MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Sunday’s Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon has been canceled due to the threat of strong storms from Tropical Storm Nestor.
According to information from the city of Myrtle Beach, the latest forecast for Nestor calls for it to peak across the Grand Strand at approximately 3 a.m., Sunday, with possible wind gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour.
“Unfortunately, that is precisely the time that city crews were scheduled to be on the streets placing the infrastructure for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon,” city officials said.
The race was scheduled to start at 7 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 20.
“Not only will the forecast wind and rain be a hazard to our staff, but the traffic cones and barricades may not stay in place with winds of that speed,” city leaders said. “Without the traffic control devices, we are not comfortable that the course would be well marked and secure and that the runners would be safe.”
Myrtle Beach leaders advised the event organizer and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce that the race will be canceled.
Some runners were disappointed to hear the news.
“I was very excited about running it," runner Devon Woodard said. "It was going to be my 12th race. I ran it last year and I wanted to beat my last time by 15 minutes, and I was in good shape.”
At the same time, runners understand the city made the decision with the best interest of their staff in mind.
“When you get to the bottom line, it’s just a race," runner James McIlrath said. "To have city employees out at 3 a.m. in the middle of a storm trying to tackle barricades and cones and all that that would be blowing around in potentially hazardous winds, it doesn’t make sense to take that risk.”
There are no options to reschedule it, as no rain date is planned, according to the city. In all, 1,200 runners were registered for the mini marathon.
The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Facebook page said organizers are working on discounts for next year’s race for those who signed up for this year’s race.
The weekend also includes a shorter 5K road race Saturday morning on the usual Market Common course, city leaders said. That event is still scheduled for Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m.