Aunt Linda and Uncle Pete were troupers getting up at the crack of dawn with me to get me to the starting line by 6 am. This was an early start, for sure, and for two retired folks who are used to getting up late, they were rockstars!
We made it to the parking area at Broadway at the Beach by 6 am, and after sitting in the truck for a few minutes (to avoid waiting around in the cold too long), we headed to the starting line. I made a detour for the porta-potties before heading to the corral. Pete & Linda took their signs to line up near the starting line with hopes of seeing me run by.
|Starting line up. I love the guy giving the thumbs-up on the left.|
The line up was packed with runners, and I couldn't get up to the 2 hour pacing group, so with only a few minutes to spare I snapped a couple of starting line photos and hoped for the best. I decided to stay near the left side of the road, figuring that was the side my aunt and uncle would most likely be on based on the way they walked over from our parking spot. At the starting command, a song about South Carolina blared from the speakers, and we were off.
|Starting line selfie. Not my best smile.|
The race moved along well. The first two miles led us from the Broadway at the Beach area through a small neighborhood and out to the commercial route 17. This road was your typical beach thoroughfare, lined with restaurants, tourist trap shops, retail shopping, grocery stores, bars and everything else you can imagine. I chatted with a guy who was running the full marathon...he complimented me on my crazy hat. I told him it was so my aunt and uncle could pick me out of the crowd. I told him to look for them at the finish line with their signs. We followed this route until we got to about mile 6, where just past the airport we turned right in to the Market Common neighborhood.
Market Common was a combination of high end stores and restaurants along with condos and single family homes. There is a nice walking/running path that winds throughout along with small ponds and a playground. It was a fun space to run through, checking out all the good shops there. When I come back to Myrtle Beach sometime, I will head here for some shopping and good eats. It was a cute little area.
As we made our way out of Market Common, we crossed route 17 and entered on to Ocean Drive, the road that parallels the beach area. It was lined with hotel after hotel. Unfortunately, at this part of the run (mile 8) the wind was against me, and the shadows of the hotels made for consistent shade, and I started to feel really cold. I removed my gloves at mile 4 but now it was time to fish them out. My fingers were getting numb. There weren't many spectators along this stretch despite the overabundance of hotels. I'm sure the cold temperatures and early morning start time kept some folks away.
This was my hardest stretch of the race, due to the cold, long distance (miles 8-11) and undulating rises and dips in the stretch of roadway. Even though this race is pretty flat, those small inclines and declines make a difference when the wind is in your face. I could feel myself slowing down a bit, but I tried to push on as much as I could.
The fun thing about Ocean Drive was looking at the cute swimming pools of the hotels, amusement park, water park and catching glimpses of the ocean in between the tall buildings. It seemed to take a long time to get down this road, but once it was done, the finish line wasn't too far away.
We turned left off Ocean Drive on to 10th Street South, back through a neighborhood area that led back to the more commercial Broadway at the Beach surrounding. As I neared the finish line, I looked for Aunt Linda and Uncle Pete. I crossed the finish line with a net time of 1:54:17, well below my goal of 2 hours. Hooray! Just past the finish I spied my aunt and uncle with their signs. They are the cutest spectators ever!
|My fans! Aunt Linda and Uncle Pete with the signs my girls made.|
We went to a place called Johnny D's Waffle House that was awesome! In addition to their eclectic waffle menu, they had all kinds of other breakfast stuff, and I ended up with a California eggs benedict, featuring avocado and tomato. Yum!
|Dinner at the Roadhouse.|
|Race t-shirt backside, number & finisher's medal.|