Race Review: Myrtle Beach Marathon

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The Myrtle Beach Marathon in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina holds the perfect small-town race feel with a side of vacation mixed in. The ample parking, abundance of porta potties, and ease of which you were able to get to the starting line made race morning completely stress free. Add that to the fact that you had the option to have your bib mailed to you and it made us out of towner racers feel like we were being catered to. And of course, you can’t forget that for a good portion of the race, the Atlantic Ocean was at your fingertips.

The details of this race were very well thought out and much appreciated by everyone. Athletes were able to park in the nearby shopping mall lot and not once did you feel pressed for time by traffic or lack of parking. Across the street from the parking lot was the staging area for the marathon and half marathon. Bag check was immediately to your right and the corrals were directly to your left. As soon as you entered the corrals you were greeted with a plethora of porta potties, an amazing sight for runners! A short 5-minute walk down the street to the starting line and you were ready to run a marathon!

The marathon and the half marathon started promptly at 7am, 5 minutes behind the wheelchair athletes. The first 4-5 miles of the race weaved through the town slightly, and before you knew it you were on Ocean Blvd for the longest stretch of the race. You had a fabulous view of all the resorts and hotels. Every once in a while, if you peaked your head through a parking lot, you could see the ocean (and smell it too!). The 55-degree morning turned into 60 degrees by the halfway point, but much of the course was still shaded at that point. It wasn’t until around mile 18 that the sun came out and the shade ran away. You were forced to find that extra umph inside you to earn that post race pizza and beer!

The post-race party certainly didn’t disappoint, complete with Smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Café, fresh pizza from Mellow Mushroom, and stadium beers compliments of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, a minor league baseball team associated with the Chicago Cubs! You were invited to hang out for much of the afternoon on the outfield while you enjoyed your post-race beverage and listed to live music.

This marathon is perfect for first timers or seasoned vets. It allows you the chance to push yourself through a Chicago winter with the reward of a cruise down Ocean Blvd with palm trees and the ocean at your fingertips!

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