Coming up next week is the 11th annual Run Sunset Beach on April 27th. I’m so excited that your joining us, this is home for me and I can’t wait to share the area I love and call home with you.

Sunset Beach is a charming and quaint community and while we have few roads and we aren’t able to close much of this course, we work really hard at providing the safest race possible. There will be 14 Police Officers on course handling traffic and 104 Volunteers race morning so please listen to them – they have your safety in mind. If there is a coned area that is designated for runners – that’s where you should be running because outside of the cones is designated for traffic. We truly need your cooperation so that we can continue to host great events in an area we’ve grown to love and call home!

Please be sure to read your pre-race emails, being an informed athlete can relieve a lot of stress race morning which ultimately aids your performance. Be sure to look over the parking guide and follow instructions race morning. Bag Drop and Port-A-Jons will be located near Dave’s Outpost across the street from the park, just look for the Sunbelt Rentals light tower and the Coastal Race Popup Tents.

The race will start and finish in the Sunset Beach Town Park located at 206 Sunset Blvd. It is a beautiful 5-acre waterfront park with big live oak trees, a veterans’ memorial, fishing pier and a spectacular sunrise view. Our half marathon will start at 6:45 and head in to Sea Trail Plantation to run the mainland portion of the course before heading over the bridge to the island. The 5K and 10K both start next at 7:00am. It’s super important to line up by pace so please look for the pace signs and line up accordingly. We do have an all new 5K Route and 10K Route, please look them over so you are familiar with whichever one you are running. At the start, both distances will head straight for the bridge and after making a right on N Shore Dr W the 10K will continue straight and the 5K will turn left on 30th St. The 1 Mile is all in the park and starts at 8:30 under the Fleet Feet inflatable arch.

When you cross the finish line, we will be there cheering you on and we hope you stick around and enjoy the after party. We will be serving BBQ or Mac-N-Cheese ( for a vegetarian option) and beer. If your not a beer drinker, we keep a very limited supply of soda on hand, just ask someone at the beer wagon if there is another option. Bring a chair and enjoy all of the festivities in the park. The 5K awards will be at 8:00, 10K at 8:30 and Half Marathon awards at 9:30. 

If you’re visiting from out of town or don’t know much about our area I’ll highlight a few of my favorites that make any trip to Sunset Beach special. Our beach is beautiful and I’m sure you’ll spend some time there walking or relaxing after the race and while you’re there you must visit the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. Located at the southern end known as Bird Island you will find a lonely mailbox along with a bench where you can sit and write your thoughts, your dreams and bare your soul. The mailbox is fully stocked with paper and pen and it’s about a 30 minute walk from the 40th St beach access but so worth the trip! To learn more about the History of the Kindred Spirit click here to watch a video or click here to read more on the Kindred Spirit.

I’d also recommend stopping by the Old Bridge Museum, it is a treasure trove and you will find so much information about the area. All of the volunteers that work there are so knowledgable on the area so strike up a conversation and I guarantee you won’t go away disappointed. They also offer History Walks by appointment and while I haven’t done this yet – I plan to. Click here to visit the website and start learning today!

Another local treasure that you might not know about but don’t want to miss is Pelican Book Store. It has been around for 26 plus years and has a HUGE following. They host regular “meet the author” events at a nearby winery so check the schedule while your in town. The store is located at 1780 Chandlers Ln, Unit 10 Sunset Beach and is open Monday to Saturday 10 – 5. Insider tip – they carry way more than books and Dawn Miller, the owner, is also a runner!

Ingram Planetarium is also a unique find in Sunset Beach and the weekend of the race has a great line up. I grew up going to a planetarium regularly and love anything that has to do with the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets. Check their schedule to see if anything sparks your interest – you won’t be disappointed!

As far as other activities in the area, when I’m not running, I love to paddle the marsh in either a kayak or SUP board. I have my own so I don’t really have a recommendation on a rental place or tour but I’m sure google can help with that – just be sure to read the reviews! 

Looking for a bite to eat? Sea Trail Plantation has an all new Bistro 55 and it is in the same building as our Packet Pick-Up on Friday. I’ve been several times and really like the food and it has a fun vibe. We have needed a place like this in Sunset Beach and I’m sure you will enjoy it. I also enjoy an occasional grouper sandwich at Fibber McGees and of course the Calabash waterfront isn’t far if you need a serious seafood fix.

If you are staying more than just the weekend be sure to join us and the rest of the Coastal Race crew on Monday April 29th back at the Sea Trail Convention Center parking lot for a 3 to 5 mile group run or walk. This is a weekly meet up at 6:00pm and we often head in to the Bistro afterward for food and fun. Above are just a few of the highlights in and around Sunset Beach and I truly hope you enjoy your time here. Be sure to read ALL pre-race emails and we can’t wait to cheer you across that finish line at Run Sunset Beach!

Keep Moving Forward ~ JoJo