Race #401 – Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon – Myrtle Beach SC – 10/21/17

Of all the races I return to year after year, this one has become my favorite. Maybe I’ll change my mind sometime in the future, but for now it’s the one I look forward to more than any other. We’ve been blessed with great weather every year and this year was the best yet, with afternoon temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, making it a great time to squeeze a little bit of extra summertime out of the beach.

There are a lot of special things about this race. The last 5 miles down Ocean Boulevard provides my all-time favorite race finish. There are always a lot of friends at the race, both from my local running club (it’s our big race of the year) and also runners from elsewhere that I just see at these regional races that draw runners from a wider area.

It’s unfortunate that the race is shrinking in size though. This year there were only 1,513 half marathon finishers compared to 3,125 in 2014. I don’t believe it’s due to the race itself, which is always managed beautifully, but because there is so much competition from other races. There are so many races each weekend that runners have to choose among several, and it’s almost always easier and cheaper to stay close to home. Nevertheless, it’s still my favorite and I hope it’ll continue for many years.

This was my sixth straight year of placing in the top 3 in my age group for this race, so I’m feeling a little pressure to keep the streak going next year, but I’m looking forward to it. My time of 1:39:08 this year was my second fastest half marathon since the same race last year, and the only one I’ve run faster since then was the Revel Mt. Charleston Half Marathon in Las Vegas that featured a little over 2,000 feet of elevation loss!

Race Number:  401

Race Name:  Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

Location:  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Date:  October 21, 2017

Race Rating:  108

Winners (Top 5 Overall):

My Age Group (65-69):

Course:  Starts at the Coastal Grand Mall and travels up Grissom Parkway. After a short run on the greenway of about a mile course goes to Ocean Boulevard for final 5 miles. Final stretch is along the boardwalk for about a half mile, ending at the site of the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion. Awards and post-race activities are held a block up at Plyler Park. Only 7 turns in entire race and very little elevation change throughout the course.


Weather at Start: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 5 mph NE wind, 94% humidity.

Hard to beat the 5-mile stretch along Ocean Boulevard!

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My Stats:

Time:  1:39:08
Pace:  7:35
Age Group:  1 of 17
Overall:  48 of 1,513
Average Heart Rate:  163
Maximum Heart Race: 173
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:17:16 (75.55%)


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
5 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
9 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
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

2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

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)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
4 – Design: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
1 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
2 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  108

One of the highlights of the weekend is our group run on the morning following the race along the boardwalk!
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