Flying Pirate Weekend Jamboree just around the corner

Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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Outer Banks Sporting Events is gearing up for the Flying Pirate Half Marathon to be held Sunday, April 23 starting at 7 a.m. in Kill Devil Hills. In addition, on Saturday morning, April 22, starting at 7:30 a.m., there’s a Couch to 5K, a Fun Run and a mile walk with Outer Banks Health medical personnel and staff.  Sunday’s half marathon starts at First Flight Middle School back field and finishes at the Wright Brothers Memorial. Saturday’s events are all run at the Wright Brothers Memorial.

This annual Outer Banks event is a great weekend event with OBSE Board of Directors, staff and tons of volunteers and pirates working long hours to make it all happen as seamlessly as possible. The weekend kicks off with a Flying Pirate Expo and package pickup at St. Andrews By-The-Sea Fellowship Hall in Nags Head on the Beach Road from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 21.  On Saturday, all racing events – which are all geared to family fun – are held on the Wright Brothers Memorial site with parking at any of the three First Flight schools on Veterans Drive.    The events kick off at 7:30 for the 5K, 8:30 for the Fun Run, and 8:50 for the Walk with Outer Banks Health personnel. Awards ceremony and after party follows at 9 a.m. Saturday race events are all sponsored by Outer Banks Health, which wants to encourage everyone to undertake a healthy lifestyle with short running events geared to family and friends. The new Outer Banks Health Coach will also be onsite. The Expo at St. Andrew’s opens up again on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for package pickup. Registration for all events is required to participate. No registrations are allowed on Sunday, April 23 before the Flying Pirate race.

Sunday morning starts early with a 7 a.m. start. Racers will run in waves. Racers first head south through Kill Devil Hills, then turn north, go on the backside of the Memorial and continue up through Kitty Hawk before heading back to the Wright Brothers Memorial and the finish line.  For really dedicated runners, there’s a Double Dare Challenge of running Saturday’s 5K and Sunday’s Half Marathon. There’ll be a special award for that.

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Also, for runners keeping up with the pirate theme, there’ll be plenty on hand. Sunday’s sponsor, The Jolly Roger Restaurant, will have plenty of pirates at the finish line whipped into shape by our own Flying Pirate Queen – a tradition at this race.  She starts the race and is there at the finish line. Plus, there’s an award for best pirate costume among runners. Volunteers from the Retired Teachers Association, who are manning a few water stations, will be the judges. There’s an after-party and awards following this race with Full Circle Band playing and awards starting at 11:30 a.m.

flying pirate

Courtesy Outer Banks Sporting Events

“The Flying Pirate Half Marathon is the culmination of months of planning, getting permits, getting equipment, sponsors, making sure neighbors on streets that were part of the race knew about the event, massive organization of details, and amassing a pool of awesome, local volunteer pirates who don’t mind showing up some as early as 5 a.m., to stay for some till past three on Sunday. Then break down the course and thank the National Park Service for the use of their space and facilities,” stated an OBSE press release.

The next event on the OBSE calendar is the Killer Dunes Race on Jockey’s Ridge, sponsored Friends of Jockey’s Ridge in conjunction with Outer Banks Sporting Events. This event is being held on July 4 in Jockey’s Ridge State Park at 8:30 a.m. before the heat of the day so runners get their exercise in and work up an appetite for holiday festivities. Later in July, OBSE is sponsoring a Splash and Dash on July 29 just for kids at the Outer Banks Family YMCA with a swim in the YMCA pool followed by a run.  There will be two running/swimming distances based on age. Both July events will require registration. For more information about OBSE or the upcoming races, go to or follow OBSE on Facebook or Instagram for information and results.