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Where Vacation and Fitness Meet: The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Oct. 19-20

While laying around by the pool and on the beach certainly has its merit, so does the idea of staying fit while you’re on vacation. In fact, a trip to the beach can be an excellent time to enjoy some outdoor activities—especially if you participate in a fun event like the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Oct. 19-20, 2013.

You don’t actually have to run a half marathon to participate. You can run the Coastal 5K or the shorter Doggie Dash on Saturday Oct. 19, the half marathon on Oct. 20, you can walk any of the events (there is a time limit for the half marathon that translates to about a 16-minute mile) or you can be a spectator and cheer on participants at any of the events. There will also be a fun finish line party after the half marathon, right on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront Boardwalk. 

A Health & Fitness Expo will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes. The Expo will include vendors and booths showcasing the latest in running gadgetry and apparel as well as serve as the race packet pickup location.

The Coastal 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 19, rain or shine. It starts and finishes at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, and the awards ceremony will follow the race at 9 a.m. If you race, you can pick up your packet at the Health & Fitness Expo at the Grand Dunes.  

Following the 5K, people will run with their pups for fun and charity at the Doggie Dash, which starts at 8:30 a.m. at the same location. All participating dogs will receive finisher ribbons, and fun costumes are encouraged. Leashes are required for all dogs. The Doggie Dash is a fundraiser for the Grand Strand Humane Society, and shirts for the event will also be sold to raise money for the organization.

The half marathon is a lovely, flat run through some of the prettiest neighborhoods in Myrtle Beach, and also includes several miles of oceanfront running. The finish party will be held at Plyler Park, and there will be awards, food and a beer garden as well as bands starting at 9 a.m. And one extra bonus for finishers: the surfboard-shaped finisher medals are the perfect fit for a beach run.

The cost for participating in the half marathon is $75 through Aug. 31, $85 from Sept. 1 through Oct. 16, and $100 at the expo if it hasn’t sold out. The Coastal 5K costs $25 through Aug. 31, $30 from Sept. 1 through Oct. 16, and $35 at the Expo if it hasn’t sold out. The Doggie Dash is $15 through Aug. 31, $20 Sept. 1 through Oct. 16 and $30 at the Expo if it’s not sold out. Discounts are available if you sign up for multiple events. Tickets and more information are available at 

Posted 8/16/13

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