Murrells Inlet 2020 Race for the Inlet offers family-friendly competition
Whether running or walking along the oak-lined streets and waterside walkways of Murrells Inlet, participants of the Race for the Inlet will experience scenic views while enjoying family-friendly competition on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast.
Usually held in late March, the race, which features a 5K run, a 5K walk, and a 10K run, was postponed from its original date due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will be held on Saturday, Sept. 18. The event, which is also a fundraiser for a community group called Murrells Inlet 2020, has a shotgun start at 8 a.m. in front of the Murrells Inlet 2020 office at 4124 Highway 17 Business, across the street from Crazy Sister Marina.
Ashton DuBose, a board member of Murrells Inlet 2020, said participants range from parents with babies in strollers to experienced runners training for the next big race or marathon.
“A lot of walkers take advantage of the scenic route draped in oak trees, but the courses are also USA Track and Field certified for serious runners trying to work on their time,” DuBose said. “We also hand out prizes after the conclusion of the race to different age groups as well as provide breakfast provided by a local restaurant.”
She said even the top three children, ages 10 and under, will receive an award.
“It truly is family fun,” she said. “Not many races offer that.”
Registration for the race includes a chipped bib (all runners and walkers are chipped), a Murrells Inlet 2020 Race for the Inlet T-shirt, a swag bag, and a post-race breakfast buffet at one of Murrells Inlet’s best restaurants, located on the waterfront Marsh Walk. The event will be held rain or shine.
Prizes for runners will be awarded based on chip timing to the top three male and top three female 5K and 10K entries. Also, the top three racers in each of the following age groups (both male and female) in each race: 10 and under, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25,26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50 51-55, 56-60, 61-65, 66-70, 71-75, and 76 and above. Timing will be provided by SVE Timing Service. Self-timing with finish line clock also available.
DuBose said with Murrells Inlet being a tourist destination, every member of a visiting family can participate in this race, as well as enjoy the Marsh Walk and local restaurants. She said there is something special about mornings in Murrells Inlet and participants will get to experience it.
“Murrells Inlet has a peaceful, untouched way about it in the morning,” she said. “It’s like time stands still. Even with so many people showing up for the event, it’s serene. It’s very hard to explain unless you’ve experienced the early morning of Murrells Inlet yourself. You somewhat go back in time.”
She said the event is also exciting because people gather along the route to cheer on the racers.
“The local nonparticipants look forward to passing out water and cheering the runners and walkers on,” DuBose said. “That is something to me that just embodies what Murrells Inlet is all about. We are all here for each other. Murrells Inlet is a strong, supportive village with good people.”
People who have participated in the event agree. Maribeth MacKenzie, owner of Inlet Yoga Studio in Murrells Inlet, has sponsored the event and participated with a group from her studio for the last 10 years, and will again this year. She said that the location of the race makes it a very memorable experience.
“Our team has really enjoyed the opportunity to walk through the beautiful oak-lined streets of Murrells Inlet, which are safely closed off for the event,” MacKenzie said. “We love that we can make it as quick-paced as we like, or make it a little more leisurely.”
She said hydration is important and she likes that there are water stations throughout the race route. And for those who would like something a little stronger than water, there have also been other beverages available at some of the stations, such as Bloody Marys.
MacKenzie said she feels it is important to support Murrells Inlet 2020, which she described as a “beacon in the community.”
“Murrells Inlet 2020 organizes several annual events in the community, including a large oyster roast in November and the area’s Christmas parade in December,” she said. “These events, which are fun-filled educational opportunities, are great for residents, but they also welcome visitors to experience Inlet life and the beauty of the area.”
DuBose added that the Race for the Inlet is one of Murrells Inlet 2020’s biggest events of the year, in terms of fundraising and turnout.
“We rely on our supporters and volunteers to help this run smoothly,” she said. “With funds raised we can continue to work on our local projects and make Murrells Inlet a great place to live, work and visit.”
Many people are not even aware of the effect that Murrells Inlet 2020 has on the community, she said.
“Whether you’re into beautification, watershed, promoting local business or recycling, to name a few, we do a lot that everyone can relate to,” DuBose said. “Our big project right now is the inlet to intracoastal multipurpose path.”
Called the I2I path, it is a four-mile biking/walking path that connects the inlet to the intracoastal waterway at Wacca Wachee Marina on the Waccamaw River.
“It’s projects like this one that we can only complete with large turnouts and support for our events,” DuBose said. “It truly takes a village! In this case a fishing village!”
For more information about Murrells Inlet 2020, the Race for the Inlet and other events, call the office at 843-357-2007, or visit the group’s website at MurrellsInletSC.com. To view a map that shows the location of the starting line, click here.
By Clayton Stairs/tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce
For more information about the Hammock Coast, visit www.HammockCoastSC.com.
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