Run Skidaway Island Half Marathon
While it’s true we can’t resist a good race, it’s even harder when a given race takes us to Savannah and/or has us running on an island. The Run Skidaway Island Half Marathon checked both boxes.
Packet pickup was held at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Savannah. It was a no-frills pickup where runners received their race shirts, bibs, and a $10 off $50 Dick’s coupon.
For those of you who, like us, prefer to roll out of bed and onto the finish line, it’s nearly impossible at Skidaway. For those staying in town multiple nights, a handful of homes are available for rent via VRBO or AirBnB. For those only staying in town one night, Savannah hotels are your best option. The race website makes a few recommendations. (http://www.runskidaway.com/plan-your-trip) The closest hotel to the start, Comfort Inn Savannah Midtown, is about 20 minutes away. Just a few minutes further runners will find the brand-new Fairfield Inn (which offered a race rate for the 2017 event), Hilton Garden Inn and Baymont Inn & Suites.
Places to Eat
Dick’s, the site of packet pickup, was also home to some restaurants, both chain and local. Some wouldn’t even require you to get back in your car: Jason’s Deli and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
More memorable meals can be had in downtown Savannah. On this trip we ate barbecue at the Sandfly. In addition to having some delicious ‘que, it was charming to eat lunch in a converted caboose.
The course began at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. It took runners through The Landings, the private, gated community on Skidaway Island. Miles 5-6 were most magnificent as runners were taken on a path bordering the marsh of the Wilmington River. Aid stations were located every 2-3 miles, so it was recommended runners carry a water bottle. The looped course returned to the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography where it finished under the standard inflatable arch. What made the finish line more special that most was the enthusiasm of race director Dan Pavlin, who met nearly every runner about 100 meters from the finish line and ran with them nearly to the end. We’ve run over 100 half marathons and marathons together, and have never seen a race director more personally invested in the finish of every single on of his runners.
The post-race party was a modest affair consisting of the standard post-race foods, including oranges, bananas, grapes, Cliff Bars, and the treat of the party: Oreo cookies. Runners looking for adult beverages post-race will have to wait until returning home or until a lunch out.
Run Skidaway was an enjoyable little race that we would run every year if we were locals. The views at mile 6 are worth a millions dollars, much less the $45-$85 it will cost you to register.
Tips for Running a Successful Run Skidaway Island Half Marathon
If you have a handheld water bottle, its worth running with for this race, particularly if you know you’ll need water more than the every 2-3 miles aid stations are located.
We’d say bring bug spray because the gnats this time of year in the Southeast are ravenous. Fortunately, race organizers had bottles of Deep Woods Off, and we didn’t have to worry about not having our own.
For more information about the Run Skidaway Island Half Marathon visit: http://www.runskidaway.com