Monday, August 31, 2015

Race Review: Francis Marion Dirt Dash 2015

Getting up at 330am for a race can be kind of harsh. But you do what you gotta do, because you love what you do and that's why you do it. Doodely do.

A new friend in my local running group posted he was giving a free rego to the Francis Marion Dirt Dash. (I cant find a dedicated web site on this, only the FB Page.) So I figured "What the hell, I haven't raced this month."  Heather helped me secure the entry and off we went.

Awendaw, South Carolina is about 90min south of us, just north of Charleston. As I mentioned we woke at 330, got Heathers ankle biters out of bed, and made it out the door by 410.

Our plan was to hit the Dunkin Donuts just outside of town. I need that for an early morning road trip such as this. In fact, DD is a (disgusting) part of my pre-race fuelin'! But alas, and I should have guessed, the Dunkin was closed.

Now I'm under caffeinated, and there's at least one whiny little kid with no donut in the back seat. At least I didn't have to pee.

 There's no Dunkin's open before 6am between Myrtle and Charleston, by the way. Just a helpful FYI for ya there.

Parking for the race was kind of interesting, and very well done I must add. Just of Hwy 17 is the Seewe Visitor Center. It was dark as a pocket when we got there at 545 but the shuttle to the race showed up shortly after we got there. The shuttle took us down the hwy a bit to a dirt road which we walked down, in the dark. It was kind of neat actually, maybe a quarter of a mile. I probably could have done without the 6yr old's screaming, but we made it to the start line without me finding out if South Carolina bears eat little kids. 

 The race organizers were a couple of minutes late getting everything set up, but no biggy, this was a pretty laid back event. My rego transfer was tit. My buddy grabbed the rego he was giving me and all I had to do was let the Time Official know that I was no longer a 30 Something Female, but instead a 45 year old male. Good to go. No hassles at all. You really gotta appreciate that.

 We were originally scheduled for a 7am start, but as mentioned earlier, things were running a bit behind so I believe it was 710 or 715 when we finally got running.

 Jesus Christ, it's raining buckets right now. As I write this! Not at the race, it was really great weather for the run actually.


A video posted by Heather Gannoe (@relentlessforwardcommotion) on
                                 (My girlfriend took that video, btw)


There were 2 different races going on. A Half Marathon and a 12k (7.5m). Both starting at the same time and partially on the same course. I'm doing the 12k and the course is "F" shaped, only backwards. (I don't feel like trying to find an image of a backward F.) 

 We run down a dirt road, take a left and turn around at big oak tree. We run back to the original starting road and take another left. Up the road a bit and a left. Down this portion of dirt until we come to the safety tape marking the turn around. Turn around and then make a right on to the original road all the way to the finish.

 No single track on my race, all cart road, but quality cart road. The course was indeed very well marked, in fact if you got lost...you deserved it.

 Unfortunately, this was a new course for the 12k, and the mileage wasn't dialed in correctly. We only ended up with 5.5 instead of 7.5 miles. Again, no biggy, this isn't the damn Olympics, it's a local race, shit happens. 

 I'd heard rumors of two to three hundred people rego'd for this. I haven't checked that but for a local race it seemed pretty popular. The race director knew a few of the racers by name and was very friendly with everyone.

Post race swag was pretty good for a local. Yuengling  was actually a sponsor of the race, so racers got a beer or a Mimosa (I had both) along with fresh orange slices, bananas, M+Ms, crackers and such. The volunteers were nice and had some flyers for another race coming up soon.

 After the race, we hopped on the golf cart to take us to the shuttle bus to take us to our cars. Sound complex? It wasn't. They did a great job moving participants from A to B.
The T-shirt is pretty damn cool too. It's tech, which is freeking fantastic, and has a really cool pattern on it.
2 of my cats. They appreciate what I try to do. Crappy camera huh?


This was a good race to get started with this organization, Eagle Endurance. With any luck, Heather and I can race the next one together. There's a good amount to choose from.


Me, the non-screaming kid and a Yuengling Recovey Drink.

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