Take your patience: Roads expected to be busy along Grand Strand

Take your patience: Roads expected to be busy along Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Runners will lace up their shoes and hit the streets as a big event takes over parts of Myrtle Beach this weekend.

We're talking about the Myrtle Beach Marathon.

It's in its 20th year and WMBF News is helping you navigate the roads so you don't run into the traffic.

It's a marathon, so 26.2 miles of road closures for this race is what you could get caught up in.

You hear about the detours every year, but yet people still get tangled up.

Last year was a great turn out with thousands of people participating.

Organizers say even though it's just Wednesday, you'll start to see people coming into town now to avoid the rush.

So this is your warning, but organizers ask you to think ahead and know all of the spots to avoid where the runners will be to limit congestion.

"The police will man the intersections, they'll make sure the runners are safe, that's the key priority that morning, but that will result in impatient drivers, so the drivers need to plan ahead. You're looking at a thirty minute delay at some intersections while the runners pass, so if you need to get somewhere Saturday morning, go early," Myrtle Beach Spokesman Mark Kruea said.

The Myrtle Beach Marathon is bringing thousands of runners to the Grand Strand this weekend, but it isn't the only thing visitors are coming to town for.

Besides the marathon, there are several large sporting events going on in the Grand Strand.

There's the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, the First Robotics Competition in Myrtle Beach at the Convention Center, a major Soccer tournament at Grand Park and a large gymnastics meet at the Sports Center.

Businesses in the Market Common are already preparing their employees for the increase in foot traffic throughout the Market Common.

WMBF News called a few hotels on Ocean Boulevard and rooms are filling up fast.

But it's not just there, all across the Grand Strand, owners and managers are hoping for big profits.

Businesses along the Myrtle Beach Marathon route say the closures and parking problems are a concern every year.

For others though, events like these are a jumping off period for the busy summer season the more foot traffic the better.

"With the weather being nice, it should be a good kick off. You open then they start coming in, that day should be a good day all day long," Peaches Corner Employee Robert Alston said.

Motorists should avoid the intersections of 21st Avenue North and Grissom Parkway and 29th Avenue North and Grissom Parkway.

Anticipate heavy congestion in the Grand Dunes Boulevard and Kings Highway area.

Northbound traffic on Ocean Boulevard is only available for race participants.

See the Myrtle Beach Marathon Course Map at www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com/marathon2017.jpg.

List of other activities include:

March 1-5 – 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at the HTC Center, Coastal Carolina University

March 2-4 – 14th Annual Palmetto Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center (66 high school teams)

March 3 – Family Fun Run & Party and Grand Dunes 5k, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

March 4 – Myrtle Beach Marathon 20th Anniversary, 6:30 a.m., Grissom Parkway and 21st Avenue. North (more than 4,000 runners)

March 4-5 – YMCA Can Am Cup Soccer Tournament, Grand Park Athletic Complex & Ashley Booth Field (more than 130 teams)

March 4-5 – Coastal Classic Gymnastics Meet at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center (more than 1,200 participants)

March 6 – Snowbird Softball College Spring Training, Grand Park Athletic Complex.

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