Now if you're a marketing whiz, if you've got a race that's part of the Edenton Peanut Festival, what do you put in the goodie bags, offer as prizes, and give out at the post-race refreshment tent? If you didn't say, "Peanuts!" then take a step back.
The Edenton Peanut Run 5k in Chowan County is a great little race. The race sets up and starts at Queen Anne Park, which is right on the Albemarle Sound waterfront alongside a row of old (circa 1770s) beautiful homes and a marina. Although the race isn't very large (44 finishers in 2007, 62 finishers in 2008), the volunteers and organizers have more than enough enthusiasm and excitement about the race. The Peanut Run 5k kicks off the Edenton Peanut Festival, which includes a parade, a craft fair and a high-school band competition.
Once the race kicks off at the waterfront, the runners make a right turn over a wooden bridge that leads to a gated community, where we did an out-and-back through farm fields, a plantation and neighborhoods, eventually returning to the wooden bridge and the waterfront finish. Enthusiastic volunteers manned two water stations. The out-and-back nature of the course allowed each runner to see the whole field and get a good idea of overall placement. Lots of spectators along the finish stretch cheered each finisher and made for a very pleasant atmosphere, as you'd expect for an event connected to a festival.
I was very pleased with my 5k finish time of 29:18 and with the Edenton Peanut Run 5k t-shirt. There was a nice post-race setup with some refreshments and age group winners got a tin of fancy shelled and salted peanuts. As I boarded the Chad and Brad tour bus for the return trip home, I made a mental note to come back to Chowan County for the Peanut Run again next year.