Hello! My name is Emelie and I am from Colorado. As a native of Colorado, I love living in the west, but when I need a vacation I hit the beach…specifically, Hilton Head Island. I have been traveling to Hilton Head for 8 years, visiting every 18 months or so to catch up with my best friend and her family. Whether I am traveling there on my own or with my kids and husband, I am sure my trip will be a fun one with great cycling, awesome food and some down-time on the beach.
A couple of years ago I started participating in long distance running events and triathlons. I enjoyed them so much that I started to search for races to do when I traveled out of town for work or on vacation. Finding local races when I was away from home proved to be an excellent way to learn my way around a town like Hilton Head Island and meet local racers who would inevitably give me recommendations on post-race activities or a great place to try local fare.
It seemed natural then to check out the Go Tri Sports, Beach Bum Triathlon when I was headed to Hilton Head Island with my family as part of a summer vacation. This Colorado girl was intrigued by a race with an ocean swim, a beach cruiser bike ride, and a run on the beach! Certainly nothing I encountered in the other races I had completed. This race does a great job of accommodating out of town athletes like me. Race directors partner with a local bike shop to make rentals easy and volunteers are happy to help. The race is in a great place on the beach off of Coligny Circle, really easy to find. I wasn’t alone in thinking of this as a destination race, or “racecation,” it seemed like most of the people I talked to at the race had come from out of town to participate.
The race was a blast, a great size and a lot of friendly volunteers. The most surprising moment for me was being warned about jellyfish, a race first for me! After the Beach Bum Triathlon, I had sand everywhere imaginable so it was a relief to be done so I could grab a snack, sit in the shade and see the unique awards handed out. This race has a lot of local support with people who participate year over year, the clear mark of a great event!
After the bike shop picked up my rented cruiser at Coligny, I made the short drive to meet up with my friends and family at my favorite place for breakfast, Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe. Admittedly, a big reason I like to do endurance races when I travel is so I can indulge in great food. Hilton Head never fails in that regard, and I enjoyed southern food at its finest. And while I have done triathlons and half marathons in Georgia, Washington DC, Wisconsin, and Wyoming…the Beach Bum Triathlon remains one of the most memorable by far! Enjoy your time on Hilton Head Island, whether on a bike path, feasting at a fabulous restaurant or participating in a “racecation!”
Enjoy Hilton Head Island’s bike paths and fabulous restaurants during Chamber Bike and Dine Week, Presented by Coligny, May 2nd – 9th.
Photos: me at the race, beach before race, me in my On On Tri shirt…which always sparks conversation when I wear it at races.