • Great post-race food (barbeque, pizza, variety of fruit, shaved ice, smoothies, and more).
  • Biggest medal I’ve ever seen for a half marathon!
  • Awards podium — Not many races have a podium for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers. It’s a nice touch!
  • Fantastic FREE photography — Well over 1,000 commercial quality photos were made available for free online by the race timing company (links below)


Lots of FREE professional quality photos (1,500 plus)!



  • Lack of porta potties — With around 1,000 runners in the 3 races plus spectators, there were no extra porta potties set up other than the ones normally at the site, which included two for men and two for women. Those each included 1 sit-down stall and 3 stand-ups (for the men). Not sure about the women’s but the line was huge. There needed to be at least 10 regular porta potties set up. Note to race directors: Most of us need to take a dump before a half marathon.
  • Tiny age-group awards — Really strange since the finisher medal is so huge. My 1st place age group award was a small pin that said “1st” maybe an inch high that I guess was supposed to be pinned to the strap for the medal. I wanted to post a picture but it was so small I lost it before I got home.
  • 10-year age groups — In a race this size there really should be 5-year age groups. Regardless of the quality of the awards, a lot of runners still like to be recognized for placing in the top 3 of their 5-year age group.
  • The 5k race was accidentally changed from 3.1 miles to 4.1 miles due to some sort of mixup. Everybody did it so it was an even challenge, but it was probably a shocker for somebody who trained for their first 5k.
  • Pizza showed up late — as the awards were ending (probably not the fault of the race but the pizza company) so most people missed it.


Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos — On the Mark Sports Album 1 on Facebook

Click Here for Race Photos — On the Mark Sports Album 2 on Facebook

Click Here for Race Website


My Stats:

Time:  1:39:32  (chip time)
Pace:  7:35
Age Group:  1 of  12  (60-69 age group)
Overall:  23 of  512
Average Heart Rate:  166
Maximum Heart Race:  177
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:18:16  (75.66%)


Bling lovers can collect all three of these humongous medals by running all three races in the series.



3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

2 – Posted promptly online: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website: (0)no (1)yes

2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

8 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
7 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

1 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes  (*3-race beach series)
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  104

Please like & share:

Leave a Reply