Myrtle Beach Half Marathon Weekend

by Joanne on February 21, 2011

What a weekend. It was go, go, go the entire 3 days.  We arrived in Myrtle on the Thursday night after driving all day from Utica.  It was an easy 14 – 15 hour drive, with no delays. We stayed in Pawley’s Island with my parents in Heritage Plantation.

Friday morning we went to the Expo held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. 


So many vendors, so many freebies, so many great deals on shirts, shorts, tights, sneakers, and other running accessories.  I picked up my half marathon packet and t-shirt. Ted picked up his packet for the bike ride on Sunday.  The bike ride was either 14, 33, or 63 miles.  Ted believed he was ready for the long one, 63 miles.

We smoozed with Gumby


We drove the race route



As usual, Friday pre-race day “food for fuel” was just that: 

  • oats and fruit in the morning,
  • lunch was a crab and shrimp salad with very little dressing, at Margaritaville (and the volcano erupted!)


  • an afternoon snack of half a microwaved sweet potato and
  • dinner at Austin’s in Litchfield.  Austin’s sits next to the water with a gorgeous view of the shore.  The meal was magnificent:  A lightly panko encrusted flounder with 3 scallops, grilled asparagus and pasta in a light oil and lemon sauce.  Perfect! 

Another early night because it was going to be a very early morning. We had a 45 minute drive to the race starting point at Broadway on The Beach plus I like to begin my race days with a 2 to 3 mile jog with Shane.  Ted was going to follow me on his bike so Ted, the bike and the runner hopped into the car and arrived at the race by 5:45 am.  Ready to go by 6:30.  At that point, the camera decided not to work so all photos were taken with the cell phone. 

MBJo Ted at start

We were off at 6:31.  The marathoners on the right. The half marathoners on the left. 

Myrtle Beach is a very flat course.  It’s a little boring for those of us used to rolling courses.  I started off faster than I usually do but kept a fairly constant pace (according to Garmin). 

  1. 8:37
  2. 8:20 – water at aid station. Ran thru, splashing the gal handing me the water…SORRY! Disappointed smile
  3. 8:23
  4. 8:26  – GU with Caffeine at this Aid Station.  Ran thru.
  5. 8:21
  6. 8:14 – water at aid station. Ran thru
  7. 8:04
  8. 8:16 – Sipped Gatorade at Aid Station.  Ran thru
  9. 8:06
  10. 8:19 – 2nd GU with Caffeine at Aid Station.  Ran thru
  11. 8:32
  12. 8:21 – skipped aid station.
  13. 7:57

It’s kind of funny my most difficult miles don’t reflect the agony I felt (8 to 11 mile point).

My leg was wrapped and by race end wasn’t the only body part hurting.  A clean start with about  2 1/2 minute delay from gun time to start.  There were quite a few walkers in both the half and full marathon.   The crowd support was great.  Very enthusiastic all along the route.  A band played as we entered and exited from Market Commons.  For some reason, I was really looking forward to turning into Market Commons.  I mentioned this to a gal I was running next to.  She said it’s a great half way point.  You enter at mile 5 and exit just after half way, around 7 mile point.  The road, Ocean Blvd., leading to and from the Commons is such a long flat, unexciting stretch of road.  You end up aching for some kind of turn, bridge…something!

I was tired, my leg was beginning to get the better of me but not so much as that horrible pain in my rib area.  It felt like someone punched me HARD in my right side.  Ted was with me all the way.  Even though cyclists  were not allowed, he only got into trouble once by a cop that asked him to get off the course.  That didn’t deter him and he continued to follow along like a trooper.  I was checking my pace and going slower than I wanted but since I was hurting , guess it was the best to be hoped for.

As we turned onto Grissom Parkway, I was SO ready to quit.  I could hear the announcer. The finish line was near.  People lined the road towards the finish. My eyes were scanning the crowd for Mum, Dad, and Sue.  I couldn’t see them so, with only a “hiccup” to go, caught site of some guy running fast on my right.  I decided to race him to the finish.  I think we crossed neck and neck but that racing also made me miss seeing and hearing my family yelling for me by the finish line.  The crowd was amazing. 

The time clock said:  1:51:00, GUN time.   My Garmin’s NET time 1:49:35.   10th in my age group, 505 out of 3067 finishers.  Not as good as I had hoped for but since I was told “Don’t Race it – just enjoy it!”.  Guess I did ok.  I’ve never run in so much pain and I can’t say I like it one bit.

As for the Myrtle Beach Half and running it again. I certainly would.  The race was fun with a nice early start.  Crowd support was super. 

Breakfast after the run was wonderful.  Ted, Sue and I drove down Ocean Blvd., checking out the remaining racers on the course, until we arrived at Damon’s.  A nice place for breakfast overlooking the water.


The day was just too beautiful to stay inside. It was 77 degrees.  We decided to play miniature golf where Ted rang triumphant, knocking in a hole-in-one on the 18th.

MBTed hole in one

We toasted the lucky golfer with a plate full of nachos, wine and beer at Creek Rats in Murrells Inlet

MB Creek Rats Lunch

The after party at 5pm, The House of Blues, was fun and celebratory (even though they had only one pasta salad for vegetarians). 

MB party2

Beer flowed.  The band was very good and promoted dancing (if you weren’t in too much pain and could).  Following the party, everyone was given a free ticket to the 8pm show which was a tribute to Dave Matthews.  What a great day!  Sunday was the cycling event.  Ted had to get to bed and get psyched for that. 

History other half marathons:  PR’d during the Delta Lake Half , 1:48 – my 3rd race, The National Running Hall of Fame Half 1:51:11 (ave. 8.29 pace)my 2nd race , the Skunk Cabbage and my first half, 1:54:50.

If you’re in the North East and want to get away for a great race, average size, good support, well organized, sign up for MBMarathon next year.

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  • At 2011.02.21 08:30, Lori said:

    I am sorry the race was so painful, but how *wonderful* to get out of the upstate NY snow!!

    Hope Ted enjoyed the ride. We can’t wait to get the bikes out on the asphalt again 😀

    • At 2011.02.22 14:31, Joanne said:

      It made a world of difference to NOT run on snow covered roads. Loved it.

      • At 2011.02.21 09:01, lindsay said:

        congrats! glad you had a good time here in SC 🙂 the mb marathon was my first back in ’06 and i keep meaning to go run the half but haven’t gotten to it yet. maybe next year…

        • At 2011.02.22 14:31, Joanne said:

          It’s a fun half marathon. I’m glad I did it.

          • At 2011.02.21 09:15, Heather said:

            Wow, congrats on the race! You did great for not feeling well for most of the run. Way to stick it out, Joanne!

            • At 2011.02.22 14:32, Joanne said:

              Guess that’s called mental training.

              • At 2011.02.21 14:03, Juliana said:

                Wow, congratulations on the race…enjoyed the pictures…have a great week ahead Joanne 🙂

                • At 2011.02.21 19:13, Nelly said:

                  South Carolina looks gorgeous! I’ve never been there, but it does look really pretty. That is awesome you went to Margaritaville, I’ve been to the one in Vegas, it was a lot of fun there.

                  Sounds like the race went okay, why was your leg wrapped at the start? Was the pain in your rib at all related to your leg being wrapped? Do you know what caused the rib pain? Good job gutting it out, sounded like a tough physical and mental exercise to finish the race!

                  • At 2011.02.22 14:33, Joanne said:

                    SC was perfect. We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather.

                    Leg wrapped due to hamstring strain.
                    Not sure what happened with the rib pain. But it was debilitating for 2 days. I couldn’t laugh, cough, get up, walk …horrible! It’s better now but I’m still not running.

                    • At 2011.02.22 00:26, Monet said:

                      You have such grit and determination! I’m sorry you were in pain though. Congratulations on the race…many hugs and high-fives from Austin!

                      • […] Myrtle Beach Half Marathon Weekend […]

                        • At 2011.02.23 12:47, Nancy Jean said:

                          CONGRATS TO YOU!@ You had an AWESOME time for a runner with a wrapped hammy and the new rib pain to deal with. Geez, I hope that doesn’t continue much longer…
                          Looks like you couldn’t have had better weather. Sure beats the teens & dampness we’ve been enjoying. The sun’s been out the last two days and what a difference it makes. Hope you’ll have an uneventful drive home.
                          Your determination is truly inspiring, my friend. And, by the way, you & Gumby make an adorable pair!

                          • At 2011.02.28 10:24, the dawn said:

                            sorry that it was such a painful time for you! still, you had a really good time and it looks like the weather/weekend was perfect!

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