Wednesday’s editorial notes the twist on local sports tourism represented by new marathons.
Whether they know it or not, everyone needs a bottle opener shaped like a shark-bitten surfboard.
If you don’t have one yet, you might consider signing up for this fall’s Myrtle Beach Mini-Marathon and Coastal 5K, which will offer these inimitable prizes as commemorative medals for its inaugural run. And if you’re not a runner yourself (or a frequent opener of bottles), the marathon still represents a small but solid bit of good news.
The sport of running is growing in popularity, as Lorena Anderson reported last weekend: Participation in road races of all kinds increased by 11 percent in 2009, and half-marathons in particular have been growing at a steady 10-percent annual rate since 2003. So the emergence of two new races, the previously mentioned Mini-Marathon this October and the just-passed Independence Day 8K, is welcome sign that the Grand Strand has a foothold in this new trend.
None of these events are game-changers like the major winter Myrtle Beach Marathon, with its thousands of participants. The Fourth of July race, plus the better-established Winter Run in January (now in its 27th year) and the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, all draw numbers in the mid-hundreds. Yet most of these races take place outside our traditional summer beach season, when local businesses are more than happy to see any tourists they can get. And, as organizers have noted, they are all growing.
We have long maintained that a key