More finish lines popping up on the Grand Strand

Color Run in Charlotte, N.C. / Taylor Williams

Two specialty running events are coming to the Grand Strand: a Glow Mania 5K in August and a Color Run in November. The events are part of an expanding tourism market. There are now plenty of races for runners to choose from.

Every February, thousands of runners from across the country descend upon the Grand Strand for the Myrtle Beach Marathon. Each year it continues to grow.

"This year we'll do over 10,000 people in that race for Myrtle Beach. Little ol' Myrtle Beach," explained Dr. Jim Troxell.

Troxell is a longtime runner and is one of the founders of the Grand Strand Running Club. He said in the past decade the number of running events has quadrupled.

"It used to be you'd have three or four races a year, and now during the prime time, minus the summer, you can find a race one if not two races every Saturday," added Troxell. "We're running out of dates on the calendar (is) almost is the way it's getting to be now."

Mike Shank with Festival Promotions agrees, "Ten years ago just a few races, and now they're like golf tournaments."

The number of people participating in races is also up, and Troxell said that's a good thing. "To think that the country and this area is getting up off the couch, and the great thing about it is we're seeing more and more young runners. They're not all thumbing it. They're out running and exercising."

Each event attracts hundreds of visitors, leading to a significant financial boost for the area.

City of Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea said in 2012, sports tourism generated a $132 million direct economic impact for the city.

Come November those dollars will be more colorful.