Myrtle Beach Marathon

Why going 2-for-2 in marathon wins left Myrtle Beach winner yearning for more

Glen Burkhardt has discovered he’s pretty good at running marathons.

He’s two for two.

The 25-year-old Simpsonville resident and former Penn State track and cross country runner has entered two marathons, and he has won two marathons.

His second victory came Saturday in the 22nd Myrtle Beach Marathon in a time of two hours, 32 minutes and 40 seconds.

He won the Jacksonville (Fla.) Marathon in December in a time of 2:25.

“I guess I kind of hoped to do a little better today but I was kind of out there alone and sort of pittered out,” Burkhardt said. “I think I went out a little bit too ambitious and burnt out and sort of pittered in.

“I came in here definitely hoping to get the win and a [personal record] and run faster than 2:25 but obviously I didn’t have it in me today.”

Jennifer Goff, 38, of Greensboro, N.C., was the top female finisher by more than 12 minutes with a time of 2:51:42, which is more than 11 minutes off the women’s course record set by Kathleen Castles in 2011.

Burkhardt won by nearly 8 minutes Saturday after winning by 9 minutes in Jacksonville, where he ran the first half of the race with friends who were running the half marathon.

“Unfortunately I didn’t know anybody here,” Burkhardt said. “Whenever you’re in the front you’ve got kind of pacer cars, and today I had the bikes with me and without them I definitely would have died a little bit more. They kind of drag you along.”

Burkhardt graduated from Penn State in 2016 after running cross country and the 10k and 5k races in track.

He ran a few half marathons before attempting the full 26.2 miles.

He moved from his native Pennsylvania to the Greenville area to work as a test engineer for JTEKT North America, testing wheel bearings.

“Right now I’m balancing training and the real world,” he said. “In college your priority is pretty much running and school obviously. Nowadays it’s work and my wife. Just kind of keeping myself busy and trying to find time to train.”

He plans to run marathons competitively for at least the next couple years and hopes to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials by recording a time under 2:19. No male has ever qualified for the Olympic trails in Myrtle Beach. The course record is 2:26.26 set by Stuart Moran of Arden, N.C., in 2012.

“I may be a little bit far off but if I can ramp up my training a little bit and do more than what I’m been doing to be able to chase the Olympic trials qualifying time would be [good],” Burkhardt said.

Burkhardt is considering next running the Philadelphia Marathon in November. “Maybe there with some competition I can get pulled along and run faster,” he said.

He enjoyed the Myrtle Beach course. “It’s definitely a flat course and it’s kind of neat running down by the beach. It was nice,” Burkhardt said.

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Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina athletics and numerous other sports-related topics that warrant coverage. Well-versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the Northeastern University journalism school valedictorian has been a sports reporter at The Sun News since 1993, earning eight top-10 Associated Press Sports Editors national writing awards and 18 top-three S.C. Press Association writing awards since 2007.