We're still basking in our two hour and seven minute finish when we ran the half marathon back in February, and yet here we are getting ready for the 17th Annual MyrtleBeach.com Myrtle Beach Marathon.

There are any number of reasons why we're stoked for the Feb. 15, 2014 race. The cooler temperatures make for the perfect environment for all competitors to reach those personal records they've set for themselves. There's the excitement of getting to see all our thousands of running friends who come and visit us each year.

And oh yeah, there's some great new activities planned for the upcoming race weekend.

There's the Neon Night 5K run on Friday night, Feb. 14. Want to do something different for Valentine's Day this year? Why not take your sweetie on a three-mile run, complete with vibrant colors?

Also new this year is the allowing of headphones. However, runners who use them do it at their own risk.

The Myrtle Beach Marathon has also once again partnered with the Rare Species Fund and The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) located in Myrtle Beach. T.I.G.E.R.S. houses an amazing assortment of rare and endangered animals, many that you're likely to encounter during the race weekend. We're still smiling over the fact we ran right past a large elephant at the starting line this year.

So, once again, it's time to get in marathon mode. As you get your training calendar updated, remember that registration is now open. Register early for the lowest rates. Discounted registration is available through Oct. 14. Click here to sign up.

Happy training, and we'll see you at the starting line!

Marathon