The Lighthouse 5k had perfect running weather this morning. The storms that passed through last night dried the air out and cooled things down. We here at Brindley Beach Vacations sponsor the race and we couldnt have been more pleased with the turnout. 

Its a beautiful course–starts and ends at the Corolla Light Sports Center, goes north up to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, turns around in Corolla and heads back. Lots of shade and no hills make it a great run for just about everybody.

Our Lighthouse 5k is just part of the story, though. The Outer Banks has become a runners paradise with something scheduled just about every month.

The Outer Banks Marathon is the crown jewel of the running calendar–a weekend event that includes a half marathon, fun run and other events. Look for it on November 9-11 this year.

And then theres the Nags Head Woods 5k–the granddaddy of all the Outer Banks races. Held on Mothers Day weekend every year, the 2013 version will be the 30th running of the race. 

But the races are only a small part of the story.

The real story is what a remarkable place the Outer Banks has become to run, or walk, or ride a bike. There has been a concerted effort on the part of businesses, government and tourism agencies to create an environment designed for everyone to get out and enjoy the day.

There are muli-use paths from Corolla all the way to South Nags Head. Except for a small stretch of road on the south end of Corolla to the Dare County line where Duck begins, there are over 50 miles of interconnected multi-use paths. 

Even the stretch of road that has not been developed as a multi-use path has a wide shoulder that makes riding a bike or running easy.
Actually, starting at the Pine Island Racquet Club (on the west side of the highway just across from the Hampton Inn) there is a wide grassy trail that was once the dirt road access to Corolla. Ending at the Sanderling Resort, the trail links up with the north end of the Dare County multi-use path. The trail is ideal for runners, walkers and fat tired bikes.

That Pine Island Trail is a wonderful diversion all by itself. There are two observation decks overlooking the Currituck Sound and the view is panoramic and memorable. Make sure to use bug repellant . . . the mosquitoes and flies tend to be hungry along the trail.

The sense of discovery that the Pine Island Trail has, is a part of what makes the paths found along the roads of the Outer Banks so unique. Although large parts of the trails run parallel to the beach, most of them take users into areas not usually associated with a beach community. The Kitty Hawk section goes through Kitty Hawk Woods, a heavily wooded world that seems miles from the beach. The path through Kill Devil Hills takes runners along the sound through a residential part of the town.

Its all part of the perfect vacation scenario–flawless mornings to get out an exercise and warm sands and a gentle breeze to spend the day at the beach.