I’VE BEEN A runner for 40 of my past 70 years and am still childlike with the joy, peace and energy that running provides — and thankful for it.
It is sad that not everyone is physically able to do it. If more people in the world had access to the kind of joyful running experience that the Boston Marathon represents, there would be less hatred and violence.
Columbia’s annual For Women Only Heart and Sole 5 Mile run/walk sponsored by Providence Hospital exhibited running’s positive spirit by growing more this year with more than 2,200 participants. The race focus is to raise awareness of heart disease among women. The top finisher was Spartanburg’s Joan Tangwar, 23, whose time was 27:44. Charlotte runner Caitlyn Bullock was second overall in 28:44.
Charleston runner Michael Banks, 26, on April 20 won Moe’s Burrito Dash 5K in 16:32, leading a field of 190. Cayce’s Christina Supino, 23, was first local female finisher — ninth overall in 19:10.
The Prosperity Hoppin’ 5K on May 4 had a field of 62 and Columbia’s Ryan Plexico, 29, won in 17:37. He was followed in order by Paul Reardon, 45, Hartsville, 18:52; David Ariola, 50, Newberry, 20:06; Andy Martin, 52, Greenville, 23:45. Millege Wilson, Sr., 67, was seventh in 25:05. In ninth place, Columbia’s Meredith Mona, 40, was first female overall in 25:34. Second female and 12th overall in 26:38, Prosperity’s Jessica Norman, 33, was among the few non-Masters runners winning in the lead group.
The national rise in popularity of the half-marathon the past couple of years continues in South Carolina. On April 13, Columbia’s Ryan Plexico, 29, led a field of 826 to the finish in Columbia’s Palmetto Half-Marathon in 1:16:44. Aiken’s James Jackson, 23, was second in 1:18:52. Sixth overall, Lugoff’s Heather Costello, 35, was first female finisher in 1:28:33. Columbia’s Emily Schneider, 26, was second female and seventh overall in 1:29:18.
The Palmetto’s companion 5K had 359 finishers, with Columbia Masters runner Mike Hedgecock, 44, winning in 18:13. Irmo’s Kenneth Vowles, 14, had an exciting third-place finish in 19:36. Columbia’s Sara Hutchins, 33, won the first female trophy as 13th overall in 23:11. In another promising finish, local runner Marie Demetriades, 13, was 15th overall and second female in 23:55.
COLUMBIA 9 a.m. Crawdaddy Dash 5K (803) 600-1800.
COLUMBIA Get in the Pink 10K GPT, 7:20 a.m.; 5K 7:30 a.m. TDC Info: (803) 429-7763.
WEST COLUMBIA 8:30 a.m. Rotary River Run 5K, TDC Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEESVILLE 8 a.m. Poultry Fest 5K, GPT (803) 799-4786.
ANDERSON 8 a.m. Chick-fil-A Series 5K (706) 310-6053.
CAMDEN 8 a.m. Restoration Ranch 5K INFO: www.strictlyrunning.com.
COLUMBIA 8 a.m. Run Red Bank 5K, GPT (864) 260-6705.
COLUMBIA 7:30 a.m. See Spot Run 5K, TDC (Earlewood Pk.) Info: seespotrun5K@gmail.com.
IRMO Acts Metro Going the Extra Mile 10K, 8 a.m.; 5K, TDC 8:30 a.m. Info: www.actsmetro.org.
LEXINGTON 8 a.m. Jail Break 5K, GPT, TDC (803) 799-4786.
CHARLESTON 5 P.M. River Dogs Run Forrest Run 5K (843) 723-7241.