With this year’s successful event securely in the rear view mirror — drawing more than 10,000 runners over Valentine’s Day weekend — organizers of the Myrtle Beach Marathon have announced plans for the 2015 event.
The 18th Annual Myrtle Beach Marathon will once again take place Valentine’s Day weekend, with the 26.2-miles main event and the half marathon being run on Feb. 14, 2015. Additional events will be held beginning Thurs., Feb. 12 with the Marathon Expo opening up at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and the Ripley’s Family Fun Run and Neon Night 5K running on Friday, Feb. 13.
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While the schedule for the 2015 event remains similar to that of the most recent race, runners could be headed to the 2016 event two weeks later than usual if things go the way event organizers would like.
Marathon director Shaun Walsh said organizers are hoping the completion of the new Myrtle Beach Sports Centre, a 100,000-square foot indoor facility, will give them an opportunity to hold the race on a later date. Construction of the facility is now underway and is expected to open the first weekend of March 2015.
“After speaking with the chamber and some businesses, Valentine’s Day weekend seems to be busy already,” he said. “The first weekend of March is a slow weekend anyway. … It’s about giving a boost to off-season tourism.”
Walsh also said having the race a few weeks later creates the potential for slightly better weather.
“I’m not sure, though, how much better the weather would be,” he said.
Walsh said the first weekend in March is the best option, with the Canadian-American Days, St. Patrick’s Day and Pee Dee Street Rodders “Run to the Sun” car show taking place the other weekends of the month.
Pushing the marathon to March is something organizers have considered for a number of years, Walsh said, but had been impossible due to the high number of events held in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, where the event’s runner’s expo is held. The indoor sports facility could make more space available in March, he said.
“My preference is to keep [the expo] in the convention center, because it’s easy for the runners who are staying in the Sheraton [Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel] to just walk over,” he said.
To read more about the change in dates, read this story by Maya Prabhu of The Sun News.
Early bird registration is now open for the 2015 Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Team Relay until midnight Saturday, March 15. You can save $20 off entry fees for the marathon ($60 instead of $80), half marathon (450 instead of $70) or relay ($105 from $125). For more information visit www.mbmarathon.com.