Queen City runners sweep the shorter distance in Myrtle Beach

ablondin@thesunnews.comFebruary 20, 2011 

Members of the Charlotte Running Club made the streets of Myrtle Beach their own stomping ground Saturday.

The North Carolina club's members won three of Saturday's four races in the 14th Myrtle Beach Marathon, including both the men's and women's Dasani Half Marathon events.

John Compton, 25, won the men's half marathon in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 1 second, while Alice Rogers, 32, won the women's half marathon in 1:20:46. In addition, club member Billy Shue won the men's full marathon in a time of 2:43:47.

The club formed in May 2009 and now has about 300 members.

"The Charlotte Running Club is awesome," Rogers said. "It's a group of runners that want to get better. We always want to push ourselves. ... It's a huge club and everybody is very supportive."

Saturday's race was the first half marathon for Compton, a history teacher and assistant cross country and track coach at Providence Day High. "I'm very excited. It was fun," Compton said. "I've done a 10-miler so I knew I could handle the distance, but I've never done one before. I enjoyed it, though. It was a lot of fun out there."

Compton missed his targeted time by two seconds and was 1:40 from the course record set in 2004 by Commonwealth Games 5,000-meter silver medalist Philimon Hanneck of Zimbabwe.

"My goal was to break 1:10, so yeah, bummer," Compton said. "Now that I was so close to breaking 1:10 I'm going try to find a half soon and get under."

He caught runner-up Jason Pyles of South Charleston, W.Va., at mile 11 and beat him by 37 seconds.

"For a while I just had him in my sights, then a little after 11 I went by him and thought I had to get in before he caught me again," Compton said. "I didn't look back; it makes me nervous. I tried to listen and I didn't hear footsteps, so I knew I was OK."

The former 5k and 10k runner at Wake Forest got back into heavy training in the latter part of 2010 after breaking his big toe when he dropped a Crock-Pot on it.

"I'm just trying to get back into it and have fun and really enjoy it again," Compton said. "That's the tough part of running in college, it's almost your job and kind of takes the fun out of it. Right now I'm trying to have fun and just enjoy myself out there again. It's working. I'm having a good time."

Rogers, who sells wine for Empire Distributors, earned her third win in nine half marathons, with the others coming in Charlotte and Jackson Hole, Wyo. "It's always fun," she said.

She finished 1:11 ahead of Charlotte's Megan Hovis after taking the lead with about three miles remaining.

"There was a girl in first through mile 10 and I saw her kind of start to lean her head so I knew she was getting tired," Rogers said. "I was like, 'All right, I'm gonna go for it.' When you see that they're getting tired it just sort of motivates you like, 'OK, I need to buck up and dig deep and get past them.'"

The 1:20:46 she ran was a personal record, besting the 1:21:15 she ran last weekend in Jacksonville, Fla.

"I broke 1:21, so I was happy with that," Rogers said. "[But] my goal was to try and break 1:20, so I'm going to definitely have to come back next year and do that."

Rogers has larger goals than a victory in Myrtle Beach, however. Three women in the Charlotte Running Club have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Women's Marathon Trials, as has Saturday's women's winner, Kathleen Castles of New Providence, N.J., and Rogers wants to be one of the next to do so.

She'll attempt to eclipse the 2:46 qualifying time on March 20 at the Honda Los Angeles Marathon.

"I want to do the Olympic Trials, even if my time is 2:46 and I'm the last one in, it would just be cool to say I made it," Rogers said. "Especially since I'm 32; I'm not young by running standards.

"That's what I've been training for, so it was awesome to do this to get ready for that."

Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284.

Myrtle Beach Sun News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service