MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - One of Myrtle Beach’s biggest events of the year will still go on this weekend despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hundreds of runners will take part in Saturday’s Coastal 5K at The Market Common ,and Sunday’s Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in downtown Myrtle Beach.
Race director Dawn White said about 670 people are signed up for the half-marathon, and around 300 people are signed up for the 5K, with another 50 signed up for the doggy dash, which is also happening Saturday at The Market Common.
However, those numbers may go up as registration remains open until Friday for the 5K and doggy dash, and Saturday for the half-marathon.
In the age of the coronavirus, races across the country have had to either cancel or postpone to 2021, which is why White is so happy the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon is happening as scheduled this year.
“I am so excited to have this race be live,” White said.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce had to approve the event since it’ll have more than 250 people, and COVID precautions are at the front of White’s mind. The runners will be asked to wear masks before and after the race. As soon as they cross the start line, though, they’re good to take their masks off.
There will also be a staggered start of small groups of runners every few seconds. The water stops will have bottled water instead of cups. The volunteers, who will be wearing masks, won’t hand runners the bottles.
The post-race food will be pre-packaged, and runners are asked to put their masks back on once they cross the finish line.
It’s a lot for a race director like White to think about, but she said it’ll be well worth it.
“It is what it is and everyone has been very accommodating, and I think people are just excited to put that bib on and get out here and be able to run,” she said.
White said with the COVID precautions in place, she’s confident it’ll be a great event for runners, many of whom haven’t been able to run a race since March.
“Just trying to make people feel safe, that you know we’re not out here trying just to make money, we are out here trying to allow people to do something they are passionate about,” she said.
The half-marathon will also have a brand new course. It used to start at Coastal Grand Mall and finish in downtown Myrtle Beach. Now, both the start and finish will be downtown.
For a full list of COVID-19 precautions for the race, click here.