Off-Season at the Shore
BY LAURIE CORBIN
MYRTLE BEACH, SC--It wasn't a blue-light special on suntan lotion that brought 3600 people out onto the Myrtle Beach Boulevard on Saturday, February 19. It was the third running of the Myrtle Beach Marathon. The men's record fell, the Masters title was defended, and the race scored a record for number of participants.
Peter Kotland, a professional triathlete, set a new men's record of 2:28:46. Kotland's biggest fear wasn't going 26.2 miles, it was the 6:00 a.m. start. "That was the scariest part. I was afraid I'd sleep through my alarm," Kotland said. But neither time nor distance did much to slow him down. The Duncan, SC, resident, a native of Czechoslovakia, shattered the old course record by over a minute. Kotland was invited to run in the race by training partner Rob Wilder, who won the inaugural Myrtle Beach Marathon and participated in the relay portion of the event last year. Wilder ran with Kotland for the first ten miles then fell back and finished second, 4:42 behind.
Guy Gordon of New Jersey was third, defending his Masters title at Myrtle Beach and finishing one place higher than last year. He ran 2:37:58, off his PR, but a stellar performance in light of the extreme humidity.
Myrtle Beach is a fantastic place to travel for a marathon. With incredible off-season hotel rates and hot tubs at each one, it's a great marathon to run and combine with a family vacation. The race begins at 6 a.m., in the dark, and dawn breaks as you run along the Atlantic. Balloons and great pomp and circumstance greet runners at the finish line. If you go, make sure you visit Captain Hook's Miniature Golf Course located right on the main boulevard. I've never seen a miniature golf course with such charisma!