Flash back to 1998. Armageddon is the number one movie. Google is just getting off the ground. The Lunar Prospector spacecraft finds evidence of frozen water on the moon. What do these events have in common? They were all overshadowed by the first ever Myrtle Beach Marathon, which featured Olympic gold medalist Gwen Torrence and about 2,400 other participants. Over the past 14 years the Myrtle Beach Marathon has grown to include approximately 12,000 runners and a weekend full of special events that support various causes.
Myrtle Beach Marathon Raises Funding And Support
Since the birth of the marathon, providing assistance to charities has been a prime goal of the participants. The marathon was founded by Myrtle Beach residents who participated in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Team in Training,” and this charity has been supported since the first event in 1998. More events have been added over the years as a means to support additional charities.
A unique cause supported by this marathon is The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.), a nonprofit wildlife conservation group that houses rare and endangered species. Many of these animals come out for the festivities, not just on race day but over the entire course of the three day event. For those who won’t run but have come along to show support for a friend or family member, this is your chance to see rare species of animals you may have only seen on television.
Over the last sixteen years, the Myrtle Beach Marathon has helped raise over $3 million for organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, T.I.G.E.R.S., South Carolina schools and the American Red Cross.
Myrtle Beach Marathon 2014 Weekend Events
The Myrtle Beach Marathon race weekend begins Thursday night, February 13th, with the Runner’s Expo at 5:00 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Race information and packets will be available for pickup, and booths from vendors and sponsors will be displayed in the exhibition area. In case you miss it that evening, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center opens back up at 11:00 a.m. Friday morning and is open to the public at no charge.
The opening run for the marathon weekend is the Ripley’s Family Fun Run. This one mile run starts and ends at Ripley’s Aquarium at 5:30 p.m. Friday, February 14th. Times are not recorded for this family friendly event, which runs around Broadway at the Beach. Later that evening, the Neon Night 5k also starts at Ripley’s Aquarium at 7:00 p.m., and finishes up at Pelican’s Field near 21st Avenue North.
The main event(s) begin at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday with both of the half and full marathons, as well as the Marathon Team Relay. About 3000 people will participate in the full marathon, 5000 in the half marathon, and 300 teams of up to five runners will run the marathon as a relay race.
After the race, parties will be held at the House of Blues (Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach) and Ripley’s Aquarium. Tickets for the House of Blues party must be picked up at the Expo prior to the race, while Ripley’s will allow entry with a race bib. Both will have free refreshments while the House of Blues party is restricted to those over 21, and will have live entertainment.
Myrtle Beach Marathon Accommodations
For anyone looking for accommodations, Oceana Resorts is proud to feature several properties as Myrtle Beach Marathon Host Hotels including Patricia Grand, BEST WESTERN PLUS Carolinian Oceanfront Inn and Suites, and Camelot by the Sea. These three oceanfront properties are offering an exciting package including meals and transportation exclusively for Myrtle Beach Marathon participants.
Whether you plan on being part of the festivities or not, a word to the wise: check out the race map for road closures that may affect your weekend plans. This event brings thousands of people to the area, so be prepared to be patient!