I have to admit, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite races. We all got up early and drove one car to the finish area to park. Luckily, the lady we were staying with used to live in Myrtle Beach proper and had a valid parking permit. Once we dropped off her car, we drove to the mall parking lot. It was extremely cold outside. We got out and went to the port o potties. It had been flooded only a week earlier so it was still extremely wet out. I managed to step in a puddle with one foot while trying to get to an empty port o potty. Needless to say, that foot was cold and uncomfortable for the rest of the race. Once we were done, we decided to wait in the car. We were only a short way from the start line. I was wearing a shirt that matched some other members of my online running group. The son of one of them actually designed the finisher medal. We were supposed to meet for a before picture. When I got the notice that they had all arrived, I walked to the start line. I did manage to meet up with the family of the one whose son designed the medal. We took a few pictures and then I walked back to my corral.
I looked for Nicki and her friend, but didn’t see them. I had an emergency blanket on. I knew I had to get rid of it before the start line or the chip wouldn’t register. They did play the national anthem. Once that was over, I took off my blanket and found a trash bin. The route this year was slightly different. I can only assume it was the normal route and last year was the deviation. We did not do a loop around the parking lot. We only ran out and around the side roads to the main road.
Since it’s been so long, I’ll do a broad overview. The course support was great! Since it was cold and I didn’t bring gloves, my fingers got a little numb before Mile 3. There were several bands along the route. Possibly due to the cold, I was able to stick to my 1:30 intervals with only a few extra walk breaks. Since we didn’t do the loop around the mall, we did have about 1/2 mile once we passed the finish line on the road. We had to run 1/4 mile then cut over to the boardwalk and run that for 1/4 mile. I did find that a little annoying since it did curve a lot. It was almost like a back and forth wave the whole way. We did finish in the same place.
I do love finishing on the boardwalk.
I love that it’s right next to the ocean. The post-race ice bath of my legs in the water is ideal.
In the end, I finished in 2:47. That’s only 2 minutes from my goal and 1 minute from my PR. I really wasn’t even trying for a PR. My main goal was to stick to my intervals the whole race. I guess that’s what it really took for me.
The medal is huge, has a magnet on the back, and a bottle opener. What more can you ask for? I do love this race. I have already signed up for it again in 2016.