Inaugural pier-to-pier-to-pier race planned for May 4

by Matt Corpening
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Awards for speed, costumes following kids’ Crab Crawl

The Wrightsville Beach Foundation is a growing nonprofit organization formed in 2005 as an offshoot of the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Foundation. Among its logged efforts are sponsorship of the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market, family movie nights and skate day in the park. WBF has funded the purchase of windscreens for the town’s public tennis courts, placed bike racks at popular beach accesses and donated funds to the Harbor Island Garden Club. 

Now, its sights are set on the inaugural Pier to Pier to Pier Run and Crab Crawl planned for Saturday, May 4.

“I would love to see 300 or 400 [participants],” said race director Bobby Brandon. “The race will run from (Johnnie Mercer’s) Pier to (Crystal) Pier and back, and it’s the only low tide run at Wrightsville Beach. It’s going to generate a lot of interest I think, just because it’s a cool thing to do.” 

Financial backing for the first-of-its-kind event will come from local sponsors like Lighthouse Beer and Wine, Shell Island Resort, Oceanic and Buddy’s Crab House and Oyster Bar. While adult preregistration is $20 and 14-and-under preregistration is $15 — each increases five dollars starting April 21 — there is a free event for kids prior to the race. The Crab Crawl for kids scales down the pier-to-pier-to-pier concept and requires participants to crawl like a crab from point A to point B and back. Kids are encouraged to wear a costume for the Crab Crawl. Bragging rights are to be had, as there will be prizes for fastest crawl and best costume. 

Awards will be presented to the top three overall male and female finishers in the pier-to-pier-to-pier race and winners from each age group.

“Low tide is at 10 [a.m.] that day and running starts at 9 [a.m.] so it should be perfect,” Brandon said. “There are a lot of fast runners in Wilmington so it will be interesting to see those runners run in the sand.”

The total distance from Johnnie Mercer’s Pier to Crystal Pier and back is 3.44 miles. 

Race-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 8:45 a.m., but registrants also have an option to sign up in advance at or and will pick up registration packets Friday, May 3 from 3-7 p.m. at Lighthouse Beer and Wine, 220 Old Causeway Drive. The first 300 entrants are guaranteed a T-shirt.

“We hope to raise between $2-3,000 for projects like providing more bike racks, and we’re working with a design engineer on the downtown revitalization that will be going before the board,” said Lisa Weeks of WBF. “[WB] School has specific fundraisers that we will contribute to as well as the Sounds of Summer.”

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