CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - Road race organizers in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee are responding to demand from runners who seem to flock to non-traditional races. In the next two months northeastern South Carolina will host four unusual races.
Mike Shank and his company Festival Promotions in Myrtle Beach are organizing two of those races. Myrtle Beach's version of the Krispy Kreme Challenge is based on the original race started by college students in Raleigh, NC. That races challenges runners to eat a dozen donuts in the middle of a four mile run. It is not your ordinary race, and that is exactly the point. Its quirky nature has attracted more than 5,000 runners.
"Like they say, sometimes the best ideas aren't new ideas," Shank said. "They're just a repeat of somebody else's ideas."
Shank is also bringing the idea of a mud run to Myrtle Beach, but before his Dirty Myrtle Mud Run on Memorial day weekend, another mud run will earn the title as the first mud run in the Myrtle Beach area. The Run-a-Muck mud run will begin near the Marina Inn in Myrtle Beach on May 14.
Before either of those races, the Palmetto State O-run will be in Florence. The obstacle filled run will be on March 26.
Shank said he planned his mud run event on Memorial Day for a reason.
"We're hoping to draw the people who are coming in from out of town and some of the military people that will come in to town also," Shank said.
Shank's two non-traditional races will be hosted in the Waterbridge community of Carolina Forest. He realizes it is an unexpected location for a race, but his two events are not normal either. He said Waterbridge actually makes a nice fit because the development has paved roads but very few homes right now. Runners will have wide roads on which to run with very few, if any, cars. Waterbridge's large outdoor pool also has outdoor showers which will be especially useful after the mud run.
Ron Adams lives nearby and often uses Waterbridge as a walking and jogging area with his family and dogs. Having a race in the area makes perfect sense to him.
"It's just a beautiful setting for running," he commented.
He also said he understands the marketing potential of having the races in Waterbridge. He said he expects the races to show off the community to hundreds of people who otherwise would have never seen it.
"The mud run, the Krispy Kreme, things like that, it's going to bring a different group of people in here," Adams said. "So I think it's a great way to promote it."
Shank and his partners at Waterbridge hope so too. They feel they may be on the verge of a whole new marketing strategy for real estate.
"I think it would work great in a lot of developing neighborhoods," Shank said.
All of the events raise money for a cause. Registration information can be found on the following websites:
- March 26: Palmetto State O-run, Florence (www.theorun.com)
- April 23: Krispy Kreme Challenge, Myrtle Beach (www.festivalpromos.com/Krispy_Kreme_Challenge.html)
- May 14: Run-a-Muck Mud Run, Myrtle Beach (www.runamuckinmyrtlebeach.com)
- May 28: Dirty Myrtle Mud Run, Myrtle Beach (www.dirtymyrtlemudrun.com)