NC runners, weather shine; records fall at MB Marathon

A chilly morning gave way to sunny skies and ideal conditions for Saturday’s 15th annual Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon and the Dasani Half-Marathon on Saturday.

It proved to be a good day for course record to fall, and an even better day for runners who hail from the Tar Heels State. Three of the four top divisions were won by North Carolinians.

Stuart Moran of Arden, N.C., set a new course record, covering the 26.2-mile layout in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 46 seconds. The 35-year-old shattered the old record set by Garrick Hill in 2008 by almost 2 full minutes.

Both records fell in the Dasani Half-Marathon, including 15-year-old Alana Hadley of Charlotte, N.C., breaking the mark for women at 1:16:41, and Pardon Ndhlovu of Zimbabwe via UNC Pembroke setting the men’s record at 1:07:55.

The only main division not to see its record broken by a Tar Heel was the women’s open marathon, which was won by Jennifer Adams of  Hudsonville, Mich. The 28-year-old completed the course in 2:53:12, well short of the women’s record of 2:47:59.

In the RBC 5K on Friday night, Sage Kosiorek took first place among the men with a time of 16:15, and Julie Dural won the women’s division in 19:49. Neither were records for the events.

Just as marathon runners tend to pick up their pace with every race, the Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon is also getting better with age.

The 15th annual event saw more than 7,200 participants when the gun sounds on Saturday’s marathon and half-marathon races, and that doesn’t include Friday’s kickoff races – the RBC Bank 5K and the Ripley’s Family Fun.

All the events have become popular with locals and visitors alike over the past 15 years, with the Myrtle Beach Marathon ranking in the top 10 winter runs in the nation in a poll by Runner’s World magazine.

Adding to the excitement this year is the introduction of live TV for the first time. WMBF News broadcast the race from 6 a.m. until the first runner crossed the finish line Saturday.

“We always want to try to improve the product and keep pace with what other marathons are doing,” said Myrtle Beach Marathon co-founder and organizer Shaun Walsh. “This year we were able to add live TV thanks to WMBF.”

Runners were expected to remain on the course until the early afternoon as police began bringing down barriers once the final pack has finished on certain parts of the course

Photo courtesy of MB Marathon

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