On Sunday, March 10, 2013, I ran the inaugural Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon in Bluffton, SC. It started with an early morning. We live 2 hours away from Bluffton, so we set out about 4:30 AM. We arrived at Palmetto Bluff a little after 6:30 AM. We had to get there early to pickup the race bib & shirt. It was a chilly morning. The temperature was 45 degrees, 100% Humidity, and no wind. The race started on time at 8:00 AM after the singing of the National Anthem by a local high schooler. There were approximately 1000 runners in the race.
After the week I had, with a pulled muscle in my leg, I did not know what was going to happen. I came in to this race with a goal of breaking the one hour fifty minutes (1:50) half marathon barrier. At a minimum, I wanted to top my previous PR, which was a 1:52:52. To help minimize my muscle issues, I used KT Tape and felt no pain at all. I also used my compression sleeves on my calves, which helped the lower legs and provided some warmth. I started out the race with the first five (5) miles running sub eight minute mile. I kept waiting for my times to taper off, but they never really did. The conditions were just great for the race. It was a very flat & fast course.
It turned out to be a really great race, with excellent coastal scenery and a neat tucked away community. The race had excellent support with well defined mile markers and water & Gatorade stops every two miles. There was a timing clock at the halfway point to confirm your pacing. Parking was right at the start/finish area. They had Jim N Nicks Barbeque at the finish, which was a nice touch. They also had water, apples, and bagels with peanut butter.
The only negatives which should be improved for future races, was limited bathroom facilities at the start and no bananas at the finish. They had one (yes one!) bathroom trailer at the start, which for the men’s side had 2 toilets and 5 urinals. I got in the bathroom line at 7:15 AM and did not get out until 7:45 AM. There were many others behind me in the line that were still waiting when the race started.
As I said above, I did really well in this race. There was really no pain throughout the race. I did GU Gels 45 minutes before the start, 15 minutes before the start, then at miles 4, 8, & 12. This worked well for me. I completed the race is 1:45:16, which in a PR for me, by over 7 minutes from my previous PR (1:52:52).
The results were posted online late Monday. I was 107th overall (418 finishers), and the 79th male (186 total) to finish.