‘Argh’ you ready for Flying Pirate Weekend? Fun for the whole family planned

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Outer Banks Sporting Events is gearing up for this weekend’s Flying Pirate Half Marathon, set for Sunday, April 21 starting at 7 a.m. in Kill Devil Hills. Additionally, on Saturday morning, April 20 starting at 7:30 a.m., there will be 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,” stated a news release from OBSE.

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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. on Friday, April 19.

On Saturday, all racing events – which are all geared to family fun – are held on the Wright Brothers Memorial site in Kill Devil Hills, with parking at any of the three First Flight Schools on Veterans Drive. The events start at 7:30 a.m. for the 5K, 8:30 a.m. for the Fun Run, and 8:50 a.m. for the Walk with Outer Banks Health personnel. The awards ceremony and after party follow at 9 a.m. Saturday race events are all sponsored by Outer Banks Health, which encourages “everyone to undertake a healthy lifestyle with short running events geared to family and friends. Their new Outer Banks Health Coach will also be onsite.”

Saturday afternoon, the Expo at St. Andrew’s opens up again 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 21 before the Flying Pirate race.

Sunday morning starts early with a 7 a.m. start. Racers will run in waves, first heading south through Kill Devil Hills, then turn north, go on the backside of the Memorial and continuing up through Kitty Hawk before heading back to the Wright Brothers Memorial and the finish line.

For dedicated runners, there’s a Double Dare Challenge of running Saturday’s 5K and Sunday’s Half Marathon. There will be a special award for that accomplishment.

Also, for runners keeping up with the pirate theme, there will be plenty on hand. Sunday’s sponsors The Jolly Roger Restaurant and The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau will have plenty of pirates at the finish line whipped into shape by OBSE’s 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 will be an after-party and awards following the race with Full Circle Band playing and awards starting at 11:30 a.m.

“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 the OBSE release.

Those who would like to volunteer should contact info@obxse.org.

This event is sponsored by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Outer Banks Health and the Jolly Roger.

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.

For more information about OBSE or upcoming races, go to obxse.com or follow OBSE on Facebook or Instagram.