MB’s Zola Budd-Pieterse wins Divas Half Marathon

For the 2nd year in a row, Myrtle Beach’s Zola Budd-Pieterse has won the Divas Half Marathon.  Budd-Pieterse finished the 13.1 mile run with a time 2 minutes faster than her finish last year. She completed the 2013 edition with a time of 1:19:58. Deb Ryan of Southern Pines finished 2nd, nearly 8 minutes after Budd-Pieterse.

Joanna Meek of Frisco, Texas won the 5K portion of the race, also held this morning along Main Street and Ocean Boulevard.  Meek’s time of 20:26 was nearly 2 minutes faster than the 2nd place finisher in that event. Alexandra Wilding of Myrtle Beach was the top local finisher with a 9th place finish and time of 24:20.

With record numbers in attendance, Race Director Robert Pozo was happy with the event. “The race went great. Almost everyone that signed up, showed up. You always have a few no shows. I’d say it’s about the lowest number of no shows that we’ve ever had in any of our races,” said Pozo.

Although the event is predominately run by women, there are a few men that enter as well, with just under 20 competing in the 5K, and under 100 in the half marathon.

Weather once again cooperated with the ladies on the course, “With this many people, it’s good to be overcast and a little cool and that’s exactly what it was. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for running,” said Pozo.

As the last of the ladies crossed the line, encouragement was in full force. Local DJ and MC Wally B was setup near the finish line to call out names of finishers and give that extra push of motivation. “These ladies are inspiring. To see them come out and compete and finish is just fantastic,” said B.

Pozo relates the story of one participant with a special organization in mind, “There was a lady running that was 63 years old. She was fundraising for the women in Africa that have to hike for miles and miles to get clean water, and pharmaceuticals for their children. Everyone runs for a different reason, whether it’s health or in memory of somebody and there is a story behind each and every person. “

Each finisher received a finisher medal, tiara, pink boa, and glass of champagne.  When asked about the reasoning for all the extra accoutrements, Pozo said they are “Making women feel like women. This is one day that we empower them to be Divas, what better way than the rose, and the champagne, and the hunky firefighters at the finish line.”

The event plans to return to the North Myrtle Beach area in 2014.

For a complete listing of results, head over to http://results.active.com/events/divas-half-marathon-amp-5k-in-north-myrtle-beach

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