May Day Half Marathon Recap (2:00:36)

Last week, my friend Virginia and her friend Rocky, organized a marathon and half marathon race here in Charleston in honor of Spring and May Day. The half marathon involved running from Downtown Charleston to Folly Beach and the full marathon was from the Isle of Palms to Folly Beach.


Since we bought a home and I won’t get a real vacation this year, plus I can’t really turn down an excuse to do a long run on a weekday, I decided to participate. Last weekend, I met up with Virginia at Moe’s Crosstown Tavern for the pre-race bib decorating party. Magic markers and design-your-own-race-bib? Oh yes!


It was a fun chance to get together with the other runners, design our bibs, and just have a good time on a Saturday afternoon (and Moe’s has the best bar food in Charleston, hands down). Virginia is preggers and can’t race anymore, but her baby has already won a few age group awards and one overall award. Baby even has a couple PRs- talk about a running rockstar in training.


On May 1, Rachael and met at Folly at 8 AM to carpool downtown and start our run. The course was obviously amazing- who doesn’t look running downtown and near the coast? However, this wasn’t an actual timed, sanctioned, permitted race, so cars, bikes, and other pedestrians were on the roads. Charleston roads aren’t known for being empty on Wednesday mornings, so we spent time waiting at crosswalks, running on sidewalks, and running on bridges with little pedestrian path and high winds. Eek.

We did, however, have great motivational signs and amazing volunteers like my friend John (who took the pictures in this post and is the gold  standard for race volunteers). The race had actual aid stations that were better than most “real” races- they had Gu, water, gatorade, pictures, and friendly people. A few guys also volunteered to bike around the course for safety reasons, too.


Most of us ran the half but a few ultra runners did the full because they’re training for 50 and 100 milers. I can’t imagine that, I’m lucky to run 100 miles in a month…

Rachael and I tied for 3rd female in the half, even though you timed yourself and there was no race clock or certification. We finished in 2:00:36, which wasn’t too bad considering traffic, headwind, conversational pace, and stopping at each aid station for pictures, snacks, and thank you’s to the volunteers. It was a glorified fun run and party, so no one really “raced” it, everyone just had a good time.


The finish line was in sidewalk chalk, and you even got a finisher’s picture. The medals are hand made and so much nicer than generic medals- someone made these thinking about the runners and that’s sweet.


When we finished, we were treated to one of the best post-race parties ever. Food, beer, flowers, and a band? Definitely our kind of party. They even had a May Pole, kiddie pool (it was WAY too cold to get in any water), and people brought their dogs. The food was delicious- Spanish rice, bean salad, brats, veggie burgers, cake, fruit, good stuff. My half marathon hunger hit so I enjoyed the lunch- gotta love post-race food that is actual food, so no need to go out to lunch.


We hung out at the post-race party for a little over an hour and enjoyed it, then I took Rachael downtown to get her car and headed home for a shower and to warm up.









For a stay-cation day (most of us who participated took this as a vacation day from work), it was definitely worth it. The May Day Marathon was actually more fun (and better orchestrated) than lots of sanctioned races I’ve done – the bar is set for pop-up races now and it’ll be hard to beat this one.

I’m already planning to take a vacation day on May 1, 2014 to run it next year.



This entry was posted in Downtown, Folly Beach, Friends, Half Marathon, Holidays, Race Recaps and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to May Day Half Marathon Recap (2:00:36)

  1. That is so cute! And good for all of you runners to get out there and take the initiative to organize your own race!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- yeah it was so fun, because it was more of a fun run than a competitive race, and I liked that because the nasty competition aspects like people being really hard on themselves weren’t at this race 🙂

  2. Aww. I love it! I think that’s cute that you guys designed your own race bibs. The race is very unique. I love the medals. I love the creativity! Very artistic! Kudos to you guys for organizing such a fun event!

  3. That is really cool about the race. First that you got to design your own bibs…I don’t even know where I would go with that but it would be pretty crazy I think. Glad you had a good time and just relaxing with a nice half. Everytime you mention Virginia, I think you are going to VA…haha.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Hehe, maybe I will make it up to Va. sometime soon, who knows? My coworker and friend Carol lives up there! Also when I typed in Virginia’s name, WordPress kept wanting to link it to a page about the state, lol.

      Designing the bibs was really cool. I just sat in the bar and designed it while we were waiting on our food hehe.

  4. How awesome that you were able to design the bibs, and the artistic creativity was awesome, it seems like it was very well organized compared to some I have heard about!

    Shannon at I Survived and Now I Run

  5. I love the design-your-own bibs! It makes a much more personal touch and fun feel. I like how colorful this race was! The party looked like fun, and the food looked delicious.
    What kind of music did the band play? Was it more Hawaiian type music with the tropical flowers, or was it rock?
    Congrats on finishing within the 2-hour time frame. That’s awesome!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      They played everything, mostly rock. A lot of 90s stuff too, which made me happy. It was a great band, best post-race entertainment ever!

      Food was good too, or as good as food tastes after a half marathon when you’re hungry but then nothing tastes too “great” immediately after running, to me.

  6. allieksmith says:

    Oh my gosh, what a cool race! I LOVE it! Seriously! I wish I could have ran this with you. I would have tried to make an epic bib, too!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You would have loved it Allie, it was really your style of race, hehe. The running community and really the whole community here is really into things like this which is neat, just spontaneously doing runs and races and other fun things :). There were some really awesome bibs too!

  7. That is a great half time considering the course wasn’t cleared and you had to stop and the post race food looks amazing!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was! Yeah I just ran it with some friends and we talked the whole time. Basically a glorified long run, but we enjoyed it! Technically Rachael and I tied for third female overall hehe, even though it wasn’t timed (you timed with your own watch if you really wanted to know lol).

  8. Run for It!! says:

    Great job Amy! Very cool and creative!

  9. Looks like you guys had great fun! 🙂 My pals and I are doing something similar in June for my first attempt at an ultra run. I don’t think we’d get the support during the race like you did though.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Steve, I would ask friends and family to help you out. You may be surprised at how much support you do get and who might be willing to bike a little with you guys or provide aid (water, food, gu) somewhere.

      Asking is hard, but a lot of people really admire runners (especially other runners), to the point where they’re willing to help if needed with things like that. Especially when it doesn’t mean TOO much for them. Family members, friends, newbie runners, runners who are injured and can’t run right now but want to help, local running groups, I would at least ask. Especially with a distance like an ultra- rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

  10. That looks like so much fun! I love the make your own bib idea 😉

  11. Courtney says:

    I love this! What an awesome idea and definitely a race like no other. 🙂

  12. making your own bib is such an awesome idea! I love the creative energy that went into this event.

  13. This race looked like so much fun! I will definitely make sure to take a day off next year — unless they do one sooner which would be awesome!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It really would be! I’m not sure when but they should do one before next May Day, if not it is worth taking off work for, I don’t regret using that vacation day a bit ;).

  14. Pingback: Ultra kids: Is distance running safe for your 12-year-old? | Sykose

  15. Pingback: May Day Half Marathon (1:49:50) | The Tiny Terror

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