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Move to McClellanville leaves World Am, Myrtle Beach marathon void in Bob’s heart

jblackmon@thesunnews.com

I've been a huge fan of Myrtle Beach for several decades, but since moving to McClellanville, there are only a few things I really miss.

The short drive to golf courses, for one. I still play the Grand Strand's courses, with a Tuesday group called the Grand Strand Swinger, so I still enjoy these wonderful layouts.

But it's an hour-and-a-half drive to reach them — compared to the 5 minutes it took to get to Possum Trot, back in the day. Yeah, I know. There's something seriously wrong with me. Everyone tells me that.

What can I say? I love golf. Besides, my Tuesday outing gives me a chance to compete for, you know, about $3.

Two things I miss — and get downright nostalgic about every year — are the World Amateur Handicap Championship every August and the Myrtle Beach Marathon every February.

My experiences with both over the years were well-documented in this column, pre-retirement.

I played the WorldAm about a dozen times and only got disqualified twice. Those DQs were great because they gave me a couple more columns to write about besides my lousy play.

I never finished in the top 10 in my flight and seldom even made the top half of my flight.

I blamed the pressure of writing about each round and planned to play on my own dime once I retired. Then I realized I could not get up early enough to make the WorldAm tee times and still enjoy it. Goodbye, cruel World (Am).

The marathon is when I really get sad. I was there at the beginning, back in the mid-90s, and actually ran (walked, actually) several marathons with the organizers — in Anchorage, San Diego, Disneyworld and Washington, D.C.

I did the Myrtle Beach Marathon a couple times and the half-marathon once.

The thing is, I have had every intention of running (walking, actually) the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon next year.

I had back surgery this past February and once I healed, as I have very successfully, I thought it would be fitting to do at least a half-marathon a year later. Take that, you dirty, rotten infected spine you.

Well, now it looks like that is off, too. I've developed a little problem with my left leg. We're still seeking a cause and a cure, having been to a couple specialists and taken several tests. So far, I haven't played golf for almost two months and spend a lot of time with my leg elevated. Not exactly the kind of marathon training I planned.

I'm pretty certain this, too, will pass and maybe in 2017, at age 77, I'll be heading for Myrtle Beach and its half-marathon.

Yes, only half. You'd think, with this kind of braggadocio, I could do the entire 26.2 miles. Well, you would be wrong.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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