This weekend I did the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in Myrtle Beach, SC. This was my second time running this race. I ran it as my first half marathon in 2011. The morning did not start out great. Upon driving into the Coastal Grand Mall, where the race was to start, it started raining. I ran the race with my running friends Becky & Shelly, and we had running support services from my wife Jennifer. After Becky, Shelly, and I used the bathroom, we decided to go back to the truck to get out of the rain. About 10 minutes before the race, the skies cleared and we had no rain from start to finish for the race. The corrals were full, so we just waited in the parking lot near our expected pace flag, and fell into line as the corrals began to flow through the start chute. The race started promptly at 7:00 AM. Because of the rain, it stayed nice and cool at 61 degrees, and 82% humidity. Shelly and I ran together, with a goal to just finish under 2 hours (finished in 1:58:37). Becky set out to PR, and boy did she! She finished at 1:43, beating her previous PR by almost 3 minutes.
The race is pretty flat except for climbing one small hill (overpass) around mile six. The race is a very large rectangle. The first 6 miles are on Robert Grissom Blvd. and then you go over a small overpass onto a frontage road, and turn onto 62nd Ave. North. We cross over Kings Highway and turn right onto Ocean Blvd. which we travel on for another 5 miles. While on Ocean Blvd., we pass Plyer Park on our left, which is where the finish is near the beach. After passing it, we continue down Ocean Blvd. another half a mile, and then make a quick turn to the left, and onto the beach boardwalk for the final half mile. This last portion is serpentine, so you will make a lot of turns. The finish is great and has a lot of energy, with fans on the left and the Atlantic Ocean on the right. At the end they present you with an awesome surfboard medal. The finisher support included water and numerous snacks to munch on. There were plenty of water stops, which had both water and Gatorade. However, be prepared that once you turn on Ocean Blvd., you will go about 2.5 miles before you hit a water stop. Other than this placement, the water stops were placed appropriately. It was a really easy race to run. Here is the Garmin data from my watch.
I did a GU 15 minutes before the race, and then GUs at miles 4, 8, and 11. This worked extremely well.
BEST RACE SIGN OBSERVED: You are running better than our Government!
Last night I was talking to a group on Half Fanatics about my 50 by 50 Challenge. One of the runners sent me a like to a 50 Staters Gadget. This is the coolest thing. It will help you calculate how to do back to back races in the same weekend to help you get the 50 half marathons in 50 states sooner.
You have all kinds of options to narrow down your search. You can select how far apart your are willing to drive between cities, and it will tell you on the right column how far you have to drive between cities.
Last week we started a running group at MUSC that meets each Wednesday morning at 5:30 am. It is not limited to MUSC employees. If you want to join us, here are the details.
When: Every Wednesday @ 5:30 AM
Where: Parking lot of MUSC Wellness Center. 45 Courtenay Drive Charleston, SC 29425
Distance: Approximately 4 miles
* The more people we have the more pace groups we can have! Last week we had 8 show up, and we are expecting more tomorrow. Don’t worry about pace, there will be someone there to run with you.
* We aren’t gathering @ 5:30, we are RUNNING OUT OF THE PARKING LOT @ 5:30. So if you need to stretch, socialize, tie your shoes, do downward facing dog, fire up your Garmin, etc. before the run, come @ 5:25.
* We’re running rain or shine. If you’re hardcore enough to run @ 5:30, you’re hardcore enough to run in the rain.
Since I am doing the Myrtle Beach Mini (Half) Marathon this weekend (10/20), I thought I would reflect on my first half marathon, which was this same race in October 2011. I have now done 20 races since then, and this will be my 8th half marathon. Back then I would have never imagined sticking with running for this long I’ve now completed 2 marathons, 1 Goofy Challenge, 7 half marathons in 4 states, & have a goal now of completing a half in all 50 states before I am 50. I finished my first half marathon in the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon 2011 in 2:07. Now I am averaging a 1:53 (sub 9 minute pace) in half marathons, with a current PR of 1:45.
While looking at pictures on the home computer I found a few pictures from the race 2 years ago. Boy was I nervous! I had no idea what to expect! I luckily had my wife and some good friends (Shelly & John) to do the event with me. It turned out to be a blast and I guess I was hooked. It also didn’t hurt that they offer the largest medal outside of Disney for motivation!
Have a look at this slideshow of photos from the race in 2011.
I ran across a article this morning on wdwinfo.com that I thought I would pass along. They are going to open up an athletic footwear store in Downtown Disney. Just in case you get to a RunDisney event and realize, “I forgot my running shoes!”
Fit2Run, a new athletic footwear store, will be opening in Downtown Disney’s West Side in November. The store helps runners find their perfect pair of athletic shoes by using a complimentary video-taped gait analysis and an iStep barametric screening. Once you pick a pair, you can test them out on the indoor track to make sure they’re exactly what you’re looking for. The store also features many events, clinics and new product introductions. The new location is across from House of Blues next to Curl.
Last weekend on September 22nd, I participated in my very first triathlon!!! The best way to describe my feelings upon crossing that finish line were elation, happiness, pride, and accomplishment. But just one hour and 3 minutes prior to that my feelings were very different. They were feelings of fear, dread, uncertainty, and nausea. So, going from those negative feelings to ones so positive in that little span of time took awhile to process. Let me start 2 months prior.
I had every intention of following my triathlon training plan. I printed it out many months in advance, put it all in an organized folder and marked the start date on my calendar. As the first day approached I realized just how difficult this training would be. I didn’t want to stop my mornings at the gym, which meant my tri training would have to take place after work. I
Monday (10/7): 45 Minute workout on the elliptical at the gym
Tuesday (10/8): 5 mile run on treadmill at the gym
Wednesday (10/9): Today at work we started a running group for the first time. We started at 5:30am and ran 4 miles. We had about 10 show up for the first time. We are thinking of calling ourselves the “Hump Day Running Group”!
Thursday (10/10): No workout
Friday (10/11): 5 mile walk with my wife and dogs
Saturday (10/12): 9 mile run in downtown Charleston with David Bundy & Tasha Ruth. Since I have a half marathon next weekend, we did a 4:1 interval run.
Yearly Running Goal: 1000 Miles Weekly Mileage: 23.14 Miles Remaining to Goal: 296.77 Miles
Well I just got my email with my bib number for next weekend’s Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. It is a pretty cool bib number as it is the date of my birthday! 1003 for October 3rd!!!
The Health & Fitness Expo is the Official Packet Pick-Up Headquarters. The Health & Fitness Expo will feature some exciting exhibitors and will be free and open to the public.
Marina Inn at Grande Dunes
1499 Grand Dunes Boulevard
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
Friday, Oct. 18 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
REMINDER: ALL PACKETS FOR THE MINI MARATHON MUST BE PICKED UP ON FRIDAY OR SATURDAY AT THE HEALTH & FITNESS EXPO. THERE IS NO RACE DAY PICK UP ON SUNDAY.
We request that all our participants pick up their own race packets for security purposes. However, we do understand that certain circumstances may arise where you cannot come in person. If you cannot pick up your race packet yourself, you must have the person picking up on your behalf bring the following with them:
The start line is located at the Coastal Grand Mall near Dillard’s.The start line is approximately 3-4 miles from most Myrtle Beach hotels and approximately 4 miles from our host hotel. The Start Line opens at 6:00 am on race day. There will be water and port-o-potties at the start line area.
All participants may check their gear at the Start in the Runners’ Gear Check Area. Gear check drop off will be open from 5:45am to 6:45am.
The Goody Bag given to you at Packet Pick Up should be used as your Gear Bag. Tear the gear check tag from your bib number and attach with a zip tie supplied.
We will transport the Gear Bags from the Start to the Finish while you are running. Gear Check at the finish line will be located on Ocean Blvd between 8th and 9th Streets.
ALL BAGS MUST BE CLAIMED AT THE FINISH LINE BY 11:00 A.M. Bags not claimed by 11:00AM will be disposed of.
Please do not leave valuables, cash or jewelry in the Gear Bags. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
11th Ave North & Ocean Blvd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
Once you finish running, there’s still a lot to do at the Finish Line! Come join the most awesome Beach Party to celebrate your accomplishment. Awards, munchies, beer and festivities await you.
Post-Race Beer Garden
We will have a Beer Garden in the finish line area in Plyer Park for all participants over 21 years of age! You will need to wear a wristband to enter the Beer Garden. The wristband should be given to you when you pick up your race bib at the Health & Fitness Expo. If you forget your wristband, you will have to show a valid driver’s license. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Parking & Shuttle Information
There is plenty of parking available at the start line area at Coastal Grand Mall near Dillard’s.
This is a point to point race so we will be providing shuttles from the finish line back to the start line starting at 9:00 am through 12 noon.
Carpooling and early arrival are highly recommended. Additionally, if you have someone who can drop you off at the start and go to the finish line to await your arrival, there is plenty of parking in that area too.
Shuttles Back to the Start Area
For those parking at the start, shuttles will run from the finish line area back to the start line area starting at 9:00am with the last shuttle leaving at 12 noon. This shuttle service is for participants only.
Buses will be lined up on 8th Ave N and Ocean Blvd. and will run throughout the morning. Just follow the signage from Plyler Park, walking south 2 blocks before boarding the buses. All you need to board the bus will be to show the driver your bib number.
If you use our Gear Check Services, do not forget to pick up your bag at the finish line before boarding the shuttle buses. Gear Check Services will be located on Ocean between 8th and 9th Ave N. Any bags not claimed by 11am will be disposed of.
Parking Instructions for Spectators
This information is for spectators who need to get to the finish line after dropping off participants at the start line on Sunday. Please distribute this to your friends & family….
All cars are to exit Coastal Grand Mall using the exit on Harrelson Blvd (by the Burger King).
Do not use other exits due to course closures. Especially do not attempt to exit via the exit 17th Ave S
Make a left turn on Harrelson (towards the airport).
Make a left turn on N Kings Highway and head North to the area between 9th and 10th Ave N then proceed to find parking in the area. There is both street parking, as well as a very large municipal parking building by the finish.
It’s Not Too Late to Book Your Hotel!
The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes is our “Official Myrtle Beach Mini Headquarters Hotel” for 2013! They will host our Health & Fitness Expo as well as the Eukanuba Coastal 5K & Doggie Dash on Saturday! They are even offering complimentary shuttles to and from the Myrtle Beach Mini on Sunday! This hotel is THE place to stay! Reserve now before all the rooms are booked up!
Volunteers Make it Happen
We wish we could say that events like this are easy to put on and that we make it all happen without help, but that’s simply not the case. The truth is that for every staff person working the days leading up to the race and the day of the race, there are 30-40 volunteers helping us. The “Spirit of Volunteerism”, as we like to call it, is alive and well because all of our events bring in hundreds of eager, smiling volunteers to assist with making this a memorable experience. It is fun and rewarding! Plus, you get a free shirt! if you are interested in volunteering or have a group that would like to volunteer and/or receive community service hours, please contact us!
Results will be posted on our website immediately after you cross the finish line! You can access the results on our website with any smartphone.Awards will be given to the top 3 overall and top 3 within each age group. Awards can be collected at the Awards Ceremony in Plyler Park starting at 9:30am.
SportPhoto has been selected as the Official Photographers for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Weekend. Sport Photo will be there to capture your triumphant moment so make sure you are all smiles for the camera! Photos will be available on the web a few days after the event. Visit them at www.sportphoto.com to view and order your photos!
MLB.com's Carrie Muskat has been covering Major League Baseball since 1981 and is the author of "Banks to Sandberg to Grace: Five Decades of Love and Frustration with the Cubs." You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Here, she blogs about the Cubs.