Columbia SC Marathon

Columbia SC Marathon: Who’s more excited? Runners or supporters?

otaylor@thestate.comMarch 9, 2013 


The Columbia SC Marathon might’ve changed its course for its second year, but one thing remained the same as the inaugural event last year: The sun was shining, and what began as a cold morning gave way to beautiful spring afternoon.

When the runners headed to the Columbia SC Marathon starting line on Sumter Street a little before 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the temperature was below 40 degrees.

Some walked with their arms folded. Others had hoodies tied tight around their faces. A few wore trash bags to stay warm, while even more jogged to defy the cold. By midday, the sun-boosted temperature hovered around 60 degrees, perfect for gutting out miles in a race.

Some observations from driving around the course:

No, this way: Justin Gillette won the marathon in a blazing 2:34.10, but he lost 80 seconds by following the lead police car. Apparently, the car made a wrong turn.

“There were no more cones,” Gillette, who won his 61st marathon, said. “The cop realized it, too, and then we turned around and ran back.”

Instead of gasping for air after the race, Gillette, from Goshen, Ind., began helping marathon runners just starting their second loop of the course.

“Want a Pepsi to take out there,” he said to one man. Next, Gillette was handing out bottled water.

“It’s a good race,” he said of the run. “There’s good community support.”

Carolyn Hart won the women’s marathon in 3:07.32

For complete race results, visit

Best dressed: The tutus were once again a great look, but nothing topped the superhero outfit worn by Trent Morrow, also known as the Marathon Man. Morrow, from Sydney, Australia, races with a red cape, and the costume’s color scheme – blue, red and yellow – is not unlike Superman’s. Morrow had an “M” on his chest.

Now, for the tutus. Cassandra Eischeid and Monica Clayton, both from Charleston, wore matching pink sheer tutus over running pants. They were running the half-marathon.

“It’s a party,” Eischeid said.

“It’s something to encourage us to get through,” Clayton of the tutus.

Pleasant day: Several times and at various spots on the course, runners were overheard thanking the police officers directing traffic.

Snapshot: “Got to do it right, man,” a runner with a camera strapped around his neck said as he took a photo of a photographer snapping photos of runners.

Cheerleaders: Robert Feinstein and his wife, Jessica Elfenbein, cheered the runners as they rounded little Lake Katherine.

“It’s hard when you’re out here,” Elfenbein said of the middle of the course. “Some people really respond. And you can see them run faster.”

There were a few more people cheering the runners, but, as Feinstein said of his wife, “she’s the loudest.”

Dance party: A DJ was set up in front of Eastminster Presbyterian Church on Trenholm Road. One of the songs he mixed to pump the runners up was “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice.

Reach Taylor at (803) 771-8362.

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