MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Despite finishing last in this weekend’s Myrtle Beach Marathon, a local man said he’s thrilled with the result.
“This year was definitely the most special, no doubt," said Jim Pence, a Myrtle Beach local who hasn’t missed a race since it’s inception in 1998. “I never really planned on doing another one but I just felt like, I can still do this!”
Pence said he was inspired to continue racing by the death of his father in 1998. Since then, the race has become an annual tradition for him and his family.
“My wife has been there every step of the way each race and my son, born in 2002, his first race was in 2003 and now he’s really into it," Pence said.
He said the support of family and friends is more important than his final result.
“Some years have been better, like this year coming in dead last. It was so inspirational because people were honking their horns, thumb up. Because the race is over and you see this guy with his numbers on and a teenage boy helping him get to the finish line," Pence said.
Approaching nearly 60-years-old Pence said he’ll know when he’s run his last race.
“I’ll know it in my heart...this past year I was in a lot of pain, little voice in the back of my head said ‘hey Jim this is it!’... but I think I have a couple more left. Lets keep it going,” Pence said.
Pence and his son plan to compete in next year’s race. He jokingly told WMBF report Aaron Ladd that quote, “he’ll run until he has to be carried across the finish line.”