Monday, March 31, 2014

Get Moving in Wrightsville Beach this Spring

As we here at the beach feel just about every year, spring - and the promise of long, sunny days and warmer weather - could not arrive soon enough!

Spring is synonymous with new beginnings and may present better opportunities for those of us who failed to get our New Year's resolutions off the ground! Thanks to the Wrightsville Beach Department of Parks and Recreation, there are a variety of options to get us moving and enjoying the natural beauty of coastal North Carolina.

The local parks and recreation system has been holding classes and special programs for decades; however, they have continued to grow and expand. In addition to long-standing tennis, boating safety, yoga and after school programs, the recreation coordinators have recognized some hot new exercise trends and are pleased to offer them to participants. Some are free and others require a nominal fee. However, wouldn't you agree that joining in on the fun here at Wrightsville Beach is a nice alternative to a stuffy gym?

Here is just a sample of what's on tap this month: Zumba, cross-training, flag football, cooking for kids, Pilates, and aerobics! Click here for the complete schedule.

If group activities are not your cup of tea, no problem. Two of the most popular alternatives are walking The Loop or along miles of pristine beach strand. Even better, those activities are free and available any time you choose!

Enjoy this beautiful spring!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wrightsville Beach is the SUP Headquarters

It has been a gradual development but it appears that Wrightsville Beach, NC has earned a solid reputation among SUP enthusiasts from all over! One of the sport's most coveted events will be held for the fourth consecutive year. The Carolina Cup is set for April 23rd through the 27th.

This series of races entices an impressive roster of SUP professionals. Over 700 participants are expected to compete in one of several divisions, including, SUPs, outrigger canoes, ocean kayaks, surf skis and traditional, prone paddleboards. The local course has made a name for itself due to the fact that it's known as one of the most technically elite in the sport. 

In fact, National Geographic's Outside Magazine, cited the Carolina Cup as one of only two "must-attend" SUP events on its monthly race guide. The World Paddle Association also sanctions this race series.

Spectators this year will be treated to the fierce competition and high drama offered by the 12.5 mile "Graveyard Course", which circumnavigates Wrightsville Beach and Harbor Island's interior. Three-time elite division men's winner Danny Ching, and 2013 elite division women's winner Annabel Anderson will defend their titles in this thrilling race.

Prior to the action in April, the 5th annual Wrightsville Beach Biathlon took place on Saturday, March 22nd. Reported to be the first of its kind, this race combines running and standup paddling. The 8-mile course draws both relay teams and bi-athletes.

We are fortunate to be able to witness these exciting races and amazing athletes first hand. Have a look at the courses, and choose a vantage point for taking in some of the finest SUP action on the east coast!  Learn more at The 2014 Carolina Cup.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Carolina Cup is Coming to Wrightsville Beach!

If you have been waiting for the chance to test your SUP prowess, hone your skills or just get started, mark your calendar for Wednesday April 23rd through Sunday the 27th, 2014. This year's 4th Annual Carolina Cup is back with a vengeance and bigger and better than ever. That's right, 5 wonderful days on the water at beautiful Wrightsville Beach devoted to Stand Up Paddleboarding! A huge variety of special events are planned this year, including 4 races and 7 clinics.

The 4 courses truly offer something for all ages and skill levels.  They include the following:
  • Kids race
  • Harbor Island Recreational "fun" race
  • Money Island open race
  • Graveyard Elite Race
Organizers are especially thrilled to have 7 clinics on the schedule this year. Each clinic is unique and addresses a different SUP topic. Several very distinguished guests will be conducting these clinics, including SUP pros, Danny Ching and Jimmy Terrell. There will also be clinics especially for kids, beginners, women, and yoga instructors. Please note that each clinic has a limited number of spaces. Register early to secure your spot at wrightsvillebeachpaddleclub.com.

Another new event this year is the Ocean of Hope Cancer Awareness Paddle. This event raises awareness and funds for the Sarcoma Alliance. Since 1999, Ocean of Hope paddlers have gathered together to help those who are battling cancer. It has grown from just one paddleboarder to include paddling events, prone and SUP paddleboarders, outrigger paddling teams, and other athletes who dedicate their own personal challenge to this worthwhile cause. To learn more about this organization, use this link: sarcomaalliance.org/ocean-of-hope.

April is a gorgeous time to bring the family to Wrightsville Beach. The Carolina Cup is the perfect venue for all ages, so we hope to see you there! For all of the details surrounding this action-packed, 5-day event, including accommodations, WPA rules and guidelines, the complete schedule, and how to become a sponsor, here is the link to the complete website: wrightsvillebeachpaddleclub.com.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon - March 15th &16th, 2014

The weekend of Marathon Madness will be here before you know it and race organizers want Hardee Hunt & Williams to help spread the word! This is the 5th consecutive year for the Quintiles Marathon and it continues to evolve into one of the premier running events for the Eastern Seaboard. In fact, it was recently recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast!

If you have never seen the action first hand, we encourage you to participate as a runner, a volunteer, or a spectator! (You don't have to run to have fun!)

Events will take place on Saturday March 15th and Sunday March 16th. This year, participants have 5 different challenges to choose from: 1-mile, 5k, 13.1, 26.2 and the 26.2 relay.

Here is the schedule for the races so far:
  • Eli's 1-Mile Fun Run - Saturday March 15th ($20.00 Race Fee + $2.50 Sign Up Fee) Saturday March 15. Open to ages 1 - 100
  •  5K - Saturday March 15th ($45.00 Race Fee + $3.00 Sign Up Fee) Saturday March 15. Open to ages 1 - 100
  •  Half Marathon ($90.00 Race Fee + $5.40 Sign Up Fee) Sunday March 16. Open to ages 14+
  •  Marathon ($110.00 Race Fee + $6.60 Sign Up Fee) Sunday March 16, 2014. Open to ages 18+
  • Marathon RELAY ($70.00 Race Fee + $4.20 Sign Up Fee) Sunday March 16
  • 3 Pointer w/Half Marathon ($140.00 Race Fee + $8.40 Sign Up Fee) Saturday March 15. Open to ages 14+
  • 3 Pointer in Overtime w/Full Marathon ($150.00 Race Fee + $9.00 Sign Up Fee) Saturday March 15. Open to ages 18+
Please use this link for printable course maps: http://www.wrightsvillebeachmarathon.com/?page_id=425

One of this year's most exciting developments is that the Half Marathon winners will also win the 2014 North Carolina Half Marathon State Championship. And…a $5,000 prize will be awarded! Placing in your age group automatically ranks you at the state level. Slots are filling up quickly, but there is still time to register for the race, which takes place on Sunday, March 16th.

For registration information use this link: http://www.wrightsvillebeachmarathon.com/?page_id=11

Please note that there are only a limited number of tickets for The Quintiles Pasta Dinner set for Saturday March 15th at 7:00 PM.  This Luau themed dinner is an awesome way to get motivated the night before the race. The 2014 Guest speaker is Frank Shorter, a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the Marathon. The dinner will be held at the Mayfaire Event Field.  This is the same location as the EXPO and The Finish Line.

For more details including training tips, lodging, expo information and breaking news for this event, please use this handy link:
http://www.wrightsvillebeachmarathon.com/


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