Saturday, February 20, 2010

Myrtle Beach cancellation: still considering options

Robert Pozo, race director for a new half-marathon coming to Myrtle Beach this fall, is offering runners who were snowed out of last weekend's Myrtle Beach Marathon half-off on registration fees for his fall event.

"I want people to come back to Myrtle Beach. There are so many great things about this community," he said. "This is a runner-friendly community and no one is trying to drive them away."

The Myrtle Beach Marathon was canceled on the eve of the run last week as snow fell across the region and the city of Myrtle Beach worried about runners and volunteers being injured on the partly open race course.

Dozens of runners hit the snow lined streets this morning determined to not let their training go to waste despite a canceled Bi-Lo Marathon and Disani Half-Marathon.

Some even ended their runs at the marathon's designated finish line at the BB&T Coastal Federal Field.

At the time when thousands of runners were expected to be streaming through the finish line of the Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon at BB&T Coastal Field on Saturday, instead there was demolition.

The start line, staging and tents were all being razed, and portable restrooms were being hauled off the property late Saturday morning. None were needed after the cancellation of the race because of an overnight snow storm.

The annual race and the half-marathon the same weekend have sold out and are now closed to participants.

The only way to take part in the big races now is to sign up through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the American Red Cross and commit to raising money for the organizations.

Myrtle Beach marathon organizers said Monday they have made no decision yet about refunds for those who didn't get to run Saturday when snow Friday night prompted the city of Myrtle Beach to call off the events.

Though the marathon board is meeting today, the marathon's president and race co-director, Shaun Walsh, said he does not anticipate a decision coming from the discussion.

"We want to do this in a timely manner, but we're not going to jump and make a snap decision," he said. "We have to look at all the possibilities."
Many runners are unhappy with the decision, and Pozo, whose inaugural race will benefit the Grand Strand Humane Society, said he wanted to do something for them.

For the next two weeks, runners who have proof that they were registered for the Myrtle Beach Marathon can sign up for the new half-marathon to be held Oct. 24 for $30 instead of the current $60 registration. Pozo said the registration fees will go up as the race gets closer.

The Myrtle Beach Marathon organizers have said they are considering options, but won't be able to give a full refund to those who didn't get to run last week. The marathon board of directors has not made a decision yet about what it will do for those runners, though organizers have said they expect to resolve things soon.

To get more information about the new Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon or to sign up, visit, call 800-733-7089 or e-mail