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Run to the Fun at the Myrtle Beach Mini-Marathon

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In the seven short years since its inception, the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon has already earned a reputation in running circles for being one of the fastest and most fun-filled road races on the regional circuit. That's because, in addition to featuring a flat and fast course with an incredible ocean view, the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon also offers all the fun and entertainment of the world-famous Grand Strand.

Scheduled for Oct. 22-23, this year's Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon includes a new, 13.1-mile race layout, two fun-filled undercard events, a new and expanded Health & Fitness Expo, as well as all the great attractions, shopping, restaurants and nightlife Myrtle Beach has to offer. And with the milder fall weather and smaller tourism crowds visiting the Grand Strand in mid-October, you and your fellow competitors will have the run of the town to race through the downtown streets and explore all the fun off the course.

Guests at the Caribbean Resort & Villas are in a prime location to experience the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. Located on the northernmost end of The Strip on Ocean Boulevard, the resort puts guests within walking distance of all the action on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and in the downtown district, as well as a short stroll from the famed Golden Mile of beach homes and historic first-row houses. Runners can warm up for the event with a jog down the beach or Boulevard, or walk to the heart of all the action.

Best of all, the new race layout carries runners right past the Caribbean, so guests can use the resort as a signal for the start of the home stretch, and their loved ones can await their arrival and cheer them on as they approach the finish line. From the Caribbean, it's only a short distance to where the course merges with the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk near 14th Avenue North. Contestants break the tape at Plyler Park, where the post-race festivities include live music, food vendors, a beer tent and the official awards presentations.

An estimated field of 4,000 is expected again for this year's Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, and even more participants will compete in the Coastal 5K and the Doggie Dash events on Saturday. Held at The Market Common, site of the new Health & Fitness Expo at Crabtree Recreation Center, the Coastal 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and sends hundreds of runners dashing around a scenic 3.1-mile loop around Grand Park. The Coastal 5K is followed by the 1-mile Doggie Dash, a fundraiser for the Grand Strand Humane Society, which starts at 9:15 a.m. and features runners and their four-legged friends racing to the finish line.

The starting gun for the main event, the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, goes off at 7 a.m. Sunday and prompts thousands to begin their trek along the city streets, oceanfront and Boardwalk. The new starting line is located at Coastal Grand Mall, followed by a run down Robert Grissom Parkway to the beachfront on the north side of town. The course then runs south down Ocean Boulevard through the Golden Mile, past the Caribbean and down the 1.4-mile Myrtle Beach Boardwalk for the home stretch to the finish line.

Once you've broken the tape and caught your breath, enjoy all the post-race festivities with friends and family members, who line the course to cheer on contestants. Have a hot meal and cold beer, then dance to the music as long as your legs will hold out. Then, head back to the Caribbean Resort and Villas for a dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub before hitting the sheets for some much-deserved rest, relaxation and recovery. We will be rooting you on and going the extra mile to make sure you have a wonderful experience at the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon.