Train Like an Olympic Athlete Along the Grand Strand


It happens every four years. The Olympics drop into your living room, your water cooler chats, your way of life for two weeks and then, they're gone again -- unless you are a participant. While not everyone has the skill level or training to be an Olympic athlete, we all have the opportunity to participate in sports.

Swimming

Get into the pool. While there are not any 50-meter pools in Myrtle Beach, an hour or so down the road in Charleston you can find two. In Myrtle Beach proper, Pepper Geddings Recreation Center and Mary C. Canty Recreation Center offer competitive swimming in 25-yard, six-lane pools. For a fee, check out Tidelands Health's Healthpoint Center for Health and Fitness' pool. Take that trip south, though, and you'll find the MLK pool on Jackson Street, or, in North Charleston, at the Danny Jones pool on Monitor Street.

Track and Field

When it comes time for track and the field activities, you'll find a first-class facility at Myrtle Beach's Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium and its eight-lane composite track. The facility, which is jointly owned by the city and Horry County Schools, is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It's also home to the Myrtle Beach Track Club and host to school meets throughout the year.

Sailing

Given its location, one would think that Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand would be a sailing hotbed, but the dinghys and small single-handers aren't to be found. Want to emulate the Olympic sailors? You'll have to head south to Charleston or north to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. You can, however, enjoy cruising aboard the big boats -- 30- and 40-footers, departing from Georgetown -- Wallace Charters -- or Little River, which offers a number of options.

Golf

If people don't come to Myrtle Beach for the ocean, they come for the golf. With nearly 100 courses, there's play for every level. But the serious golfer can fulfill a bucket list in a week and still need to keep coming back. Don't miss Tidewater Golf and Plantation Club in North Myrtle Beach. It's been breaking hearts for years. Closer to the south end of the Grand Strand, play a round at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club.


A.E. Crone is a freelance writer living near Myrtle Beach, S.C. She has written and edited for a number of newspapers and magazines.