Race #193 – Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon – Myrtle Beach, SC – 10/21/12

What a beautiful weekend for a race at the beach! With high temperatures in the mid-70s and zero percent chance of rain it was about as perfect as it could could be for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon (13.1 miles). Linda and I had planned on skipping this race and instead run next week’s Spinx Half Marathon in Greenville, but a lot of our friends from the Gaston County Runners were going to the beach so we decided to head that way too. We all had a great time. The GCR is a fantastic group of supportive runners. It’s not an organized running club and nobody’s really in charge, but nobody has to be. We have several runs each week that are organized through Facebook and it’s not unusual to have 20 or more runners come out.

The race course for the Mini Marathon was a nice improvement over the course we ran two years ago. Instead of starting at the mostly abandoned original outlet mall in Myrtle Beach with a route that included a large bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway as well as some fairly boring business parks, the race now starts at the new Coastal Grand Mall, skips the bridge, and travels through more scenic areas. Having a variety of bands playing music every couple miles along the way was a nice addition as well. The final 3 miles or so down Ocean Boulevard to the pier then back up the new boardwalk is possibly the best finish of any race I’ve ever run.

For Linda and me, the plan was that if I felt great I could drive down to run the Spinx Half Marathon the following week. Linda had been training for her third half marathon and could do one or the other but not both. She was more than happy to switch races from the rolling hills of Greenville for the flat course at Myrtle Beach.

Everything turned out fine and we were happy with our results. We were both within 2 minutes of our race times from two years ago. I’ve had a lingering cough from a cold that I’ve been trying to get over for several weeks and the coughing and congestion were more of an issue for me than the hamstring that’s been bothering me for the past two months, but I ran pretty well and got 1st place in the 60-64 age group.

As things stand now I probably won’t try to run another half marathon next weekend but I might opt instead for a nearby 5k, or maybe no race at all. A few weeks ago I started making plans to try to run 60 races over the following 52 weeks but have since abandoned that plan. Not only is it expensive to run that many races, but with all of my recent aches and pains it’s probably wiser to slow it down some and be more selective in choosing which races I’m going to run. Not being a fan of cold weather, I’ll probably run fewer races over the winter then go back to a fuller schedule in the spring.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Free Photos (Myrtle Beach Online)

My Stats:

Time:   1:39:01
Pace:   7:34
Age Group:  1 of  30
Overall:  90 of  2252
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:20:06  (73.92%)

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* RACE RATING  (100 Possible Points) *
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Note: With my new rating system (started in December 2011) there’s not a chance of any race scoring near 100. If it’s important to you, look at each individual category to see how points were earned (or not). Just trying to be more objective with the details. I generally like all of the races I run. If there’s something that really rubs me the wrong way I’ll mention it in the summary above.

RACE COURSE  (20 possible points)
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (at least 1 for 5k, 2 for 10k, 4 for half marathon) (2 points)
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
1 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)pretty good to excellent
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

REGISTRATION  (6 possible points)
1 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS  (3 possible points)
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
1 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (1)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (1)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (1)yes

AWARDS  (9 possible points)
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes
3 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals

POST RACE  (7 possible points)
2 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
1 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

REST ROOMS  (4 possible points)
2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS  (8 possible points)
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
2 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
2 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes (Myrtle Beach Online)

PARKING  (8 possible points)
2 – Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no
0 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Free Parking:  (2)yes  (0)no

WEBSITE  (5 possible points)
2 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
1 – No dedicated site but separate page on other site (organization, running store, etc):  (0)no  (1)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER  (5 possible points)
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (1)yes, some  (2)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes

TOTAL:  73

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