MYRTLE BEACH — A highlight of the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon weekend of events for many participants, the doggie dash was what drew Raleigh, N.C., resident Ben Godfrey and his basset hound-mix Mr. Otis to town.
“He’s got short legs, but he likes to run fast,” he said of his dog.
Godfrey, 29, not only took first place in the one-mile dash with Mr. Otis by his side on Saturday, but also took first overall in Sunday’s mini marathon.
“Secretly I hoped to win [the mini marathon], but you never know who else is going to be out there with you,” he said after winning the 13.1-mile run Sunday morning. “I ran in the time range I wanted.”
Crossing the finish line with a time of 1:13:01, Godfrey said he’s participated in a number of half marathons, though this was the first one he ran on roads. He typically runs on trails.
Godfrey wasn’t the only person excited to participate in this year’s doggie dash. U.S. Air Force Capt. Lindsay McWhirter arrived in Myrtle Beach on Thursday after a six-month deployment in Honduras to pick up her standard poodle from her parents.
But before she could head back to her home in Mississippi she and her dog, Kimo, had to participate in the run that benefitted the Grand Strand Humane Society. The duo ran in last year’s event.
McWhirter, 30, had also planned to run in the mini marathon as she did last year, but was unable to due to an injury received during her deployment.
“I couldn’t train for it this year and I didn’t think my knees would be able to handle it,” she said. “I definitely plan on doing it next year.”
McWhirter, who has been in the Air Force for more than eight years, said she ran cross country track in high school but had never participated in a long-distance run before last year.
“I made a New Year’s resolution that year to do my first half-marathon … just to prove that I could do it because I’d never run that far before,” she said.
Godfrey was one of more than 2,200 runners to complete this year’s mini marathon. More than 4,000 registered in the weekend’s events, which also included a 5K and a high-heel run on Saturday.
Contact reporter MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.