My goal for this year's race was to repeat my win from last year. I'm not sure how long it has been since a male as won back to back Twin Bridges races but it has been several years. The weather for this year's race was different than last year. Last year we faced a strong headwind the whole way. There was no headwind this year and instead we were greeted with a tailwind for the first 3.7 miles. It was warmer than last year though, something we all noticed as we did our warm-up and waited for the start.
The race started and immediately one runner went to the lead and opened a gap on the rest of us. Another runner was a few seconds behind him and ahead of me and Katherine. I checked our pace a quarter and half a mile in and the leader was going out really fast. I didn't recognize him and I thought there is no way he was going to hold that pace so I went out at a faster pace than planned to keep him close so when he started to slow I would be within striking distance.
I passed second place shortly after the first mile marker starting our journey over the first bridge, the Morehead City high-rise. I ran mile one in 5:43. I think the leader was already 30 seconds ahead of me. Once we crested the top of the bridge I saw Sally Kelly on the side taking pictures. I always look forward to seeing her there.
I didn't feel the tailwind helping at all. I kept feeling warmer because the humidity was so high and there wasn't a side breeze or slight headwind to cool me down. I saw my friend Andy before mile three and he got some pictures and cheered me on which I appreciated. He said after the race that no one looked comfortable out there. I kept digging but was slowing down. I ran mile three in 6:03. I was all alone in second place, not gaining on first, and not being caught from behind.
After 3.5 miles the course turns and starts the trip up the final bridge, the Atlantic Beach high-rise. I immediately noticed I was running into a headwind as soon as I started up the bridge. The last 1.4 miles was going to be tough. I don't know why but it seems the mile four marker is off at this race every year. I know exactly where it should be and it's a good 200-300 meters too far. Anyways, I ran mile four in 6:16.
I did manage to pick it up some and ran the final 0.9 miles at 6:09 min/mile pace. I finished second place overall out of 229 in 30:00. It wasn't the time I wanted but that was a tough day to race in the heat and humidity. The winner was 19 year old Joseph Mooneyham in 28:38. Katherine finished third overall but got the win for the women in 31:10. Run the East did a great job timing and scoring the event and got finish line video which is a great touch.
This race and course may change in the future with the completion of the new high rise bridge in Beaufort that will replace the draw bridge. There has been talk of making it a three bridges race. I love running bridges but I think adding in the third bridge and making the race distance longer would hurt the numbers. An 8K is still a doable distance for the person who mostly does 5Ks. Adding in the new bridge would increase the distance to a 10K or more and I think that would be too much of a jump for most people. I hope the race and course stays like it is and they figure out a way to stop traffic on the new four lane high rise bridge. I hate to have a great local race ruined.
Socks: Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Socks
Shoes: New Balance 1400v4
Shorts: Adidas 3" split shorts
Road ID Wrist ID Slim
Watch: Garmin 920XT
Sunglasses: Rudy Project Rydon