Race #231 – Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon – Myrtle Beach, SC – 10/20/13

Just a week after a mediocre showing at the Rocktoberfest Half Marathon in Charlotte I decided to do a better job of keeping my mind in the race at Myrtle Beach, and it paid off. No doubt the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon is a flatter and faster half marathon than Rocktoberfest, but cutting more than 5 minutes off my time from the previous week had more to do with my state of mind than the flatness of the course. Oh, and it probably helped that I’ve lost a few pounds since getting back on the Weight Watchers wagon a couple weeks ago. I know I’m not exactly obese, but I did my best running in the fall of 2011 when I weighed 138 pounds. Before getting back on Weight Watchers recently I had gained some weight and was back up to 153 pounds, so I’d really like to knock off 10 or 15 pounds and get back to my ideal running weight. My time of 1:34:24 made this my fastest half marathon of ten that I have run this year and I finished in the top 3% overall (76th out of 2,759 runners).

It began raining as we gathered for the race and Linda and I went back to the car, hoping the rain would stop before the race. It did, but the threat of rain kept me from wearing my non-waterproof video glasses for the race, which is a shame since it’s one of my favorite courses, especially the final 5 miles, which runs all the way down Ocean Boulevard to the pier and then back up the new boardwalk to the site of the old Pavilion.

This was the third time I’ve run this race out of the four years it has been held, and each year it gets better. It’s always well organized, the shirts are great, and the finishers medal is one of the biggest and best you’ll get at any race.

As you can see on my mile split times, my slowest mile was 7:24, and I was really happy with my overall pace of 7:13. I was surprised that my average heart rate in the 13th mile was 175, but I felt okay so I stuck with it.

The printout from the race results website calculated my age grade at 76.84%, but the Runners World age grade calculator said it was 78.27% for an equivalent time of 1:15:39. Either way it was one of my best races of the year and I hope I can stick with my diet, which is always more of an issue with me than my training.

It’s always nice to see people you know during a race, especially when you’re out of your local area. A mile or so in I passed Earl Jackson, a fast runner in the 65-69 age group, and he was running with Rock Hill speedster Cory Tretsky, who was just taking it easy as he recovers from a tough triathlon last week. About 2 miles into the race Cory caught up with me and stayed with me for nearly 2 miles. He was hardly breaking a sweat while he carried on an easy conversation while I was busting a gut and running hard. I told him to go ahead and he said he’d just mosey along until the 4-mile mark. At 4 miles he took off and, amazingly, ended up finishing 17th overall in the race with a time of 1:25!

One final note, for my wife Linda it was her 4th half marathon and a new all-time Personal Record for her by 9 minutes, finishing at a time of 2:28! Not bad for a 61-year-old lady who I never saw run until we had been married for nearly 30 years!

Click Here for Race Results

Click here for Official Race Photos

Our running group, the Gaston County Runners, had about 20 runners
in the race! Great weekend for our group and a lot of fun!

My Stats:

Time:  1:34:24
Pace:  7:13
Age Group: 1 of  42
Overall:  76 of 2759 (2.8%)
Average Heart Rate:  169
Maximum Heart Race:  179
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:15:39  (78.27% according to Runners World)


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
5 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)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 promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

3 – 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)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

7 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
0 – 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
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
2 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
2 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

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

2 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – 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

TOTAL:  105

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