Sunday, November 02, 2014

Race #16 - Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

Two weeks ago, I was at the beach and now we're in the middle of our first winter storm of the season. Luckily Charlotte only had cold rain to deal with yesterday, but the mountains of NC had around 8" of snow! 5 of us who all play soccer together decided to run the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon together with 2 of them running their first half marathons. We decided to make a weekend out of the trip and headed down on Friday, played some golf, then hit the beach on Saturday for some relaxing in the sun and taking the dogs for their first experience with the ocean before taking on the half marathon on Sunday morning.


Two out of our group were planning to stay together and target about a 2 hour finish while the other three of us were planning to do a run-walk ratio of 8:1 and just run at a comfortable pace and enjoy the race. 
  • Mile 1 - 10:37
  • Mile 2 - 10:45
  • Mile 3 - 10:38
  • Mile 4 - 10:16
  • Mile 5 - 10:01
  • Mile 6 - 11:24
  • Mile 7 - 14:59 <-- bathroom break
  • Mile 8 - 10:27
  • Mile 9 - 10:23
  • Mile 10 - 10:19
  • Mile 11 - 10:09
  • Mile 12 - 9:34
  • Mile 13 - 9:18
  • Last .35 - 7:49
Official time: 2:21:32

We had to take a pit stop between miles 6-7, but without paying too much attention to our pace, we did exceptionally well at slowly speeding up through the race, which I wasn't aware of at the time, but I think this was my best paced race. I struggled a little bit at the beginning because I'm not used to running 8:1, but eventually I settled into the rhythm of our run. Around mile 11, two of us decided to pick it up and the girl I was pacing decided she wanted to try to break 2:20 with only about 12 minutes to go… she ended up finishing at 2:20:42, which was awesome for her first half marathon and especially because she hadn't run more than 4 miles at once during her training (I definitely don't recommend that!). 


The Good
Although I paced someone for a 10k last year, I've never done it for a half marathon and I don't typically run with anyone, but we had a lot of fun coming up with potential Halloween costumes during the run (winner: running clothes + bottle of rum = rum runner) and I think we entertained the people around us with our conversation. The weather was perfect for the race - even though Saturday got up to 80, Sunday stayed in the mid-50's. 


The Bad
I still disagree that there are "5 miles of beachfront running" - 4.65 miles per my Garmin and 95% of that is on the road where you have to look between buildings to see the ocean. The post-race party was pretty small and in order to get into it, you had to get the wrist band put on at packet pick-up (to confirm you're over 21), but when we got to the entrance, the people checking wrist bands also made us show them our bibs… which was not on any of the communications, so we had to go back several blocks to the car to get our bibs. Not a huge issue, but definitely a pain when we were told all we needed was the wrist band. 

Overall
This was a great weekend trip and I think we're planning to do it again next year. We were able to rent a condo that was dog friendly, a 5 minute walk to the beach and was right in the middle of the start and finish lines, so it was really convenient for dropping off the car at the finish line the morning of the race before heading to the start line. Plus, each year they change up the medal (always an 8" surfboard as the base), so you get a really cool medal to add to your collection.

Have you ever done the Myrtle Beach mini marathon?

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