Myrtle Beach Marathon (Pit Crew)

Saturday was my first Pit Crew of 2017, the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon.

After being injured for several weeks, I knew the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon wasn’t happening for me. It sucked that I was out of the $100 race registration fee (ouch) and of course, not being able to even run the race, let alone pursue the goal I was training for. You know, the whole five weeks I’ve been able to train since October- the five weeks I wasn’t either injured or rebuilding my mileage from the first injury. But I digress.

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I registered for this race with my running buddies as a destination race. We’ve been training for it since December and everyone was shooting for goal times, PRs, or BQs.

Instead of thinking of this race as a “DNS”, I thought of it as an opportunity to “Pit Crew” for my friends. Summerville Tri Club uses the term Pit Crew to describe athletes who attend races to support teammates. I decided to go to Myrtle Beach anyway so I could spend time with my training partners and meet up with a few runners from Grand Strand Running Club. I also hoped to meet some runners from other cities/states who I knew from the blog world.

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On Friday afternoon, Melissa and I left Summerville around lunchtime, and our first stop in Myrtle was the race expo. We picked up our packets and a packet for Erin, another “walking wounded” friend who couldn’t make it due to the flu, then we did some shopping and socializing. I even tested a TENS unit at one of the expo vendors. By this point, my ankle pain was mostly a dull ache, so I’m not sure how helpful these things are, but it was neat to test it out.

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Our next stop was our hotel, the Caribbean Resort and Villas. It was a host hotel and one of the few that allowed runners to stay for one night only. This hotel is located at the Mile 13 marker of the marathon, which is helpful if you have someone running and want to cheer for them at Mile 13. We booked an ocean view room, and while it was not the best view, it’s certainly more of an ocean view than we usually wake up to. Charleston is beachy but both of us live inland.

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Our next stop was dinner at Liberty Brewery and Grill. I had a fish sandwich with the seasoned vegetables as the side. The sandwich was delicious and the service was good, but the vegetables weren’t seasoned at all and were terrible! Vegetables like these are why kids don’t like vegetables.

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Melissa had a steak and said it wasn’t that great. I noticed she wasn’t eating a ton and she said she was feeling a bit sick in her stomach. She’d been battling a cold all week too. We made a quick Walmart run for some snacks then headed back to our hotel to relax for the night. We watched The Help, I ate some junky chocolate chip cookies, and laid out our “flat me” pictures.

I never do a “flat me” but decided to as a joke. Since the temperature would be in the 30s at start time, I wore a very warm hoodie, compression socks, regular socks, warm pants, and a North Face jacket. I even included my medicine and thera-band in the “Injured Spectator Flat Me” picture.

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Saturday morning was a super early wake-up call! The race began at 6:30 and the organizers wanted runners at the start line around 15 minutes before. Our hotel was close to the start, and John and Brent were also staying there, so at 5:50, they walked over to our hotel room and I drove everyone to the start.

Dropping your friends off at a race start line is kind of like dropping your kid off for the first day of school, complete with pictures. I watched them walk toward the start and wished them well, knowing it was all on them now. As for me I (unsuccessfully) searched for a Starbucks and ended up going to McDonald’s for coffee.

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The time while the race was going on was rather uneventful. The roads on the course were closed, and I don’t know the backroads of Myrtle Beach well enough to chase people down for pictures. I drank my coffee then hung out at the Grand Strand Running Club tent until a bunch of us walked to the finish line to see the half marathon finishers.

Theresa finished first, setting a new PR, and Brent matched his time from his first half marathon in December (Kiawah). John was running the full, so we tracked him on apps but he was hoping to PR and BQ. He did. Roscoe from GSRC caught Theresa and I, and we got a great post-race picture.

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After around the 1:45 mark, I got really worried about Melissa because she felt so sick the night before. At first, I thought she just decided to run the race at an easier pace and not shoot for a PR, but Theresa said she passed her and said she didn’t look good. About 8:30, we figured out something was wrong and went to the finish. Melissa got insanely sick during the race and was still very sick and probably dehydrated. By this point, others in our support crew (Larry and Greta) arrived at the finish, so we were all sitting with Melissa to get fluids in her and make sure she was okay.

I dashed out to grab the car with Brent, while Larry, Greta, and Theresa stayed with Melissa (she was able to walk most of the way to the car). We drove the short trip back to the hotel, where Brent helped her get up the stairs to the room and I dropped Theresa off at her hotel.

In the room, Melissa got showered and cleaned up so we could check out. Brent, Melissa, headed to Carolina Pancake House to eat breakfast and track our marathon friends. I had quite the appetite and the omelets at the pancake house were really good. Brent and I tried to make sure Melissa got some food in her post-race. We congratulated the other runners in the diner and were so stoked to track our marathon friends.

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After taking some medicine and eating something, Melissa felt a little better and was chatty and warm for the drive back to Summerville. I hate that she had such a rough race, but I am very proud of her for finishing even when she thought about quitting and got sick. She earned her finisher’s medal and will crush her next race and crush a half marathon someday.

Every race teaches us something, even bad races or races where we don’t make it to the start. Not racing was a very easy decision, and even watching my friends race wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. To be honest, taking the pictures of my shirt, socks, and bib for this blog post were mentally harder.

This weekend, I learned just how much our support crew matters. Even injured, I’m a part of the running community and can be there for my friends and training partners when they need it. I have no regrets about going to Myrtle Beach to support- I’d gladly do it again. You can’t always control what happens to you, or what happens on race day, but you can control how you react and have a positive attitude.

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The season is still young, and I hope to race as soon as I’m healthy.

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This entry was posted in Half Marathon, Injury, Myrtle Beach Marathon, Peroneal Tendonitis, Pit Crew, Race Recaps, Race Reviews, Traveling and Trips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Myrtle Beach Marathon (Pit Crew)

  1. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad you still made the trip out of it. It looks like you had fun being part of the pit crew. This way you got your swag too and the socks look super cute.
    When I did Kiawah, one of my favorite parts was grabbing a beer and standing at the final turn to the finish and cheering people on. My friend and I would look at bibs and yell out names cheering them on. I’m positive all of your friends were super thankful to have you there, especially Melissa. You’ll get your turn to crush a half and full in the future, I have no doubt. I hope the ankle pain is still gone.
    Sidenote: We’re both using the same NSAID cream I think. The one in your picture looks just like mine.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I wonder if this cream is working. I’m not sure if it’s the cream, or if it’s just me rubbing the ankle. Who knows? I really doubt my doctor ever since he gave me such a hard time over the pain.

      I love cheering at the end of races and going back to cheer for people. It’s so much fun and when I’m running, those cheers mean a lot to me. My ankle pain is more of a dull ache now, and I’m hoping that means it is going away and I can run again soon. I’m still not comfortable running on it because it feels like it did before the intense pains started after I ran on it.

  2. trexrunner says:

    A few years ago, I couldn’t run the Columbia Marathon because I had just had stomach surgery, so I decided to make a beer stop on the course since I knew a lot of people running it. I was sad at first, but I really ended up having a great time cheering for everyone and I felt like I was part of the race, too! The looks on their faces when they saw me on the course, especially in the later miles of the race, was priceless! I hope your ankle is 100% soon.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      The later miles are the best- that’s when the other runners need that support the most! I’m glad you were there with the beer stop and I can think of a couple maniacs who I am sure stopped… ;). We have a couple mutual Maniac friends and I love seeing them at races. It amazes me that they can run so many marathons back to back and not get hurt- they are some durable runners!

  3. Theresa says:

    I can tell you that knowing you have people out there, even if you don’t see them until the end, makes a HUGE difference. It’s a really nice boost when you’re feeling like you can’t possibly go any further or faster. 🙂

  4. Crewing/cheering always makes me so happy! The morning of, I always think I’ll have FOMO, but then once I’m there, I’m in “cheer mode” and am so happy and inspired. Sounds like you made the absolutely best out of a sucky turn of events.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      One thing about getting hurt weeks ago was that I had a few weeks to make peace with the fact that I would not be racing this race, then make peace with the fact that I would not run it at all, and finally make peace with the fact that I’m officially injured.

      I think if I got injured say, the week of the race, it would have been a lot more difficult, but missing a race always sucks.

      I was glad to support everyone and I had a fun time. I met some new people while I was waiting on my friends to finish, and I got to see some of my faster half marathon friends finish, who I normally would never see in a race. That was fun!

  5. wanderwolf says:

    Aw. I know missing out on a race sucks (both the lost experience and money), but you made a new experience out of it, which is worth so much! Looks like it was fun and great you were there for your friends.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I honestly had a lot of fun on the trip. I mainly run for socializing anyway, so really the lost money was the only crappy part of it. I had fun just hanging out with everyone and supporting them.

      I have another local race coming up where I will most likely be “pit crew-ing” or volunteering. Not much I can do about being injured, but at least I can pay it forward to those who are running.

  6. Oh I think it’s so cool that you did this. I’m always so appreciative of the people that volunteer and of my friends and family that come out to support me! It really makes or breaks a race. You’re the best. I can’t wait until you can get back out there!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I can’t wait either, although I was thinking today about how long it will take me to get my mileage and fitness back when I can. I really am trying to stay positive, but it’s getting hard… going on 4 weeks now :(.

  7. Elizabeth C. says:

    I find it really fun and rewarding to be a spectator and cheerleader! Although it’s hard if you’re cheering because you’re injured and were supposed to race. But the more you can just ignore those thoughts and focus on the fun, the better! Sounds like you really succeeded on focusing on your friends and enjoying the overall weekend experience.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I won’t lie that I was a little down picking up my packet when the volunteer told me to have a great race. It makes me think about what I say when I volunteer at things like that, maybe I should just tell them to “enjoy Charleston” or something?

      Pit Crew-ing was a different feeling- I’d love to do it again! Just not for a race I was ever signed up for :).

  8. I think it’s just so supportive and awesome of you that you went to the Myrtle Beach Marathon as Pit Crew! That shows you don’t let an injury keep you from one of your favorite things–running and races! I’m sorry you had to sit the race out, and that your friends were sick. That’s no fun.

    I lol’d at you saying “these vegetables are why kids don’t like vegetables” hahaha!

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