Myrtle Beach Marathon

Seniors cite creative reasoning for running in Myrtle Beach Marathon

The 20th Myrtle Beach Marathon and affiliated half-marathon and relay races.
The 20th Myrtle Beach Marathon and affiliated half-marathon and relay races. For The Sun News

Why would Dave Hardwick of Boulder, Colo, at the age of 77, travel to the Carolinas to run two half marathons within a week of each other?

“It’s mainly good mental health,” Hardwick said. “It feels good. I’m not injured. It keeps me from being cranky. It’s really good for my sunny personality. Plus, I’ve got four or five 70-plus-year-old guys I run with in Boulder.”

Hardwick finished Saturday’s half marathon in 2:18. “That’s probably as good as I can do now,” said Hardwick, who ran a half marathon in Ellerbee, N.C., last week. “I try to get in under 2:20.”

Hardwick took up running at the age of 52, and he still runs longer distances.

Last March he ran a 25-mile road race, and he ran the 2015 Myrtle Beach Marathon on his 75th birthday in 5 hours to win his age group. “I was the only one in it,” he confessed.

Octogenarian strong

There were runners older than Hardwick in the half marathon.

German native and Morganton, N.C., resident Eberhard Will is 80 and finished the 13.1 miles in about 2:38.

“I’m still healthy. I don’t want to be a couch potato,” said Will, who fell during the race last year but persevered and finished in about three hours.

He played soccer into his 50s and started running in 2008 to remain active, and he has participated in sprint triathlons.

“I’ve got a full [marathon] on my bucket list but I don’t know if I can do that,” he said.

For Myrtle Beach Marathon results, click here.

Alan Blondin: 843-626-0284, @alanblondin

Related stories from Myrtle Beach Sun News