Myrtle Beach Marathon

Not a bad trip: Myrtle Beach Marathon runner visits fiancee’s family, leaves with record

Kurt Roeser came to Myrtle Beach for his fiancee’s family reunion and will leave with a course record in the 22nd Myrtle Beach Marathon’s men’s half marathon race.

Roeser, of Boulder, Colo., ran the 13.1 miles in one hour, seven minutes and 50 seconds to eclipse the previous record set by Pardon Ndhlovu in 2012 by seven seconds.

“The weather was good, the course was great, it was just a really good, well-run race,” said Roeser, who was just off a personal best time.

Saturday’s race was Roeser’s first victory in a half marathon, but he had another notable feat in his last race, the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December.

Despite it being his first marathon, he qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon by finishing in 2:17.55.

Myrtle Beach was his first race since.

“I just enjoy it,” said Roeser, a 32-year-old physical therapist who ran the 5-kilometer race in college for Florida. “I figure you’ve got to get up and exercise a little bit every day so I just go for a run and I do hard workouts with a team and my coach three days a week. I enjoy building fitness and pushing myself more than just going out for nice easy runs.”

He was in Myrtle Beach with his fiancée Tracy Koch, whose parents Nancy and Bill Koch retired to the Grand Strand three years ago.

Tracy and her sisters, Wendy and Tammy, all ran in a half marathon for the first time.

“It was a big thing for us,” Tracy said. “We made shirts with seagulls on them. Our dad calls us Birdie and Little Bird and Big Bird. It was kind of a way for all of us to come back and hang out with my parents and make some more memories.”

They’ll surely remember the new course record.

Lazarchick drinks up win

It wasn’t the Sweet Tea race, but the victory was just as delectable for Kathryn Lazarchick of Charleston, who captured her third women’s half marathon title in a time of 1:19:43.

She has won the past two Sweet Tea Half Marathons in Summerville.

Lazarchick competed last week in the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships in the 2-mile run, and was considering attempting to qualify Saturday for the U.S. Olympic trials in the half marathon, which requires a time of 1:13.

“I was going to try to go for it today, I was on pace for like the first third of it I guess, but I just felt off,” said Lazarchick, a tutor who is applying to med schools. “So I just did it as more of a training run at the end there because I wasn’t feel right. I am hoping to hit the trials time soon.”

She ran the mile at Wake Forest before graduating in 2017 and now runs with the Run CCG running team.

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.