Deeming their first foray into March a success, organizers of the Myrtle Beach Marathon have settled on the first weekend in March for the 20th running of the race in 2017.
The race moved to the first weekend in March this year after being held in February for its first 18 years, and the race will be run on March 4 next year, with the HTC Runner’s Expo beginning on March 2 and both the 5-kilometer and Family Fun runs on March 3.
By all accounts it was definitely a success the way everything unfolded this year.
Shaun Walsh, marathon president
“We had already secured some of the major pieces in the puzzle for that weekend in March moving forward,” marathon president Shaun Walsh said, “so short of a mandate from the city or the chamber or something, we were planning on staying on that slot again and establishing that as our weekend on the marathon calendar.”
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According to Walsh, there were 2,061 entries in the marathon, 3,229 in the Dasani Half Marathon, 543 in the relay and 25 in the wheelchair/crank chair division. An additional 1,091 runners entered the Bojangles’ 5-kilometer run the Friday evening before the marathon.
Those numbers were down only slightly from 2015.
Other changes to the race this year included an alteration of the marathon course and move of the runner’s expo to the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and the race enjoyed improved weather over recent years with clear skies, little wind and temperatures from the 40s to the low 60s.
“By all accounts it was definitely a success the way everything unfolded this year,” Walsh said. “The new sports center replacing the convention center, the new start line and the date change was effective as well, especially considering the weather.
“Now we have to get all our ducks in a row for the 20th year.”
Early registration discounts for the 2017 race are available at mbmarathon.com, as are applications for up to three $1,000 scholarships for high school seniors in Horry County that are awarded by marathon organizers, which are due April 15.