Myrtle Beach or Bust

14040-038-029t.jpg14040-171-020t.jpgHave I mentioned that I’m participating in the Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon this weekend? This will be the 5th time; in the previous six years my brother Mike and I went the whole distance, 26.2 miles. A few years ago because of time constraints and our aging knees, we decided that 13.1 miles was sufficient. He runs, and I walk and jog a little. Last year our brother Dave and one of his sons joined us for the event (see above photo), but this year he won’t be making the trip to SC on marathon weekend. My son-in-law Rich, however, is joining us, and he will be running the entire distance. He and my brother have the “no pain, no gain” philosophy whereas I like to savor the sights, sounds, and yes even the little aches and pains. Is pushing oneself to the max a guy thing? Seems to be the case in my family.

About the sights and sounds, we start out under the stars and moon at the intersection near Broadway and Pelican Ball Park, and before the gun is fired we listen to the National Anthem. It’s amazing how the chatter and small talk cease as soon as the anthem comes over the loud speaker.  Then “Bang,” the gun fires and we’re off. It’s usually tough going for me at the beginning since everyone is running and not walking, and walkers will be either run over or left behind.

The best part (even better than crossing the finish line) is crossing King’s Hwy and catching the first glimpse of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Talk about a peak experience! No matter how many times I see the ocean, that first peep is always a huge thrill. After getting to Ocean Boulevard, we turn right and continue our trek for maybe five or six miles, and all along the way, there are people on both sides of the road to cheer and encourage us. I don’t think they realize just how much the participants appreciate that support. Plus, this is the best-marked race I’ve ever participated in, and there are mile markers with “times” at every mile. Volunteers providing water and sports drinks are out in abundance and the Red Cross is stationed at various posts along the route and at the end.

As we cruise along the boulevard, there are hotels, restaurants, and fun looking shops all along the way, a virtual feast for the eyes. Oh and of course, there’s the Atlantic on the left in case one needs a little psyching up. Finally, the miles on the boulevard end and we’re back on King’s Hwy along with the tourists, places of business, pancake houses, and encouraging crowds. At this point we’re probably ten miles into the race (?), and I’m feeling pretty tired. I know, however, that the end is just beyond the church, the elementary school, Mr. Joe White Avenue….and then the finish at the ball park.

Before closing this, I feel that I must mention the motley crew that I’ll be a part of. Old, young, short, tall, chubby, thin, male, female, and every race and ethnic background will be my companions along the way. Not only do people come from different parts of the United States, but they also descend on the coastal city from other countries. One year I met a woman whose goal was to run a marathon on all continents. She was 67 and had just gotten started in the sport. I LOVE watching the people I walk/jog with and behind and have struck up so many conversations with dozens and dozens of fascinating folks. I know this year will be no exception.

I’m looking forward to Saturday morning by the sea. Wish you could be there with me and the other thousands who’ll be pounding the streets of Myrtle Beach.

  

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

13 thoughts on “Myrtle Beach or Bust”

  1. Hayden, I added you to my blogroll because I like the way you think and am getting weary of having to go through extra steps to get to your blog. If it’s a problem, I’ll remove the link.

    Michelle, if I can do it, you can do it. Maybe next year??

  2. If I could do a half marathon, it would be walking! Cindy F. is doing the Cooper Bridge Run.
    Good Luck and have a great time! I thought about coming downtown sometime and walking a bit with you but I am pretty sure I could not keep up and talk at the same time!

  3. Hi Marla Jane, I’m a reporter with The Sun News looking for some out-of-town runners participating in the MB Marathon to interview for a story. Please give me a call at 843-626-0351 if you get this today (2/13). Thanks a bunch!

  4. Good for you gal, what a way to start the weekend. I hope you have a great time and meet lots of fun new friends along the way…oh wait, of course you will. You are a doll!

  5. Marla Jane, I am impressed. I used to live in Spokane, WA and every year on the first Sunday in May they had a race with 60,000 entries. The course passed by where I lived. First the wheelchair racers, next the world class runners, then the crowd passed by for over an hour. The ground started to tremble and I could never watch it without thinking of Joshua and the battle of Jericho or the final battles of the Nephites. Now every time I hear of a large race, those thoughts flood my mind and I’ve always wondered if it is the same for the runner as it is for the observer. Do you feel the ground tremble? Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed the race and the day.

  6. Thanks for the support, Ladies.

    Cowgal, I must say…your new avatar is interesting looking. Is that the new you?

    Janice, No, I didn’t feel the ground tremble…maybe because we didn’t have but about 8,000 participants. One of the good things about this event is that both walkers and runners are welcome, and as the decades have rolled along, I’ve become more of a walker. It was a great day, and I’m hoping to post a little something about it tomorrow.

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